Introducing Flexible Server for Azure Database for PostgreSQL
Published Sep 22 2020 08:00 AM 15.2K Views

Whether you’re migrating applications to the cloud or building new cloud-native apps, open source databases like PostgreSQL (often just called Postgres) are likely top-of-mind and on the short list of databases you’re considering. We can see these trends in our usage data: with more than 60,000 installs of Azure Data Studio’s open source PostgreSQL extension, 96% of Fortune 500 running an open source database on Azure, and tens of thousands of customers running Azure Database for PostgreSQL.


Our Postgres team at Microsoft is 100% committed to making Azure the best destination for PostgreSQL. We invest in delivering best-in-class manageability—so you can focus on your application. And last year we launched our new Hyperscale (Citus) deployment option for our managed Postgres service—to give you a powerful new way to scale out Postgres horizontally. Collaborating with—and contributing to—the community continues to be a priority for us, and we have recently welcomed four PostgreSQL committers to our growing Postgres team at Microsoft.  Only by being a part of the community and being truly committed to open source can we hope to earn your trust for all your Postgres needs.


Our investments continue to be geared towards solving your needs. Now more than ever, you are looking for innovative ways to tackle unpredictability, optimize costs, and modernize applications to compete in today’s environment. One critical need that has continued to surface is solving the core tradeoff in adopting a managed service—losing control and flexibility in return for increased manageability. Up to now, this gap in control has prevented some of you from looking to a managed service. We listened to your concerns and concluded that there is a better way.



Today, we are excited to announce the preview of Azure Database for PostgreSQL - Flexible Server, a new milestone in our journey to innovate with open source databases.


Flexible Server brings fine-grained control and cost optimization to your workload without the common tradeoffs


Flexible Server is a new deployment option for Azure Database for PostgreSQL that gives you the control you need with multiple configuration parameters for fine-grained database tuning along with a simpler developer experience to accelerate end-to-end deployment. With Flexible Server, you will also have a new way to optimize cost with stop/start capabilities. Specific benefits include:


Maximum control for your databases


  • Custom maintenance windows: Avoid worrying about when patches are applied to your database with custom maintenance windows (per server) that lets you plan ahead. We also reduce your database management overhead with automatic database patching for minor releases.
  • More controls for fine-tuning: Optimize your database with myriad additional server configuration parameters.


Build resilient apps on Postgres across Azure availability zones


  • Zone redundant HA: Gain additional protection with zone redundant high availability with synchronous replication across availability zones, ensuring low predictable failover time with zero data loss.


Full Network isolation and security

  • Private endpoints (VNet Integration): Secure your servers with private endpoints powered by Azure Virtual Network integration. Servers in private endpoints have no public access. All connections to the server on public or private endpoints are secured and encrypted by default with SSL/TLS v1.2.
  • Data Encryption at rest: All the user data are always encrypted at rest by default transparent to the application.


More ways to optimize for Cost


  • Stop/start: Reduce costs and improve developer productivity with stop/start capabilities for development or test scenarios—when the database is stopped, you only pay for storage.
  • Burstable compute: Optimize your compute costs with low-cost burstable compute SKUs that let you pay for performance only when you need it. Scale compute or storage on demand dynamically as your workload needs change.


Flexible Server joins the Single Server and Hyperscale (Citus) deployment options on our managed PostgreSQL service on Azure, so you can choose the deployment option you need based on the requirements of your workload.


The three deployment options for the Azure Database for PostgreSQL managed service are Single server, Hyperscale (Citus)—and the newly introduced Flexible server, now in Preview.The three deployment options for the Azure Database for PostgreSQL managed service are Single server, Hyperscale (Citus)—and the newly introduced Flexible server, now in Preview.

Driving performance for your business-critical workloads


Our early Flexible Server preview customers for PostgreSQL are seeing better out-of-the-box performance and appreciate the new cost optimization capabilities that we’ve introduced with things like the Burstable pricing tier.

Mauro Labate, Head of Engineering for Appway shared his experience:


“With support for burstable instances, the new Azure Database for PostgreSQL Flexible Server architecture provides us the flexibility we were looking for to manage spiky workloads. We now see up to 2x higher performance when it really matters, without increasing our costs.”

Our customers are not only seeing better performance across various workload scenarios, but the new zone redundant high availability (HA) in Flexible Server now provides improved database availability and protection from data center outages while also achieving low, predictable failover times.


Taking advantage of the performance and resiliency improvements of Flexible Server is made easier by the simplified developer experience.


Bruno Labruere, VP R&D, ITOM Enterprise Service Management, at Micro Focus had this to say about Flexible Server:


“Fast and agile implementation is critical for SMAX, our containerized service management solution that uses Postgres as the system of record for its data. With Azure Database for PostgreSQL Flexible Server, deploying our application was simple and fast, did not require any code changes, and extensive tests have shown the new architecture is stable and performs well for our customers.“


Ready for maximum control and flexibility with Postgres?


The new Flexible Server (Preview) deployment option for Azure Database for PostgreSQL gives you increased control of your database and your productivity. And our Azure Database for PostgreSQL managed service is available for the open source Postgres 11 and Postgres 12 versions and soon, for Postgres 13. With Flexible Server, you will be able to take control of your database and drive cost optimizations.


We can’t wait to see how you will use the new Flexible Server to drive innovation in your application and business. We are always eager to hear your feedback, so please reach out via email to Ask Azure DB for PostgreSQL.


Learn more about our Azure Database for PostgreSQL managed service. And if you want to dive deeper, the new Flexible Server docs are a great place to roll up your sleeves.


Sunil Kamath


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‎Sep 23 2020 01:52 PM
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