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[Announcement] Extending end-of-life process for Amazon RDS for PostgreSQL 9.6

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Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) is extending the end-of-life process for PostgreSQL database (DB) major version 9.6. Amazon RDS customers can continue to create new PostgreSQL 9.6 DB instances until March 31, 2022, and Amazon RDS will automatically upgrade PostgreSQL 9.6 DB instances starting April 26, 2022. This notice does not apply to Amazon Aurora databases.

We previously communicated in the PostgreSQL 9.6 End-of-Life forum post [1] that we would begin automatic upgrades on January 18, 2022. We have decided to extend the end-of-life process for all customers.

We strongly encourage customers to upgrade their PostgreSQL 9.6 DB instances to version 12 or higher as soon as possible, ahead of this end-of-life schedule. The PostgreSQL community discontinued support for PostgreSQL 9.6 on November 11, 2021 [2], and the community will no longer produce bug fixes or security patches for this version. PostgreSQL 12 contains major innovations including JSON path queries per the SQL/JSON specifications and pluggable table storage interface [3]. PostgreSQL 13 introduced parallel processing of indexes with the VACUUM command and improved duplicate data handling by B-tree indexes [4]. Both versions contain numerous fixes to various software bugs in earlier versions of the database.

We recommend that you first upgrade to minor version 9.6.20 or higher and then upgrade directly to PostgreSQL 12 or higher to skip intermediate major versions. You can initiate an upgrade of your database instance, either immediately or during your next maintenance window, to a newer version of PostgreSQL using the AWS Management Console or the AWS Command Line Interface. The upgrade process will shut down the database instance, perform the upgrade, and restart the database instance. The database instance may be restarted multiple times during the upgrade process. While major version upgrades typically complete within the standard maintenance window, the duration of the upgrade depends on the number of objects within the database. To avoid any unplanned unavailability outside your maintenance window, we recommend that you first take a snapshot of your database and test the upgrade to get an estimate of the upgrade duration. To learn more about upgrading PostgreSQL major versions in Amazon RDS, review the Upgrading Database Versions page [5].

The following is a summary of the new extended timeline for the end-of-life schedule for PostgreSQL 9.6:

Currently - Customers can initiate upgrades of Amazon RDS for PostgreSQL 9.6 DB instances to PostgreSQL 12 at any time. Customers can also continue to restore PostgreSQL 9.6 snapshots, and create read replicas with version 9.6.
Starting March 31, 2022 - Customers will no longer be able to create new Amazon RDS DB instances using PostgreSQL 9.6 from the AWS Console or CLI.
Starting April 26, 2022 - Amazon RDS will upgrade PostgreSQL 9.6 instances to version 12. If a customer restores PostgreSQL 9.6 database snapshots, Amazon RDS will automatically upgrade the restored database to PostgreSQL 12.

If you have any questions or concerns, the AWS Support Team is available on the community forums and via Premium Support [6].

References
[1] https://forums.aws.amazon.com/ann.jspa?annID=8499
[2] https://www.postgresql.org/support/versioning/
[3] https://aws.amazon.com/about-aws/whats-new/2020/03/amazon-rds-now-supports-postgresql-12/
[4] https://aws.amazon.com/about-aws/whats-new/2021/02/amazon-rds-now-supports-postgresql-13/
[5] https://docs.aws.amazon.com/AmazonRDS/latest/UserGuide/USER\_UpgradeDBInstance.Upgrading.html#USER\_UpgradeDBInstance.Upgrading.Manual
[6] https://aws.amazon.com/support

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