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PostgreSQL Reference Manual - Volume 3 - Server Administration Guide
by The PostgreSQL Global Development Group
Paperback (6"x9"), 204 pages
ISBN 0954612043
RRP £13.95 ($24.95)

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10.4.5 Incrementally Updated Backups

In a warm standby configuration, it is possible to offload the expense of taking periodic base backups from the primary server; instead base backups can be made by backing up a standby server's files. This concept is generally known as incrementally updated backups, log change accumulation or more simply, change accumulation.

If we take a backup of the standby server's files while it is following logs shipped from the primary, we will be able to reload that data and restart the standby's recovery process from the last restart point. We no longer need to keep WAL files from before the restart point. If we need to recover, it will be faster to recover from the incrementally updated backup than from the original base backup.

Since the standby server is not “live”, it is not possible to use pg_start_backup() and pg_stop_backup() to manage the backup process; it will be up to you to determine how far back you need to keep WAL segment files to have a recoverable backup. You can do this by running pg_controldata on the standby server to inspect the control file and determine the current checkpoint WAL location.

ISBN 0954612043PostgreSQL Reference Manual - Volume 3 - Server Administration GuideSee the print edition