A replicated PostgreSQL database cluster allows a second server to take over immediately in the event that the primary server fails. This allow you to achive high availability. Another potential benefit from replication is to allow several database servers to serve the same data via load balancing. This can dramatically increase the overall database throughput. Especially on workloads that a heavy on read queries.
PostgreSQL support several replication strategies. Both performance and maintenance must be considered when deciding which database replication strategy to implement. There are usually trade-offs between availability, performance, maintainability and stability. For example,. a solution implementing fully synchronous writes over a slow network might severely impact the overall database performance whereas an asynchronous solution might provide an acceptable level of availability with significantly increased database performance.
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