Disk management

Timescale Cloud contains several mechanisms for managing disk space on your services. There are four key tasks that Cloud performs to handle disk space:

  1. Detect if storage capacity begins to fill up
  2. Notify you about the growth of storage consumption
  3. Automatically activate overload protections
  4. Allow you to return your database to a normal state

This section explains what the various mechanisms are, and how to best make use of them.


By default, Timescale Cloud services have autoscaling enabled. Autoscaling automatically increases your disk size, up to a maximum amount, as you fill the disk. For more information about autoscaling, including instructions for setting the maximum limit, or turning autoscaling off, see the scaling a service section.

Continuous storage monitoring

Timescale Cloud continuously monitors the health and resource consumption of all database services. You can check your health data by navigating to the metrics tab in your service dashboard. These metrics are also monitored by the Timescale operations team.

If your database exceeds a storage threshold of available resources, some automated actions are triggered, including notifications, and preventative actions.

Automated user alerting

When your disk usage exceeds certain thresholds, you receive an email notification. These notifications occur at:

  • 75%
  • 85%
  • 95%

So that you aren't overwhelmed by automated message, the alerting thresholds use low- and high-watermarks, and we limit the frequency of messages we send you about a particular service.

Automated overload protection

If your database continues to increase in size past these thresholds, automated overload protection is activated when your disk becomes 99% full. When this happens, your database is put into read-only mode, and you receive a notification on email and the Timescale Cloud console shows the changed status.

When your disk is in read-only mode, you can still query your database, but you cannot add any new data to it. This is to ensure that your disk does not fill up to 100%, which could prevent you from crashing due to an out of memory (OOM) error.

With your database in read-only mode, you need to decide if you are going to increase your storage capacity, or reduce the size of your database. When you have done that, you can also add a retention policy, or turn on compression, to avoid the problem occurring again in the future.

Online storage resizing

You can increase your storage size in the Timescale Cloud console.


You can only increase your service's storage once every six hours, and you cannot currently decrease your storage size once set.

Increasing service resources

  1. In the Timescale Cloud console, navigate to Services and click the service you want to adjust. Navigate to the Operations tab, and go to the Resources section.
  2. Adjust the sliders for CPU and disk size as required. If you increase the disk size past a certain point, we also recommend increasing the CPU size to handle the increased disk size (although not required).
  3. Review the new sizes and costs in the panel on the right-hand side, and click Restart and apply when you are happy with the changes.
  4. The resources take a few seconds to increase, and when the increase is complete, your database is immediately available on the new resources. If your database is in read-only mode, the read-only protection is automatically removed, and you can begin writing data immediately.

Storage recovery

If you need to perform actions on your database to reduce your data usage, you can turn off read-only mode. For example, you need read-write access if you want to compress data, delete rows or tables, or drop old data using data retention policies.


Do not manually enable read-write access on a database that is over 99% capacity. Increase the disk size before you enable read-write access. Alternatively, you can enable read-write access on an individual session, while leaving the database in read-only mode.

Enabling read-write access on an individual session

  1. Connect to your database using psql and turn off read-only protection for the current session:
    SET default_transaction_read_only TO off;
  2. Create a data retention policy to only retain, for example, data for 90 days. This starts working immediately on old data:
    SELECT add_retention_policy('<table_name>', interval '90 days');
  3. Turn on compression:
    ALTER TABLE <table_name> SET (
      timescaledb.compress_segmentby = '<type>'
    SELECT add_compression_policy('<table_name>', interval '1 day');

As soon as the storage consumption drops below the threshold, the read-only protection is automatically removed, and you can start writing data again.

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