Aiven for PostgreSQL® backups#

About backups in Aiven for PostgreSQL®#

Aiven for PostgreSQL® databases are automatically backed up, with full backups made daily, and write-ahead logs (WAL) copied at 5 minute intervals, or for every new file generated. All backups are encrypted using pghoard, an open source tool developed and maintained by Aiven, that you can find on GitHub.

The time of day when the daily backups are made is initially randomly selected, but can be customised by setting the backup_hour and backup_minute advanced parameters, see Advanced parameters for Aiven for PostgreSQL®.


The size of backups and the Aiven backup size shown on the Aiven web console differ, in some cases significantly. The backup sizes shown in the Aiven web console are for daily backups, before encryption and compression.

Backup retention time by plan#

The number of stored backups and the backup retention time depends on the service plan that you have selected.

Plan Type

Backup Retention Time




2 days


14 days


30 days

Differences between logical and full backups#

Full backups are version-specific binary backups that, when combined with WAL, allow consistent recovery to a point in time (PITR). Logical backups contain the SQL statements used to create the database schema and fill it with data, and are not tied to a specific version.


Full backup

Logical backup


Full backups can be restored with the same PostgreSQL version as the backup was created from

Cross-version compatibility

Database selection

The entire PostgreSQL instance is backed up. No option to backup (or restore) as single database

Single database objects can be backed up. Easy to backup and restore any item down to a single table


Contains uncommitted transactions and deleted and updated rows that have not been cleaned up by the PostgreSQL VACUUM process

Contains only the current committed content of the tables


Contains all data from indexes

Contains the queries needed to recreate indexes

PITR capabilities

Previous database status can be restored using the WAL

Only “as-of-backup” status can be restored

Restore time

Almost instantaneous, restore backup and replay delta WAL files

Long restoration process, replay of all SQL statements is needed to generate schema object and insert data

Delta base backups#

Aiven for PostgreSQL uses delta base backups, which allows to store data files that have been changed since the last backup and leave out the unchanged files. It’s particularly beneficial for databases that include considerable portions of static data. Compared to regular base backups, delta base backups are more efficient, bringing improved performance and speeding up backup operations (unless all the data is updated constantly).

Since delta base backups don’t take all the data files, they are faster and easier to perform on large databases with huge volumes of data. Because performing a delta base backup doesn’t last long, Aiven can back up data more frequently if required and applicable to specific datasets. With the increased backup frequency, service restoration and node replacement potentially can be faster for highly updated services because fewer WAL files need to be restored since the last backup (WAL restoration in PostgreSQL is single-threaded and, therefore, slow).

See also

To restore a backup, see Restore PostgreSQL® from a backup.