Mission Critical Databases

Download European Space Agency (ESA) Case Study


Postgres-XL has been key to the success of the Gaia variability studies group in Geneva.  Flexibility enabled by Postgres for the Extra Large scientific challenge, solid architecture, and rich environment stood out when we researched for credible long-term big data platforms. Capability of having millisecond access to information about specific light sources or processing results, with the power of horizontal scalability without sacrificing ACID properties, has been a clear win for our project.

Krzysztof Nienartowicz Manager of ESA GAIA Data Processing centre at Datacentre for Astrophysics in Geneva.


The European Space Agency creates most complete census of the Milky Way Galaxy with the help of Postgres-XL

The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europe’s gateway to space. ESA's programs are designed to find out more about Earth, its immediate space environment, the solar system, and the universe.

In 2013, on a mission to create the largest and most precise 3D map of the Milky Way Galaxy, ESA launched one of their largest milestone missions yet: The Gaia project.

The Gaia Data Processing Centre in Geneva started with a well-defined problem and delivery schedule: To increase the size of the variable stars catalog by a factor of 100x and participate in several Gaia Data Releases until the end of the nominal mission in 2023.

The ESA Gaia Data Processing Centre chose PostgresXL due to its superior design and ability to manage & analyze big astronomy as well as time series data. As the primary developers and maintainers of PostgresXL, 2ndQuadrant developers worked closely with the Data Processing team at Gaia, Geneva to understand deployment and performance tuning best-practices.

Find out how PostgresXL helped the ESA Geneva Data Center develop a scalable and open solution with the massively parallel and distributed database for their Gaia Project.

Download the full Case Study by filling out the form on the right.