This is a list of our most frequently asked questions. For more information about ElephantSQL, or if you need any support, please visit our support page.

General questions

Why ElephantSQL

Handle instances

Backup

Integration and availability

Security

Payment

General questions

What is ElephantSQL

ElephantSQL is managed PostgreSQL servers in the cloud – hosted databases that let you store data in a structured way that can easily be accessed, managed, and updated.

What is PostgreSQL?

PostgreSQL is an open source, object-relational database management system.

What is a database?

Database's primary function is to store data in a structured way. Databases can store very large numbers of records efficiently. The data is stored securely and it is possible for authenticated users to access, manage, delete and update the data. It is possible for multiple persons to access the same database at the same time. All the data can easily be sorted into a chosen way (e.g. by date or alphabetic) when it is accessed/selected from the database.

What is a connection?

A connection is a TCP connection between your application and the PostgreSQL database.

Why should we use databases and ElephantSQL?

A database will help you structure your data in a good way. It is very quick and easy to find information from a database, perform a search in the database and it is easy to add new data and to edit or delete old data. ElephantSQL provides hosting of PostgreSQL databases, meaning that ElephantSQL mange and maintaining the servers. Our monitoring tool will detect unhealty nodes and we automatically restart nodes if they become unavailable. We do daily backups of your data, it is easy to set up followers to your database and we keep a "write ahead log" of all changes to your database and stores the logs in multiple data centers. ElephantSQL has been running PostgreSQL servers for a long time. You can always trust us to know what to do if you run into problems. We also have extensive experience in monitoring of PostgreSQL servers.

What are the benefits of a cloud-based database

A cloud-based database will increase the speed of getting the application to the market. Developers can focus on the core part of their applications, instead of managing and maintaining servers and handling backups.

What kind of customers is using ElephantSQL?

Our customers are usually developers who want to focus on the core part of their applications, instead of managing and maintaining servers.

We have customers in a range from large enterprise business and startups to individual hobby developers.

Handle instances

How do I connect to my database?

When you have created a new instance you will get a new database. Look into the details page for the instance to find the hostname such as horton.elephantsql.com, password and username. We have guides for various programming languages under the Documentation tab. You can also connect to the host using psql, pgadmin, the ElephantSQL browser or any other Postgres-compatible client.

Can I migrate between plans?

You have some migration options between plans in ElephantSQL.
Fork: Easiest is to fork your database to a new server. This can also be done for plans with followers.
Backup and restore: Another option is to set up a new instance, take a backup of the old one and import your data into the new instance.
Pipe data: You also pipe your data to a new database: pg_dump postgres://user:pass@host/db | psql postgres://user:pass@host2/newdb

How do I delete an instance?

You can delete an instance from the instances list page. If you remove an instance, all your databases, users, data and backup will be deleted and we will not be able to restore them.

Can I have multiple databases for one instance?

You can create multiple databases on a dedicated server, Happy Hippo or Enormous Elephant.

I can not manage users or databases, what is wrong?

It is only possible to manage databases and users on dedicated plans. Our dedicated plans are Happy Hippo and Enormous Elephant.

What are followers and how can I set up followers to my database?

A follower to your database is another database that has a read-only copy of the master database. The follower will stay up-to-date with the master database data. All modification of the data, write/update/deletes are committed to the master database and the changes are streamed to the follower database.

You can use followers when you want to spread selects across multiple servers. Or you want to have a hot-standby ready to take over if you main database crashes.

Followers work by using PostgreSQL's built-in replication strategy.

On ElephantSQL is it easy to setup followers to your database. Go to the console page and press the follower tab and follow the instructions.

What kind of server metrics are available for the instances?

ElephantSQL offers server metrics for dedicated instances. The server metrics includes diagrams for CPU and Memory usage over time.

How many individual databases can I create on my server?

(Dedicated server) You can create as many individual databases as you like on your server. The servers are not artificially limited in any way, it is only up to the limits of the underlying hardware. Exact number of databases that a server can support depends on server size and how much load you have on your databases.

Is postGIS enabled?

PostGIS is enabled on all dedicated plans. PostGIS adds support for geographic objects allowing location queries to be run in SQL.

Backup

Does ElephantSQL take backups of the database?

Automated backups are performed every day on all plans (pg_dump). These are stored in a cloud file storage so they are always accessible to you (same cloud as your instance). The backup is saved for 30 days. The last month backup files can be found and downloaded in the ElephanSQL Control Panel.

The backups are compressed with lzop, to restore the data you can usually use the following: lzop -cd "$FILE_NAME" | psql "$DATABASE_NAME"

Full server backups (base backup) are performed once a week, rolling WAL backups are performed every second minute.

Integration and availability

How do I get started with ElephantSQL

If you are new to databases, we recommend you to read our beginner guide. It can be found here.

Another getting started guide can be found here. Once you have created your account you can get started querying and processing data by using any of the guides, depending on platform and language. These tutorials cover the basics of connecting your applications using ElephantSQL.

Do all clusters have nodes in multiple availability zones?

All clusters have nodes in multiple availability zones.

What will happen if one node goes down?

If one node goes down will our monitoring tools detect that and bring the node back up again. It is possible to set up followers/replicas to maximize the uptime of your database.

What application platforms are ElephantSQL fully integrated with?

ElephantSQL is fully integrated with following platforms:

What clouds/data centers and regions are ElephantSQL available in?

ElephantSQL is available in following clouds and regions

* Regions that are available for our shared instances, Tiny Turtle and Pretty Panda.

  • Amazon web services

    AP-NorthEast-1 (Tokyo), AP-SouthEast-1 (Singapore), AP-SouthEast-2 (Sydney), EU-Central-1 (Frankfurt), EU-West-1 (Ireland) *, SA-East-1 (Sao Paulo), US-East-1 (Northern Virginia) *, US-West-1 (Northern California), US-West-2 (Oregon)

  • Google Compute Engine

    Asia East, Asia Northeast, Europe West, US Central *, US East, US West

  • Softlayer

    AMS01 - Amsterdam, Western Europe, DAL01 - Dallas, Central United States, DAL05 - Dallas, Central United States *, DAL06 - Dallas, Central United States, HKG02 - Hong Kong, Asia, HOU02 - Houston, Central United States, LON02 - London, Western Europe *, MEL01 - Melbourne 1, Australia, SEA01 - Seattle, West Coast United States, SJC01 - San Jose, West Coast United States, SNG01 - Singapore, Southeast Asia, TOR01 - Toronto 1, Canada, WDC01 - Washington DC, East Coast United States

  • Azure

    Brazil South, Canada Central, Central India, Central US * , East Asia, East US, East US 2, Japan East, Japan West, North Central US, North Central US, North Europe, South Central US, South India, Southeast Asia, UK South, UK West, West Central US, West Europe, West Europe *, West India, West US, West US 2

pgAdmin - Fail to connect to the database with pgAdmin, what is wrong?

You probably left the default 'postgres' in the 'Maintenance DB' field. Change it to the database name. More information about pgAdmin set up can be found here.

Security

Does ElephantSQL support TLS/SSL?

We do support TLS (SSL). In most clients it is easy to use TLS by adding ?ssl=true to the connection URL. More information can be found here: PostgreSQL JDBC Driver Chapter 4. Using SSL

How do I authenticate your server's identity?

Our servers certificate is signed by one of the common trusted root CAs, Comodo, most OSes/browsers come with the Comodo cert built in. If you don't have a trust store you can download the AddTrust/Comodo root cert here: https://support.comodo.com/index.php?/Default/Knowledgebase/Article/View/979/108/domain-validation-sha-2

Payment

How and when will I get billed?

All plans are billed by the second, you can try out even the largest instance types for mere pennies. As soon as you delete the instance you won't be charged for it anymore, i.e. if you had a Happy Hippo (for $99/month) running for 15 days, then you will only be charged $49.50.

Billing occurs at the end of each month, and you are only charged for the time an instance has been available to you.

What are my payment options?

You can pay with Paypal, VISA, Mastercard or by Invoice/transfer. We do also accept Amex through PayPal. Contact us at contact@elephantsql.com if you require invoicing. Payment options can be found under Billing information in the Control Panel.