The Elephant Meets the Whale - Bringing PostgreSQL to Production on Docker


Date: Sept. 14, 2016
Time: 13:30 - 14:20
Room: Ft. Worth 1
Level: Intermediate

Containerization has captured the interest of developers, engineers, and business people everywhere. While BSD Jails and cgroups are established technologies in the open source world, it is the Docker project that has grabbed recent attention. Terms like stateless applications and microservices are now almost as ubiquitous as the more general cloud computing, or virtualization before it. It is natural to wonder what, if anything, Docker offers to PostgreSQL deployment and administration.

This talk intends to answer two important questions: first, can we run a Production-ready PostgreSQL database solution, complete with backups, replication, failover, and appropriate monitoring completely in Docker containers? And second, is there any advantage in doing so?

No specific knowledge of Docker containers is assumed for this talk. We will briefly discuss where the technology comes from, and how to get up and running with Docker; before diving in to the really gory bits like how a Dockerfile is written, and where all the data is actually stored. Before we're through we'll see how quickly new nodes can be brought online with containers and streaming replication, and we'll see what we can learn about failover from other highly distributed systems. We'll even talk through logging and monitoring strategies.

Lastly we'll discuss what all of this work really does for us as technologists. We'll get an overview of the many Platform as a Service offerings that leverage containers, and try to predict some things about where application and data center design are going. Hopefully, containerization inspires us to explore the ever growing feature set of our favorite database, PostgreSQL, in new and different ways.


Phil Vacca