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29.3. Logical Replication Failover #

To allow subscriber nodes to continue replicating data from the publisher node even when the publisher node goes down, there must be a physical standby corresponding to the publisher node. The logical slots on the primary server corresponding to the subscriptions can be synchronized to the standby server by specifying failover = true when creating subscriptions. See Section 47.2.3 for details. Enabling the failover parameter ensures a seamless transition of those subscriptions after the standby is promoted. They can continue subscribing to publications on the new primary server without losing data. Note that in the case of asynchronous replication, there remains a risk of data loss for transactions committed on the former primary server but have yet to be replicated to the new primary server.

Because the slot synchronization logic copies asynchronously, it is necessary to confirm that replication slots have been synced to the standby server before the failover happens. To ensure a successful failover, the standby server must be ahead of the subscriber. This can be achieved by configuring standby_slot_names.

To confirm that the standby server is indeed ready for failover, follow these steps to verify that all necessary logical replication slots have been synchronized to the standby server:

  1. On the subscriber node, use the following SQL to identify which slots should be synced to the standby that we plan to promote. This query will return the relevant replication slots, including the main slots and table synchronization slots associated with the failover-enabled subscriptions. Note that the table sync slot should be synced to the standby server only if the table copy is finished (See Section 51.55). We don't need to ensure that the table sync slots are synced in other scenarios as they will either be dropped or re-created on the new primary server in those cases.

    test_sub=# SELECT
                   array_agg(slot_name) AS slots
                   SELECT r.srsubid AS subid, CONCAT('pg_', srsubid, '_sync_', srrelid, '_', ctl.system_identifier) AS slot_name
                   FROM pg_control_system() ctl, pg_subscription_rel r, pg_subscription s
                   WHERE r.srsubstate = 'f' AND s.oid = r.srsubid AND s.subfailover
               ) UNION (
                   SELECT s.oid AS subid, s.subslotname as slot_name
                   FROM pg_subscription s
                   WHERE s.subfailover
               WHERE slot_name IS NOT NULL;
    (1 row)
  2. Check that the logical replication slots identified above exist on the standby server and are ready for failover.

    test_standby=# SELECT slot_name, (synced AND NOT temporary AND NOT conflicting) AS failover_ready
                   FROM pg_replication_slots
                   WHERE slot_name IN ('sub1','sub2','sub3');
      slot_name  | failover_ready
      sub1       | t
      sub2       | t
      sub3       | t
    (3 rows)

If all the slots are present on the standby server and the result (failover_ready) of the above SQL query is true, then existing subscriptions can continue subscribing to publications now on the new primary server without losing data.