Managing PostgreSQL In Kubernetes

In a Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE), database instances are run within a pod, and each pod has its own PersistentVolumeClaim. You’ll need to manage a large number of pods to run a large number of database instances. Fortunately, managed databases like Google Cloud can handle management functionality. A backup database in GKE is created using a separate volume and a separate pod called pg_dump.

HA architectures for PostgreSQL

There are various HA architectures for PostgreSQL. One such architecture is called a Primary-Standby architecture, which involves using a single primary database and one or more standby servers. The primary server remains online while the Standbys replicate the database by using internal data structures. In addition, minor version updates and infrastructure patching are applied to the standby server before the primary. This way, the overall downtime of the application is minimized.

There are two main types of HA architectures for PostgreSQL: continuous archiving/recovery (CARR) and asynchronous replication (SRR). In Continuous ACA/RR, the log files are constantly shipped from the primary server to the standby database server. This architecture is less expensive and easier to implement but does not guarantee data availability. For this reason, PostgreSQL servers must be installed on separate physical servers, and according to Portworx: Kubegres is available as open source.

Configuration options

When configuring Postgres in Kubernetes, you’ll want to set the memory allocation for the worker pods. For this purpose, you’ll need to use the shared_buffers option, which is typically around 25% of the total container memory. The size of shared buffers is what controls the disk page cache of every worker and query. Worker pods share the rest of the container’s memory, which is also important because the maximum number of concurrently executing workers is 75% of the container’s total memory.

To enable PostgreSQL on Kubernetes, you can use the kubectl command. After you’ve launched the cluster, run the kubectl exec command to connect to the instance. PostgreSQL will prompt you for a password, and then it will log you in. Now, you can start receiving data from your nodes. If you’d like to manage the database on your own, use the Helm chart.


When securing your Kubernetes database, you should first make sure that you have used encryption-in-transit (EIT), which ensures data is encrypted as it travels through the network. This is particularly important for multi-tenant systems and untrusted networks. Encryption also enables your applications to authenticate themselves against the endpoints they communicate with. Kubernetes’ built-in Postgres operator (PGO) is a good example of this. It enables TLS by default and provides security for Postgres databases.

A key point to remember when securing Postgres is that you need to be aware of the security vulnerabilities in the database. Often these vulnerabilities occur during the application lifecycle, such as when an OS image is scanned. It is also important to keep in mind that the default Kubernetes networking policies are all-to-any. Defining a network policy before production is vital for securing your application.


If you want to monitor the performance of your Kubernetes Postgres cluster, you can add the following configuration to your operator. The kubebuilder documentation explains more about the kubebuilder metrics. Then, set the MONITORING_QUERIES_CONFIGMAP key in the operator configuration. This will use the content of the query key to generate monitoring reports. Most operators include a default-monitoring configuration in their installation manifest.

Monitoring Kubernetes Postgres cluster performance is crucial if you want to maintain a high-quality service. Postgres is a stateful service, with two components: a container image running within a pod and a disk-based data volume. If one of these components fails, the pod will lose its data. Write Ahead Logs are a major Postgres component. These logs save data from changes before they’re actually applied to the database. This ensures data integrity, as a database crash can overwrite logged changes.

For more advanced monitoring, you can try using tools like Consul Service Mesh. It provides insights into your cluster’s health and performance. The ActiveGate extension helps you monitor the status of Control-M jobs automatically. It also analyzes the NoSQL database’s performance and usage. Ultimately, monitoring your Postgres cluster is essential to your business success. If you’re looking for a streamlined solution for monitoring your Kubernetes deployments, consider using these tools.

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