WIP; Eventually consistent log-based multi-master replication for levelDB (@Level)
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README.md

SYNOPSIS

Eventually consistent log-based multi-master replication for leveldb.

MULTI MASTER EXAMPLE

example with UDP peer discovery (see below): peers object can be let empty

Server 1 instance 1

var level = require('level')
var replicate = require('level-replicator')

var levelConfig = { // level configuration object }

// default settings
var replicationConfig = { port: 9000, host: '127.0.0.1', peers: {} }

var db = replicate(level('/tmp/db', levelConfig), replicationConfig)

// put something into the database
db.put('some-key', 'some-value', function(err) {
})

Server 1 instance 2

var level = require('level')
var replicate = require('level-replicator')

var levelConfig = { // level configuration object }

// different port
var replicationConfig = { port: 9001, host: '127.0.0.1', peers: {} }

// different db folder
var db = replicate(level('/tmp/db2', levelConfig), replicationConfig)

db.put('some-key', 'some-value', function(err) {
})

Server 2

var level = require('level')
var replicate = require('level-replicator')

var levelConfig = { // level configuration object }

// any port
var replicationConfig = { port: 9000, host: '127.0.0.1', peers: {} }

var db = replicate(level('/tmp/db'))

db.put('some-key', 'some-value', function(err) {
})

db.on('connect', function(host, port){ console.log('connect', host, port) })
db.on('connection', function(host, port){ console.log('connect', host, port) })
db.on('error', function(err){ console.log('error', err) })

Server 3...

var level = require('level')
var replicate = require('level-replicator')

var levelConfig = { // level configuration object }

// any port
var replicationConfig = { port: 9000, host: '127.0.0.1', peers: {} }

var db = replicate(level('/tmp/db'))

db.put('some-key', 'some-value', function(err) {
})

REPLICATION ALGORITHM

  • If a write operation (a put or delete) is committed to the local database for the first time.

    • A log is created that contains the type of operation and a logical clock that is set at 0. The log's key is the peer's id and a sequence.
    • An index is created (a pointer to the log for faster lookups on writes).
    • The new key/value, log and log-index are atomically committed to the local database.
  • If an update operation (a put or delete) is committed to the local database.

    • The index is used to look up the keys corresponding log
      • The logical clock in the log is incremented
      • The type of operation is updated
      • A new log-index is created and the old one is deleted.
    • The new key/value, log and log-index are atomically committed to the local database.
  • The frequently at which the peer will try to replicate is determined by its write-velocity.

  • When the database connects to a peer, it reads its remote logs in reverse until it finds a locally known entry.

    • The latest log for each key is placed into memory and then iterated over to determine what should be added locally.

      • If the log does not exist locally, the log and its corresponding key/value is committed to the local database.
      • If the log exists locally (with an earlier clock), the remote log and key/value are both atomically committed.

REPLICATON CONFLICTS

Before a local database can accept writes, it must attempt to replicate. This will reduce the possibility for conflicts. However, in the eventual consistency model, there is a case in which conflicts can occur. Conflicts happen when two or more writes with the same key and logical clock value are written to two or more servers, for example...

  • Server A writes foo and a coresponding log with a logical clock of 0.
  • At a different time, without knowing about the data on Server A, Server B writes foo and a log with a logical clock of 0.

Which write happened first? There is no reliable way to know. If this is a possibility for you, a resolver can be used to determine which write should be accepted. A resolver is a function can be passed into the configuration. The resolver function should return true to accept the remote value or false to reject it.

{ resolver: function(a, b) { return a.timestamp > b.timestamp; } }

PEER DISCOVERY

Server lists are a suck to maintain. They also don't work well in auto-scaling scenarios. level-replicator can use UDP multicast to discover peers that it will replicate with.

However not all VPCs support multicast and not all replication scenarios will be within the same subnet, you may want to add known servers to a configuration, for instance...

{ peers: ['100.2.14.104:8000', '100.2.14.105:8000'] }

Otherwise you can use a service registry like seaport or an module like aws-instances to feed the peers member of the options object.

FAQ

Q. Why not expose the tcp connection so I can pool it / manage it myself?

A. Connections are not long lived, a server connects, has a conversation and then disconnects.

Q. Why not allow me to manage the connection protocol?

A. Give me a good use case.