F.A.Q. – Backup

How many backups can barman handle for every PostgreSQL server? Can it handle just one backup per server or more?
barman allows the storage of multiple base backups per PostgreSQL server. You can actually list every backup for that particular server, along with their dimensions on disks and the number of directly associated WAL files. The only limit on the number of backups is disk space.
I have continuous archiving in place, but managing WAL files and understanding which ones “belong” to a particular base backup is not obvious. Can barman simplify this?
Fortunately yes. The way barman works is to keep separated base backups from WAL segments for a specific server. Even though they are much related, barman sees a WAL archive as a continuous stream of data from the first base backup to the last available. A neat feature of barman is to link every WAL file to a base backup so that it is possible to determine the size of a backup in terms of two components: base backup and WAL segments.
Can barman compress base backups?
Currently, no. At the moment base backups are not compressed, but it is feasible and the current design allows it. We are seeking sponsors interested in the development of the packaging/archiving feature of base backups. This is useful if you want to save space in your backup server (despite slowing down the recovery process) or if you want to archive old base backups.
Can barman compress WAL segments?
Yes. You can specify your compression filter for WAL segments, and dramatically reduce the size of your WAL files by 5/10 times.
Does barman backup tablespaces?
Yes. Tablespaces are handled transparently and automatically by barman.
barman backup is stuck on “Asking PostgreSQL server to finalize the backup”. What am I supposed to do?
This probably means that the WAL shipping process is not working properly. Make sure that the archive_command on the PostgreSQL server is correctly shipping them in the expected WAL incoming directory.
Can I backup from a PostgreSQL standby?
Version 1.3.1 of Barman introduces support for concurrent backup of PostgreSQL 9.2 and 9.3 database servers, through the pgespresso open source extension. For further information, please refer to the online documentation.