Bringing the best of Azure and PostgreSQL innovation to developers
Published May 24 2021 08:50 PM 7,669 Views

PostgreSQL continues to be extremely popular and is leveraged for a variety of use cases, particularly for modern applications requiring feature rich enterprise database, high performance, and scale. Our commitment to developers is to make Microsoft Azure the best cloud for PostgreSQL by bringing together the community and Azure innovations to help you innovate faster while ensuring that your data is secure. This extends to ensuring you can enjoy these similar innovations anywhere with Arc enabled Postgres Hyperscale.


This week at Microsoft Build, we're excited to announce new capabilities, offers, and features that make it easier and more cost effective for developers to get started with PostgreSQL and receive support for the latest community innovation on Azure!




Making it easier and more cost effective to get started with Azure Database for PostgreSQL

During Ignite 2020 we announced Azure Database for PostgreSQL Flexible Server (Preview) deployment. I called out that there is a better way, and it is our strong belief that developers never have to make the hard tradeoff between using a managed solution and self-hosting on IaaS just to get more control of their databases or save costs. Fast forward to today, it turns out that you share our belief. We’ve had an overwhelming response from thousands of developers sharing their excitement around the ease of development, high performance, and the ability to optimize development costs with burstable pricing and stop/start capability. Furthermore, the flexibility with zone-redundant high-availability, and custom maintenance windows has enabled our customers to run their mission critical applications with piece of mind.


Ruben Schreurs, Group Chief Product Officer at Ebiquity Plc shared how Flexible Server is supporting their performance and scale requirements of their media analysis application.


"Our Azure Database for PostgreSQL Flexible Server has delivered incredible performance improvements across our client clusters. It was easy to set up and the native environment on Linux VM, High Availability support and a radical increase in storage scalability sets us up for the next phase of growth as Azure power users."

Today, we are excited to announce that we’re making it even easier and more cost effective for developers to get started by introducing a free, 12-month offer for our new Flexible Server (Preview) deployment option. You can take advantage of this offer to use Flexible Server to develop and test your applications and run small workloads in production for free. This offer will be available with an Azure Free Account starting June 15th, 2021 and it provides up to 750 hours of Azure Database for PostgreSQL - Flexible Server and 32GB of storage per month for the first 12 months.


Over the last few months, we’ve continued to invest in Flexible Server by bringing support for the PostgreSQL 13 and popular PostgreSQL extensions, including pglogical, pg_partman, and pg_cron, in addition to another 50+ extensions. So, you can build with new open-source innovations while leveraging the benefits of a fully managed, flexible PostgreSQL service on Azure.


You can also take advantage of a built-in PgBouncer, which provides a built-in connection pooler to optimize the number of your connections, as well as expanded security capabilities with Private DNS Zone, which allows you to create a custom domain name and resolution within the current VNET or any in-region peered VNET.

Whether you’re building a new application or migrating an existing one, it should be easier than ever to get started and ensure your data is highly available, performant, and secure at the lowest TCO. Look at this quick demo, which illustrates just how easy it is to connect your application to an instance of Azure Database for PostgreSQL.


Postgres Flexible Server DemoPostgres Flexible Server Demo

Bringing the best of PostgreSQL innovations to Azure Database for PostgreSQL - Hyperscale (Citus)

When developing modern, cloud native applications, it’s critical to ensure that your application can scale as it grows. With Azure Database for PostgreSQL - Hyperscale (Citus), you can leverage high-performance horizontal scaling to achieve near limitless scale. Hyperscale (Citus) enables this by scaling queries across multiple machines using sharding, which provides greater scale and performance. 


HSL transit authority shared how they improved traffic monitoring with Azure Database for PostgreSQL - Hyperscale (Citus). Sami Räsänen, Product Owner and Team Lead said 


"Along with much better performance, moving to Hyperscale has reduced operational costs by over 50 percent."

We’re excited to expand our offering so that you can now shard Postgres on a single Hyperscale (Citus) node using the new Basic tier. This means that you can start small and cost-effectively while being ready to easily scale out your database horizontally as your application grows. Learn more about this in the blog post Sharding Postgres with Basic tier in Hyperscale (Citus), how why & when.


Azure Database for PostgreSQL Hyperscale (Citus) supports the latest release, Citus 10 extension in preview. In addition to bringing the ability to shard Hyperscale (Citus) on a single node using the Basic tier, we are also providing columnar storage, which allows you compress your PostgreSQL and Hyperscale (Citus) tables to reduce storage cost and speed up your analytical queries. Learn more about the features and functionality in the blog post New Postgres superpowers in Hyperscale (Citus) with Citus 10.


We’ve added support for PostgreSQL 13, which provides major enhancements including de-duplication of B-tree index entries, increased performance for queries using aggregates or partitioned tables, better query planning when using extended statistics, parallelized vacuuming of indexes, incremental sorting, and more. 


There are two easy ways to get started with Citus 10 and Hyperscale (Citus):

  • Leverage the Basic Tier as the best way to try Citus 10 in Hyperscale (Citus) managed service.
  • Run Citus open source on your computer as a single Docker container. Not only is the single docker run command an easy way to try out Citus—it gives you functional parity between your local dev machine and using Citus in the cloud.

Building together with the community

Our approach is not only to build the best PostgreSQL on Azure, but also to be fully integrated with the open-source community and to contribute to that community.  Our team at Microsoft is contributing innovation, code, and leadership into the global PostgreSQL open-source project. Our PostgreSQL experts have committed key capabilities to the upcoming PostgreSQL release, including significantly faster crash recovery and increased connection scalability.


In addition, we continue to make the most contributions to the open-source community on GitHub of any cloud vendor. Some of our notable contributions include the PostgreSQL extension for Visual Studio Code and the Azure Data Studio PostgreSQL extension. You can also use the Citus open-source extension, which to date has had over 1.7 million downloads by customers who use it to scale-out PostgreSQL into a distributed database.


Bringing Advanced Security Capabilities to PostgreSQL

We continue to invest in bringing the latest security and compliance features to PostgreSQL. And are excited to share that Azure Defender for Open-source Relational Database is now generally available, offering comprehensive security for PostgreSQL. Azure Defender constantly monitors your PostgreSQL servers for security threats and detects anomalous database activities indicating potential threats to PostgreSQL resources.


We recommend protecting production instances of PostgreSQL with Azure Defender as part of your overall security strategy.


Looking ahead

With Azure Database for PostgreSQL, we’re on a mission to provide greater flexibility and make your application development easier and more affordable. In upcoming months, we plan to extend our support to Terraform deployment and automation, expand into additional Azure regions, and look forward to the announcement of General Availability for Azure Database for PostgreSQL Flexible Server.


Take the time to learn more about our Azure Database for PostgreSQL managed service. If you’re interested in diving deeper, Flexible Server docs, Hyperscale (Citus) docs, are a great place to start. Lastly, do not miss out on taking advantage of the free 12-month offer. We remain curious about hearing how you plan to use Flexible Server and Hyperscale (Citus) deployment options to drive innovation to your business and applications. We’re always eager to get your feedback, so please reach out via email to Ask Azure DB for PostgreSQL.


-Sunil Kamath

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