November 01, 2018

PostgreSQL major version in-place upgrades supported on Aiven


We offered Aiven PostgreSQL as a service in January of 2016 as our very first service on the Aiven platform—version 9.5! Since then, Postgres has not only continued to mature as an open-source project, but on the platform as well.

We were the first to offer PG 10 as a managed service and PCIe NVMe local SSDs, and among the first to offer read replicas and logical replication. As PostgreSQL nears its 11th major release, we’re making another improvement to our service.

Aiven users can now perform in-place upgrades to major versions often in under 1 minute.

In this post, we’ll tell you why this feature is important and how you can perform the upgrade with only a click of the button.

Why Postgres major upgrades are important

A lot of PostgreSQL users are wary of major version updates because they present a challenge; namely, they require some downtime.

And for the most part, that’s ok because PostgreSQL major releases are supported for 5 years. But, for those of you using version 9.3 and above, this means that your current version will only be supported for up to a few years.

For instance, we’ll be ending support for Postgres 9.3 in the near future.

Forgetting the performance benefits that major versions provide, the new features can’t be ignored. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to upgrade if you want to take full advantage of Postgres.

How you had to upgrade major PG versions

If you wanted to upgrade your Aiven PostgreSQL service in the past, you could do so by forking your database and selecting the fork’s version. The fork would then copy the data from your latest backup.

Once the data was copied, the service would automatically upgrade to the version you selected. Simple enough, but you still had to stop writing to the parent database, create your fork, and redirect traffic to the forked service.

As noted above, this equaled some downtime, even in the Aiven platform—not good enough.

How Aiven is making major PG upgrades easy

Now, Aiven users can upgrade to the major version of their choice and take advantage of the performance and features that come with them by simply clicking a button from the Aiven console UI to set it in motion.

By implementing in-place upgrades, we’ve taken out multiple steps from the upgrade process and therefore, reduced downtime exponentially. Upgrading smaller instances will take seconds; and, larger instances?

Often under 1 minute. Even better, not only will you be able to upgrade to major Postgres versions with minimal downtime, you’ll often be the first to have access to the latest PostgreSQL versions, PG 11 included.

Wrapping up

Feel free to check out the PostgreSQL in-place major upgrades documentation to get the exact details of how to perform them. Hosting your PostgreSQL instances elsewhere and interested in getting them to Aiven?

Then sign-up to Aiven for your free, no-commitment trial and read our post logical replication, which can be used to seamlessly transfer your instances over to the Aiven platform.

Lots of news will continue to stream out of Aiven this fall and winter, not only for Postgres, but other services as well. So, be sure to subscribe to our changelog and blog RSS feeds, and follow us on Linkedin and Twitter. Talk soon!

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