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PostgreSQL backups, WAL archiving & PITR to OpenStack Swift

Project Description


SwiftWAL is a tool for `PostgreSQL <>`_ adminstrators,
allowing filesystem level backups, WAL shipping and point-in-time recovery
(PITR) to be made to and from OpenStack Swift storage. It is distrubuted
under the :doc:`GPLv3 license <license>`.


* PostgreSQL 9.1 or later.

* `pigz <>`_ for compression and decompression.
:program:`pigz` is a multithreaded, drop-in replacement to

* The `python-swiftclient <>`_
Python library.

* :command:`pg_basebackup`, a standard tool shipped with PostgreSQL.


* PostgreSQL tablespaces are not supported due to limitations in
:command:`pg_basebackup`'s tar output format.


Everything is done through the command line tool :program:`swiftwal`.

A standard setup allowing full |PITR| would be:

* :command:`swiftwal backup` scheduled to be run regularly, followed
by :command:`swiftwal prune` if the backup succeeded.

* :command:`swiftwal archive-wal` configured as the primary
PostgreSQL server's ``archive_command`` setting in

* :command:`swiftwal restore-wal` configured as the hot
standbys` ``restore_command`` setting in the :file:`recovery.conf`

Common Options

.. TIP::
If you have the standard OpenStack environment variables
set, or a configuration file containing the settings, you will not
need to provide them explicitly on the command line. For hooking
into PostgreSQL's ``archive_command`` and ``restore_command`` using
the :option:`--config` option is usually the best approach.


.. program:: swiftwal

.. option:: --container CONTAINER, -C CONTAINER

The Swift container name used to store everything. It is required
for all operations. You will generally use a unique container name
for each PostgreSQL server. You certainly don't want two or more
servers archiving WAL files into the same container as you will
experience conflicts.

.. option:: --config FILE, -c FILE

Specify OpenStack authentication credentials and the container using
a config file::


.. option:: --verbose, -v

Extra output and longer reports.

.. option:: --os-auth-url URL

OpenStack authentication URL. Defaults to the
:envvar:`OS_AUTH_URL` environment variable.

.. option:: --os-username USER

OpenStack username. Defaults to the :envvar:`OS_USERNAME`
environment variable.

.. option:: --os-password KEY

OpenStack key. Defaults to the :envvar:`OS_PASSWORD` environment

.. option:: --os-tenant-name TENANT

OpenStack tenant name. Defaults to the :envvar:`OS_TENANT_NAME`
environment variable.


The :command:`swiftwal backup` command wraps the standard PostgreSQL
utility :program:`pg_basebackup`, compressing its tarball output and
streaming it into Swift storage. Further information about the backup
command line options can be found in the
:manpage:`pg_basebackup(1)` `documentation

Always use the :option:`--xlog` option if you do not have reliable WAL
archiving configured for |PITR|. This option ensures the required WAL
information is included in the backup. Without the required WAL
information your backup cannot be recovered.

To make a backup of your database into the ``pgprod`` container::

% swiftwal -C pgprod -v backup -c fast --xlog -H
Creating backup 20130828T1810Z in container pgprod
WARNING: skipping special file "./server.crt"
WARNING: skipping special file "./server.key"
START WAL LOCATION: 0/5C000020 (file 00000001000000000000005C)
START TIME: 2013-08-29 01:10:19 ICT
LABEL: pg_basebackup (via swiftwal)

.. NOTE::
The WARNING messages here are emitted from :command:`pg_basebackup`,
and are always emitted on Debian and Ubuntu PostgreSQL default
installations as the SSL certificate files are installed as

The ISO-8601 timestamp ``20130828T1810Z`` is the key used to identify
this backup in SwiftWAL.

The :command:`swiftwal list-backups` command will show you the backups
stored in Swift::

% swiftwal -C pgprod list-backups

The :option:`--verbose` option will show a more informative report::

% swiftwal -C pgprod --verbose list-backups
Size Timestamp Swift Object Name
======= ============== ================================
2.72 MB 20130829T1125Z pg_basebackup_20130829T1125Z.tgz
2.72 MB 20130829T1131Z pg_basebackup_20130829T1131Z.tgz
2.72 MB 20130902T1138Z pg_basebackup_20130902T1138Z.tgz
2.72 MB 20130902T1311Z pg_basebackup_20130902T1311Z.tgz

Total Size: 10.9 MB

:program:`swiftwal backup`

.. option:: --xlog, -x

Passed through to :program:`pg_basebackup`, instructing it to
include all WAL files required to restore the database. Without this
option, backups are useless unless the necessary WAL information
has been archived (eg. WAL archiving using
:command:`swiftwal archive-wal`.)

.. option:: --checkpoint {fast, spread}, -c {fast, spread}

Start the backup as soon as possible, or wait until the next
checkpoint has completed normally. :option:`--checkpoint fast`
may cause unwanted load on a particularly busy server.

.. option:: --progress, -P

Display progress indicators.

.. option:: --label LABEL, -l LABEL

Set the backup label. This is for your own use, as SwiftWAL uses the
backup start time to reference backups.

.. option:: --username NAME, -U NAME

Connect to PostgreSQL as the specified user. This user needs to have
the ``REPLICATION`` attribute granted with ``ALTER ROLE``, which is
normally the case for the default ``postgres`` user. It also needs
to have been granted permissions to connect to the hidden
``replication`` database in :file:`pg_hba.conf`.

.. option:: --host HOSTNAME, -H HOSTNAME

Connect to PostgreSQL on the specified host.

.. option:: --port PORT, -p PORT

Connect to PostgreSQL on the specified port.


Restoring backups is done with the :command:`swiftwal restore` command.
This command streams the backup from Swift through decompression and
untar, unpacking the backup to the directory of your choosing. As a
precaution, the directory must be empty or non-existant::

% swiftwal --container=pgprod restore 20130828T1952Z ./
Total bytes read: 22159360 (22MiB, 993KiB/s)

.. TIP::
With a default Debian or Ubuntu PostgreSQL setup, you will also need
to recreate the SSL certificate symlinks or update your
:file:`postgresql.conf` file to specify the path directly::

ln -s /etc/ssl/certs/ssl-cert-snakeoil.pem .
ln -s /etc/ssl/private/ssl-cert-snakeoil.key .


The :command:`swiftwal list-backups` command lists the backups stored
in Swift.

The :command:`swiftwal list-wal` command lists the WAL files stored in

WAL Archiving

The :command:`swiftwal archive-wal` command can be used as an
``archive_command`` in your PostgreSQL's :file:`postgresql.conf` file
to archive WAL logs directly into Swift. This allows you to configure
log-shipped replication and, combined with a backup made with the
:command:`swiftwal backup` command, lets you do |PITR|::

archive_mode = on
wal_level = hot_standby
archive_command = 'swiftwal --config=/etc/swiftwal.conf archive-wal %p'

program:`swiftwal archive-wal`

.. option:: --force, -f

Overwrite an existing WAL file. In normal operation, WAL archiving
commands should refuse to overwrite a WAL file if it already exists
at the target destination. This is a safety measure, and will
normally never happen unless you incorrectly configure two servers
to archive to the same Swift container. This option allows you to
override this behavior, helping you repair the problem.

WAL Shipping

The :command:`swiftwal restore-wal` command can be used as a ``replay_command`` in a PostgreSQL :file:`recovery.conf` file. This lets you perform |PITR|,
replaying WAL information directly from Swift. It also lets you setup
WAL log-shipping replication and create a warm or hot standby server.
Log-shipping replication is often configured in addition to streaming
replication as a fall back, allowing a standby server to recover if it
has fallen behind for some reason without needing to keep vast amounts
of WAL files available on the primary server using the
``wal_keep_segments`` configuration option::

standby_mode = on
restore_command = 'swiftwal --config=/etc/swiftwal.conf restore-wal %f %p'
recovery_target_timeline = latest

Removing Backups & WAL Files

Old backups and WAL files can be removed using the :command:`swiftwal prune`
command, reclaiming the disk space in Swift::

% swiftwal -C pgprod prune --keep-backups 3 --keep-wal 0
Removing 1 backups, 20130828T1524Z -> 20130828T1524Z
Keeping 3 backups, 20130828T1528Z -> 20130828T1904Z

Removing 2 WAL files, 000000010000000000000056 -> 000000010000000000000057
Keeping 13 WAL files, 000000010000000000000058 -> 000000010000000000000064

Use the common :option:`--verbose` option to generate a more verbose report.

Do not clean out your old backups and WAL files unless you are
confident your newer ones are actually recoverable. If you are
not using the :option:`--xlog` option when making backups, it
is worth checking your servers $DATADIR/pg_xlog/archive_status
directory for files with a .ready extension; these correspond
WAL files that have not been archived and may mean WAL files you
need to restore your backup are not yet in Swift. A script like the
following will let you perform a regular backup and cleanup from
the PostgreSQL with confidence::

swiftwal -c /etc/swiftwal.conf -C pgprod backup
sleep 600
if [ `find ${PGDATA}/pg_xlog/archive_status -name \*.ready -cmin +9` ]
echo ERROR: WAL archiving is failing. Leaving old backups.
swiftwal -c /etc/swiftwal.conf -C pgprod cleanup --keep-backups=1

Alternatively, use the :option:`--xlog` option to make self-contained

:program:`swiftwal prune`

.. option:: --keep-backups N

How many backups to keep. The most recent backups are kept, and
older ones removed.

.. option:: --keep-wals N

How many WAL files to keep. More will be kept if they are needed for
|PITR| of a backup (all WAL information younger than the oldest backup
is kept). Each WAL file is 16MB in size. If set to 0, all WAL files
are removed except for those needed for |PITR|.

.. option:: --dry-run, -n

Don't actually delete anything.

Simple Single Standby Cleanup

For a simple setup involving a single standby server without |PITR|, the :command:`swiftwal archive-cleanup` command provides the same functionality as the standard pg_archivecleanup(1) tool shipped with PostgreSQL. If it is installed in your standby server's recovery.conf file, WAL files will be automatically removed once they have been replayed and are no longer needed::

standby_mode = on
restore_command = 'swiftwal -c /etc/swiftwal.conf restore-wal %f %p'
archive_cleanup_command='swiftwal -c /etc/swiftwal.conf archive-cleanup %r'

.. |PITR| replace:: :abbr:`PITR (point-in-time recovery)`
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