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Django DB router for stateful master-slave replication
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django_replicated
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LICENSE
README.md
setup.py

README.md

SUMMARY

Django_replicated is a Django database router designed to support more or less automatic master-slave replication. It keeps an internal state that depends on user intent to read or to write into a database. Depending on this state it automatically uses the right database (master or slave) for all SQL operations.

INSTALLATION

  1. Install django_replicated distribution using "python setup.py install".

  2. In settings.py configure your master and slave databases in a standard way:

    DATABASES {
        'default': {
            # ENGINE, HOST, etc.
        },
        'slave1': {
            # ENGINE, HOST, etc.
        },
        'slave2': {
            # ENGINE, HOST, etc.
        },
    }
    
  3. Teach django_replicated which databases are slaves:

    DATABASE_SLAVES = ['slave1', 'slave2']
    

    The 'default' database is always treated as master.

  4. Configure a replication router:

    DATABASE_ROUTERS = ['django_replicated.ReplicationRouter']
    
  5. Configure timeout to exclude a database from the available list after an unsuccessful ping:

    DATABASE_DOWNTIME = 20
    

    The default downtime value is 60 seconds.

USAGE

Django_replicated routes SQL queries into different databases based not only on their type (insert/update/delete vs. select) but also on its own current state. This is done to avoid situation when in a single logical operations you're doing both writes and reads. If all writes would go into one database and reads would be from another one then you won't have a consistent view of the world because of two reasons:

  • when using transactions the result of writes won't be replicated into a slave until commit
  • even in a non-transactional environment there's always a certain lag between updates in a master and in slaves

Django_replicated expects you to define what these logical operations are doing: writing/reading or only reading. Then it will try to use slave databases only for purely reading operations.

To define this there are several methods.

Middleware

If your project is built in accordance to principles of HTTP where GET requests don't cause changes in the system (unless by side effects) then most of the work is done by simply using a middleware :

MIDDLEWARE_CLASSES = [
    ...
    'django_replicated.middleware.ReplicationMiddleware',
    ...
]

The middleare sets replication state to use slaves during handling of GET and HEAD requests and to use a master otherwise.

While this is usually enough there are cases when DB access is not controlled explicitly by your business logic. Good examples are implicit creation of sessions on first access, writing some bookkeeping info, implicit registration of a user account somewhere inside the system. These things can happen at arbitrary moments of time, including during GET requests.

Generally django_replicated handles this by always providing a master databases for write operations. If this is not enough (say you still want to read a newly created session and want to make sure that it will be read from a master) you can always instruct Django ORM to use a certain database.

Decorators

If your system doesn't depend on the method of HTTP request to do writes and reads you can use decorators to wrap individual views into master or slave replication modes:

from django_replicated.decorators import use_master, use_slave

@use_master
def my_view(request, ...):
    # master database used for all db operations during
    # execution of the view (if not explicitly overridden).

@use_slave
def my_view(request, ...):
    # same with slave connection

GET after POST

There is a special case that needs addressing when working with asynchronous replication scheme. Replicas can lag behind a master database on receiving updates. In practice this mean that after submitting a POST form that redirects to a page with updated data this page may be requested from a slave replica that wasn't updated yet. And the user will have an impression that the submit didn't work.

To overcome this problem both ReplicationMiddleware and decorators support special technique where handling of a GET request resulting from a redirect after a POST is explicitly routed to a master database.

Disabling state switching

There are cases when you want to disable switching of replication modes entirely. A most common example is testing your code with tests that use non-commiting transactions to preserve data between testcases. Each test is called with a default master database which it uses to load fixtures. Then if any code that the test calls will switch replication to the slave mode the won't see any fixture data in a test slave database because the master never commits.

You can disable mode switching for such cases:

from django_replicated import utils
utils.disable_state_change()

(There's also a similar enalble_state_change() function.)

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