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Enable "LOG_CHECKPOINTS" Parameter for PostgreSQL Servers

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Last updated: 03 February 2020
Risk level: Medium (should be achieved)

Ensure that "log_checkpoints" server parameter is enabled for all PostgreSQL database servers available within your Microsoft Azure cloud account. The "log_checkpoints" parameter allows checkpoints and restart points to be logged in the Azure PostgreSQL server log.

Security

Checkpoints are usually disrupting to your Azure PostgreSQL database performance and can cause connections to stall for up to a few seconds while they occur. By enabling the "log_checkpoints" parameter you can get verbose logging of the checkpoint process for your Azure PostgreSQL database servers. This logging data can be used to identify and troubleshoot sub-optimal PostgreSQL database performance.

Audit

To determine if "log_checkpoints" parameter is enabled for your Azure PostgreSQL servers, perform the following actions:

Using Azure Console

01 Sign in to Azure Management Console.

02 Navigate to All resources blade at https://portal.azure.com/#blade/HubsExtension/BrowseAll to access all your Microsoft Azure resources.

03 From the Type filter box, select Azure Database for PostgreSQL server to list the PostgreSQL servers available within your Azure account.

04 Click on the name of the PostgreSQL database server that you want to examine.

05 In the navigation panel, under Settings, select Server parameters to access the configuration parameters for the selected PostgreSQL server.

06 On Server parameters page, find the log_checkpoints parameter entry using the Search to filter items search box. Once the parameter entry is found, check its configuration value available within the VALUE column. If the parameter value is set to OFF, the "log_checkpoints" server parameter is not enabled for the selected PostgreSQL database server.

07 Repeat steps no. 4 – 6 for each PostgreSQL database server provisioned in the current Azure subscription.

08 Repeat steps no. 3 – 7 for each subscription created in your Microsoft Azure cloud account.

Using Azure PowerShell

01 Run postgres server list command (Windows/macOS/Linux) using custom query filters to list the names of all PostgreSQL database servers (and the name of their associated resource groups) available in the current Azure subscription:

az postgres server list
	--output table
	--query '[*].{name:name, resourceGroup:resourceGroup}'

02 The command output should return a table with requested PostgreSQL server information:

Name                ResourceGroup
------------------  ------------------------------
cc-project5-server  cloud-shell-storage-westeurope

03 Run postgres server configuration show command (Windows/macOS/Linux) using the name of the Azure PostgreSQL server that you want to examine and its associated resource group as identifier parameters with custom query filters to get the "log_checkpoints" parameter value for the selected database server:

az postgres server configuration show
	--server-name "cc-project5-server"
	--resource-group "cloud-shell-storage-westeurope"
	--name log_checkpoints
	--query 'value'

04 The command output should return the requested configuration value:

"OFF"

If postgres server configuration show command output returns "OFF", as shown in the example above, the "log_checkpoints" server parameter is not enabled for the selected Azure PostgreSQL database server.

05 Repeat step no. 3 and 4 for each Azure PostgreSQL server available in the selected subscription.

06 Repeat steps no. 1 – 5 for each subscription available within your Microsoft Azure cloud account.

Remediation / Resolution

To enable the "log_checkpoints" server parameter for all your Azure PostgreSQL database servers, perform the following actions:

Using Azure Console

01 Sign in to Azure Management Console.

02 Navigate to All resources blade at https://portal.azure.com/#blade/HubsExtension/BrowseAll to access all your Microsoft Azure resources.

03 From the Type filter box, select Azure Database for PostgreSQL server to list the PostgreSQL servers available in your Azure account.

04 Click on the name of the PostgreSQL server that you want to reconfigure (see Audit section part I to identify the right Azure resource).

05 In the navigation panel, under Settings, select Server parameters to access the configuration parameters for the selected PostgreSQL server.

06 On Server parameters page, find the log_checkpoints parameter entry using the Search to filter items search box.

07 Once log_checkpoints server parameter entry is found, enable the parameter by selecting the ON configurable value, available within the VALUE column.

08 Click Save to apply the configuration changes.

09 Repeat steps no. 4 – 8 for each PostgreSQL database server provisioned in the selected subscription.

10 Repeat steps no. 3 – 8 for each subscription created in your Microsoft Azure cloud account.

Using Azure CLI and PowerShell

01 Run postgres server configuration set command (Windows/macOS/Linux) using the name of the PostgreSQL server that you want to reconfigure as identifier parameter (see Audit section part II to identify the right Azure resource) to enable "log_checkpoints" parameter for the selected Azure PostgreSQL database server:

az postgres server configuration set
	--server-name "cc-project5-server"
	--resource-group "cloud-shell-storage-westeurope"
	--name log_checkpoints
	--value on

02 The command output should return the metadata for the reconfigured server parameter:

{
  "allowedValues": "on,off",
  "dataType": "Boolean",
  "defaultValue": "on",
  "description": "Logs each checkpoint.",
  "id": "/subscriptions/abcdabcd-abcd-1234-abcd-abcdabcdabcd/resourceGroups/cloud-shell-storage-westeurope/providers/Microsoft.DBforPostgreSQL/servers/cc-project5-server/configurations/log_checkpoints",
  "name": "log_checkpoints",
  "resourceGroup": "cloud-shell-storage-westeurope",
  "source": "user-override",
  "type": "Microsoft.DBforPostgreSQL/servers/configurations",
  "value": "on"
}

03 Repeat step no. 1 and 2 for each PostgreSQL database server available in the selected subscription.

04 Repeat steps no. 1 – 3 for each subscription created within your Microsoft Azure cloud account.

References

Publication date Jul 29, 2019

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Enable "LOG_CHECKPOINTS" Parameter for PostgreSQL Servers

Risk level: Medium