Speeding up dump/restore process

As some of you know, I've been working lately for OmniTI company. When doing things for them (PostgreSQL related of course :), I stumbled on very interesting problem.

One of our clients is working on PostgreSQL 8.2, and wants to upgrade to 8.3. This is generally trivial – pg_dump, pg_restore/psql, and you're done.

But, this situation was with a twist – we had only very limited time-frame to do the migration. To be exact – we had 4 hours that we can bring the website down for.

So, we had to dump database, transfer it to new server, and load. All within 4 hours. Simple? Sure. Database was ~ 200GB (after restore – around 130GB). How to do it?

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