Telefónica del Sur

Chilean Telecommunication Company Successfully Implements Postgres-bdr for Phone Number Portability Database

Telefónica del Sur  is a telecommunications branch of Grupo GTD in Chile, providing services for the southern part of the country. Telefónica del Sur stands out as a technological pioneer, offering customized solutions for telecommunications networks. They were the first to offer direct national dialing, implementation of call identifiers, digital television, and ADSL broadband in cities outside of Santiago.

Telefónica del Sur uses PostgreSQL as a database for multiple platforms and have implemented Postgres-BDR (Bi-Directional Replication for PostgreSQL) for efficient multi-master replication in geographically distributed telecommunication networks.

Need for multi-master replication

Telefónica del Sur focuses on user-oriented products and services where a small number of products are aimed at millions of users, leading to a variety of data management challenges. Having a high performing, distributed database across various locations was needed for increased availability and efficient management of data. It was crucial for Telefónica del Sur to ensure the network stays up and running at all times, and that customers receive uninterrupted service where they can always have access to updated data. A high availability application architecture working with Multi-master replication for a distributed cluster would ensure round-the-clock system availability, tolerant of node failure.

Introduction to Postgres-BDR

Postgres-BDR is a ground-breaking multi-master replication tool for PostgreSQL databases. In the complex environment of replication, BDR achieves efficiency and accuracy, ensuring very high availability of all nodes in a geographically distributed cluster.

In the beginning of 2015, Telefónica del Sur researched and tested several PostgreSQL replication tools available in the market in an attempt to find a solution that could satisfy their requirements. They started evaluating Postgres-BDR and performed several failure tests. BDR stood its ground in all the assessments and was in production by the end of the year. Félix Jara, Development Engineer at Telefónica del Sur explains:

“We were looking for a solution with a high failure tolerance for our distributed infrastructure, and we found BDR to be the perfect solution because of its robustness.”

Telefónica del Sur currently runs several BDR clusters in Chile, stretching from Santiago to Coyhaique. Their largest BDR cluster consists of 28 nodes, and is used for efficient management of their phone number portability database.

“Postgres-BDR has become a standard replication solution for all the systems in our company. Any project/application that uses PostgreSQL as the backend database uses BDR by default.”

José Calquín, Development Engineer, Telefónica del Sur

It was of paramount importance to Telefónica del Sur to offer high-quality and uninterrupted services, and that was made possible through the implementation of Postgres-BDR. At the time of this writing, they had not faced any data loss or service interruption, even during the most challenging situations.

“We would like to tell our story with BDR, to show that nowadays, it is possible to work with open-source PostgreSQL and have a solid multi-master replication solution that offers robustness for geographically distributed systems. We have thousands of kilometers spread between nodes and we have not experienced any problems, even with real-time replication clusters. We use BDR for telecommunications, the service we offer to our clients allows them to control their phone usage in real-time; how long their phone call lasted, the remaining minutes in their account, and generate a record of information in a matter of seconds.”

Félix Jara, Development Engineer, Telefónica del Sur

Download the case study here.

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