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The PostgreSQL 9.0 Reference Manual - Volume 3 - Server Administration Guide
by The PostgreSQL Global Development Group
Paperback (6"x9"), 274 pages
ISBN 9781906966072
RRP £9.95 ($14.95)

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11.2.5 Streaming Replication

Streaming replication allows a standby server to stay more up-to-date than is possible with file-based log shipping. The standby connects to the primary, which streams WAL records to the standby as they're generated, without waiting for the WAL file to be filled.

Streaming replication is asynchronous, so there is still a small delay between committing a transaction in the primary and for the changes to become visible in the standby. The delay is however much smaller than with file-based log shipping, typically under one second assuming the standby is powerful enough to keep up with the load. With streaming replication, archive_timeout is not required to reduce the data loss window.

If you use streaming replication without file-based continuous archiving, you have to set wal_keep_segments in the master to a value high enough to ensure that old WAL segments are not recycled too early, while the standby might still need them to catch up. If the standby falls behind too much, it needs to be reinitialized from a new base backup. If you set up a WAL archive that's accessible from the standby, wal_keep_segments is not required as the standby can always use the archive to catch up.

To use streaming replication, set up a file-based log-shipping standby server as described in section 11.2 Log-Shipping Standby Servers. The step that turns a file-based log-shipping standby into streaming replication standby is setting primary_conninfo setting in the ‘recovery.conf’ file to point to the primary server. Set listen_addresses and authentication options (see ‘pg_hba.conf’) on the primary so that the standby server can connect to the replication pseudo-database on the primary server (see section Authentication).

On systems that support the keepalive socket option, setting tcp_keepalives_idle, tcp_keepalives_interval and tcp_keepalives_count helps the primary promptly notice a broken connection.

Set the maximum number of concurrent connections from the standby servers (see max_wal_senders for details).

When the standby is started and primary_conninfo is set correctly, the standby will connect to the primary after replaying all WAL files available in the archive. If the connection is established successfully, you will see a walreceiver process in the standby, and a corresponding walsender process in the primary.

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