Up until now, we've been managing WAL files with tools such as
rsync. Our end goal was to transmit these to a backup server so that the WAL files were safe long-term in case we needed them for PITR recovery. As a bonus, the backup server is a central location that can be committed to tape regularly so that our PostgreSQL databases are preserved so long as we retain the tapes.
While this is a valid and functional approach, logging options, debugging, and flexibility are somewhat limited. Regular operating-system tools are not specifically designed to process PostgreSQL WAL files. Though we can use them for that purpose, there are better utilities available. OmniPITR is a powerful toolkit developed by OmniTI to manage PostgreSQL backups, restores, and WAL files.
This recipe will focus on installing OmniPITR so that we can use it later.