Speeding up slave initialization

If you have a very big database and want to set up a Master/Slave replication between two or more ArangoDB instances, then transferring the entire database over the network may take a long time. In order to speed-up the replication initialization process the slave can be initialized using a backup of the master.

For the following example setup, we will use the instance with endpoint tcp://master.domain.org:8529 as master, and the instance with endpoint tcp://slave.domain.org:8530 as slave.

The goal is to have all data from the database ` _system on master replicated to the database _system` on the slave (the same process can be applied for other databases).

Preparation

First of all you have to start the master server, using a command like the above:

arangod --server.endpoint tcp://master.domain.org:8529

Depending on your storage engine you also want to adjust the following options:

  • MMFiles:
    --wal.historic-logfiles
    maximum number of historic logfiles to keep after collection (default: 10)

  • RocksDB:
    --rocksdb.wal-file-timeout
    timeout after which unused WAL files are deleted in seconds (default: 10)

The options above prevent the premature removal of old WAL files from the master, and are useful in case intense write operations happen on the master while you are initializing the slave. In fact, if you do not tune these options, what can happen is that the master WAL files do not include all the write operations happened after the backup is taken. This may lead to situations in which the initialized slave is missing some data, or fails to start.

Now you have to create a dump from the master using the tool arangodump:

arangodump --output-directory "dump" --server.endpoint tcp://master.domain.org:8529

Please adapt the arangodump command to your specific case.

The following is a possible arangodump output:

Server version: 3.3
Connected to ArangoDB 'tcp://master.domain.org:8529', database: '_system', username: 'root'
Writing dump to output directory 'dump'
Last tick provided by server is: 37276350
# Dumping document collection 'TestNums'...
# Dumping document collection 'TestNums2'...
# Dumping document collection 'frenchCity'...
# Dumping document collection 'germanCity'...
# Dumping document collection 'persons'...
# Dumping edge collection 'frenchHighway'...
# Dumping edge collection 'germanHighway'...
# Dumping edge collection 'internationalHighway'...
# Dumping edge collection 'knows'...
Processed 9 collection(s), wrote 1298855504 byte(s) into datafiles, sent 32 batch(es)

In line 4 the last server tick is displayed. This value will be useful when we will start the replication, to have the replication-applier start replicating exactly from that tick.

Next you have to start the slave:

arangod --server.endpoint tcp://slave.domain.org:8530

If you are running master and slave on the same server (just for test), please make sure you give your slave a different data directory.

Now you are ready to restore the dump with the tool arangorestore:

arangorestore --input-directory "dump" --server.endpoint tcp://slave.domain.org:8530

Again, please adapt the command above in case you are using a database different than _system.

Once the restore is finished there are two possible approaches to start the replication:

  1. with sync check (slower, but easier)
  2. without sync check (faster, but last server tick needs to be provided correctly)

Approach 1: All-in-one setup

Start replication on the slave with arangosh using the following command:

arangosh --server.endpoint tcp://slave.domain.org:8530
db._useDatabase("_system");
require("@arangodb/replication").setupReplication({
  endpoint: "tcp://master.domain.org:8529",
  username: "myuser",
  password: "mypasswd",
  verbose: false,
  includeSystem: false,
  incremental: true,
  autoResync: true
});

The following is the printed output:

still synchronizing... last received status: 2017-12-06T14:06:25Z: fetching collection keys for collection 'TestNums' from /_api/replication/keys/keys?collection=7173693&to=57482456&serverId=24282855553110&batchId=57482462
still synchronizing... last received status: 2017-12-06T14:06:25Z: fetching collection keys for collection 'TestNums' from /_api/replication/keys/keys?collection=7173693&to=57482456&serverId=24282855553110&batchId=57482462
[...]
still synchronizing... last received status: 2017-12-06T14:07:13Z: sorting 10000000 local key(s) for collection 'TestNums'
still synchronizing... last received status: 2017-12-06T14:07:13Z: sorting 10000000 local key(s) for collection 'TestNums'
[...]
still synchronizing... last received status: 2017-12-06T14:09:10Z: fetching master collection dump for collection 'TestNums3', type: document, id 37276943, batch 2, markers processed: 15278, bytes received: 2097258
still synchronizing... last received status: 2017-12-06T14:09:18Z: fetching master collection dump for collection 'TestNums5', type: document, id 37276973, batch 5, markers processed: 123387, bytes received: 17039688
[...]
still synchronizing... last received status: 2017-12-06T14:13:49Z: fetching master collection dump for collection 'TestNums5', type: document, id 37276973, batch 132, markers processed: 9641823, bytes received: 1348744116
still synchronizing... last received status: 2017-12-06T14:13:59Z: fetching collection keys for collection 'frenchCity' from /_api/replication/keys/keys?collection=27174045&to=57482456&serverId=24282855553110&batchId=57482462
{ 
  "state" : { 
    "running" : true, 
    "lastAppliedContinuousTick" : null, 
    "lastProcessedContinuousTick" : null, 
    "lastAvailableContinuousTick" : null, 
    "safeResumeTick" : null, 
    "progress" : { 
      "time" : "2017-12-06T14:13:59Z", 
      "message" : "send batch finish command to url /_api/replication/batch/57482462?serverId=24282855553110", 
      "failedConnects" : 0 
    }, 
    "totalRequests" : 0, 
    "totalFailedConnects" : 0, 
    "totalEvents" : 0, 
    "totalOperationsExcluded" : 0, 
    "lastError" : { 
      "errorNum" : 0 
    }, 
    "time" : "2017-12-06T14:13:59Z" 
  }, 
  "server" : { 
    "version" : "3.3.devel", 
    "serverId" : "24282855553110" 
  }, 
  "endpoint" : "tcp://master.domain.org:8529", 
  "database" : "_system" 
}

This is the same command that you would use to start replication even without taking a backup first. The difference, in this case, is that the data that is present already on the slave (and that has been restored from the backup) this time is not transferred over the network from the master to the slave.

The command above will only check that the data already included in the slave is in sync with the master. After this check, the replication-applier will make sure that all write operations that happened on the master after the backup are replicated on the slave.

While this approach is definitely faster than transferring the whole database over the network, since a sync check is performed, it can still require some time.

Approach 2: Apply replication by tick

In this approach, the sync check described above is not performed. As a result this approach is faster as the existing slave data is not checked. Write operations are executed starting from the tick you provide and continue with the master’s available ticks.

This is still a secure way to start replication as far as the correct tick is passed.

As previously mentioned the last tick provided by the master is displayed when using arangodump. In our example the last tick was 37276350.

First of all you have to apply the properties of the replication, using arangosh on the slave:

arangosh --server.endpoint tcp://slave.domain.org:8530
db._useDatabase("_system");
require("@arangodb/replication").applier.properties({
  endpoint: "tcp://master.domain.org:8529",
  username: "myuser",
  password: "mypasswd",
  verbose: false,
  includeSystem: false,
  incremental: true,
  autoResync: true});

Then you can start the replication with the last provided logtick of the master (output of arangodump):

require("@arangodb/replication").applier.start(37276350)

The following is the printed output:

{ 
  "state" : { 
    "running" : true, 
    "lastAppliedContinuousTick" : null, 
    "lastProcessedContinuousTick" : null, 
    "lastAvailableContinuousTick" : null, 
    "safeResumeTick" : null, 
    "progress" : { 
      "time" : "2017-12-06T13:26:04Z", 
      "message" : "applier initially created for database '_system'", 
      "failedConnects" : 0 
    }, 
    "totalRequests" : 0, 
    "totalFailedConnects" : 0, 
    "totalEvents" : 0, 
    "totalOperationsExcluded" : 0, 
    "lastError" : { 
      "errorNum" : 0 
    }, 
    "time" : "2017-12-06T13:33:25Z" 
  }, 
  "server" : { 
    "version" : "3.3.devel", 
    "serverId" : "176090204017635" 
  }, 
  "endpoint" : "tcp://master.domain.org:8529", 
  "database" : "_system" 
}

After the replication has been started with the command above, you can use the applier.state command to check how far the last applied tick on the slave is far from the last available master tick:

require("@arangodb/replication").applier.state()
{ 
  "state" : { 
    "running" : true, 
    "lastAppliedContinuousTick" : "42685113", 
    "lastProcessedContinuousTick" : "42685113", 
    "lastAvailableContinuousTick" : "57279944", 
    "safeResumeTick" : "37276974", 
    "progress" : { 
      "time" : "2017-12-06T13:35:25Z", 
      "message" : "fetching master log from tick 42685113, first regular tick 37276350, barrier: 0, open transactions: 1", 
      "failedConnects" : 0 
    }, 
    "totalRequests" : 190, 
    "totalFailedConnects" : 0, 
    "totalEvents" : 2704032, 
    "totalOperationsExcluded" : 0, 
    "lastError" : { 
      "errorNum" : 0 
    }, 
    "time" : "2017-12-06T13:35:25Z" 
  }, 
  "server" : { 
    "version" : "3.3.devel", 
    "serverId" : "176090204017635" 
  }, 
  "endpoint" : "tcp://master.domain.org:8529", 
  "database" : "_system" 
}