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You can provision and configure Postgres through nais.yaml.


If you change the postgreSQL version your data will be lost, as a new database will be created. In other words to upgrade the database version you will need to do a migration as described here: Upgrade GCP postgreSQL

When you deploy your application with database config, NAIS will ensure the database exists in a Google Cloud SQL instance with the specified Postgres version, and configure the application with means to connect to it.


This feature is only available in GCP clusters. If you need on-prem databases, head over to navikt/database-iac.

Below is an example of the minimal configuration needed. See all configuration options in the nais.yaml reference.

kind: Application
  name: myapp
      - type: POSTGRES_12
          - name: mydb

Maintenance window

Google will automatically perform upgrades, fix bugs and apply security patches to prevent exploits. Your application should be able to handle occasional downtime as this maintenance is performed. Read more on maintenance windows here. NAIS does not configure the maintenance window, but this can be set up in the application spec: nais.yaml.

If you wish to be notified about upcoming maintenance, you can opt-in for this on the Communications page in the GCP console.


To connect your application to the database, use information from the environment variables below.

The prefix NAIS_DATABASE_MYAPP_MYDB is automatically generated from the instance name myapp (defaults to application name) and mydb (from database spec). You can customize these environment variable names by setting .spec.gcp.sqlInstances[].databases[].envVarPrefix. For instance, setting this to DB will give you DB_HOST, DB_USERNAME, etc. Note that changing or adding envVarPrefix requires you to manually delete the google-sql-<MYAPP> secret and SQLUser with the same name as the application, see below.

key environment variable default
database name NAIS_DATABASE_MYAPP_MYDB_DATABASE .spec.gcp.sqlInstances[].databases[].name
database user NAIS_DATABASE_MYAPP_MYDB_USERNAME .spec.gcp.sqlInstances[].name
database password NAIS_DATABASE_MYAPP_MYDB_PASSWORD (randomly generated)
database url with credentials NAIS_DATABASE_MYAPP_MYDB_URL postgres://username:password@


The application is the only application that can access the database instance. Other applications can not connect. It is not, for instance, possible to have two applications (e.g. producer and consumer) connecting directly to the database.


Note that if you have deployed your application with one configuration, and then change it later, you have to manually delete the google-sql-MYAPP secret before you make a new deploy (if you change the envVarPrefix you also have to delete the sqluser):

$ kubectl delete secret google-sql-<MYAPP>
$ kubectl delete sqluser <MYAPP>

Cloud SQL Proxy

The application will connect to the database using Cloud SQL Proxy, ensuring that the database communication happens in secure tunnel, authenticated with automatically rotated credentials.

NAIS will add and configure the proxy client container as a sidecar in the pod, making it available on localhost for the application. The application will then connect to the proxy using standard database protocol just as if it was the actual database.


For more detailed information, check out the Cloud SQL Proxy documentation

Sizing your database

By default, the database server has 1 vCPU, 614 MB RAM and 10GB of SSD storage with no automatic storage increase. If you need to change the defaults you can do this in nais.yaml.


The database is provisioned into the teams own project in GCP. Here the team has full access to view logs, create and restore backups and other administrative database tasks.

Automated backup

The database is backed up nightly at 3 AM (GMT+1) by default, but can be overridden in nais.yaml by setting spec.gcp.sqlInstances[].autoBackupTime.

Default 7 backups will be kept. More info here.

The backups can be found in the Google Cloud SQL instance dashboard.

Additional user(s) database(s)

You can add users to your database by setting database configuration option: .spec.gcp.sqlInstances[].databases[].users[].name.

Names added must match regex: ^[_a-zA-Z][_a-zA-Z0-9]+$. Secrets is generated and mounted for each user.

With .spec.gcp.sqlInstances[].databases[].envVarPrefix set to DB and additional username to _user2 you will get environment variables in format DB_USER2_MYDB_USERNAME etc.

Details about environment variables is specified her: configuration


If you've deployed your application with an additional user, and then change name or remove the user from configuration, you need to manually delete the google-sql-<MYAPP>-<USER> secret:

$ kubectl delete secret google-sql-<MYAPP>-<USER>

Personal database access

Databases should always be accessed using a personal account, and the access should ideally be temporary.


Step 1. Install local binaries

This guide assumes that you have the following installed on your local machine:

Step 2. Allow your user to edit Cloud SQL resources for your project

Ensure that you have authenticated gcloud by running

gcloud auth login

To be able to perform the gcloud commands mentioned below you need a role with user edit permissions, e.g. roles/cloudsql.editor

To grant yourself this role for a given project, run the following command:

gcloud projects add-iam-policy-binding <project-id> \
    --member user:<your-email> \
    --role roles/cloudsql.editor

where <project-id> can be found by running:

gcloud projects list \
Step 3. One-time setup of privileges to SQL IAM users

This is only required once per database instance and should be done before DDL scripts are run in the database in order to ensure the objects have the right permissions.

Once the database instance is created, we need to grant the IAM users access to the public schema.

This can either be done by using the default application database user during database creation/migration with scripts (e.g. Flyway), or as a one-time setup by using the default postgres user.

Step 3a. Set password for postgres user

In order to use the postgres user, you have to set a password first:

gcloud sql users set-password postgres \
    --instance=<INSTANCE_NAME> \
    --prompt-for-password \
    --project <PROJECT_ID>
Step 3b. Log in to the database with the postgres user

Set up the cloudsql-proxy:

CONNECTION_NAME=$(gcloud sql instances describe <INSTANCE_NAME> \
    --format="get(connectionName)" \
    --project <PROJECT_ID>);

cloud_sql_proxy -instances=${CONNECTION_NAME}=tcp:5432

Log in to the database (you will be prompted for the password you set in the previous step):

psql -U postgres -h localhost <DATABASE_NAME> -W
Step 3c. Enable privileges for user(s) in database

This can be enabled for all cloudsqliamusers (all IAM users are assigned the role cloudsqliamuser) with the following command:

alter default privileges in schema public grant all on tables to cloudsqliamuser;

Or for a specific user (the given IAM user must exist in the database):

alter default privileges in schema public grant all on tables to '';

If your application created the tables before you were able to run these commands, then the owner of the tables is set to the application's user.

Thus, your application must run the following command either through your chosen database migration tool (e.g. Flyway) or manually with the application user's credentials:

grant all on all tables in schema public to cloudsqliamuser;

Granting temporary personal access

Step 1. Create database IAM user

This is required once per user and requires that you have create user permission in IAM in your project, e.g. Cloud SQL Admin.

To grant yourself this role for a given project, run the following command:

gcloud projects add-iam-policy-binding <project-id> \
    --member user:<your-email> \
    --role roles/cloudsql.admin

Then, to create the database IAM user:

gcloud beta sql users create <FIRSTNAME>.<LASTNAME> \
    --instance=<INSTANCE_NAME> \
    --type=cloud_iam_user \
    --project <PROJECT_ID>
Step 2. Create a temporary IAM binding for 1 hour

Generally, you should try to keep your personal database access time-limited.

The following command grants your user permission to log into the database for 1 hour.

gcloud projects add-iam-policy-binding <PROJECT_ID> \
    --member=user:<FIRSTNAME>.<LASTNAME> \
    --role=roles/cloudsql.instanceUser \
    --condition="expression=request.time < timestamp('$(date -v '+1H' -u +'%Y-%m-%dT%H:%M:%SZ')'),title=temp_access"
Step 3. Log in with personal user

Ensure that the cloudsql-proxy is up and running, if not then:

CONNECTION_NAME=$(gcloud sql instances describe <INSTANCE_NAME> \
  --format="get(connectionName)" \
  --project <PROJECT_ID>);

cloud_sql_proxy -instances=${CONNECTION_NAME}=tcp:5432

Then, connect to the database:

export PGPASSWORD=$(gcloud auth print-access-token)

psql -U <FIRSTNAME>.<LASTNAME> -h localhost <DATABASE_NAME> 

Deleting the database

The database is not automatically removed when deleting your NAIS application. Remove unused databases to avoid incurring unnecessary costs. This is done by setting cascadingDelete in your nais.yaml-specification.


When you delete an Cloud SQL instance, you cannot reuse the name of the deleted instance until one week from the deletion date.

Disaster backup

In case of catastrophic failure in GCP we are running a daily complete backup of the postgresql databases in GCP to an on-prem location. This backup currently runs at 5 am. This is in addition to the regular backups in GCP.


Check the events on the Config Connector resources

$ kubectl describe sqlinstance <myapp>
$ kubectl describe sqldatabase <mydb>
$ kubectl describe sqluser <myapp>

Check the logs of the Cloud SQL Proxy

$ kubectl logs <pod> -c cloudsql-proxy

Example with all configuration options

See full example.