Replication Limitations

The replication in ArangoDB has a few limitations. Some of these limitations may be removed in later versions of ArangoDB:

  • there is no feedback from the slaves to the master. If a slave cannot apply an event it got from the master, the master will have a different state of data. In this case, the replication applier on the slave will stop and report an error. Administrators can then either "fix" the problem or re-sync the data from the master to the slave and start the applier again.
  • at the moment it is assumed that only the replication applier executes write operations on a slave. ArangoDB currently does not prevent users from carrying out their own write operations on slaves, though this might lead to undefined behavior and the replication applier stopping.
  • when a replication slave asks a master for log events, the replication master will return all write operations for user-defined collections, but it will exclude write operations for certain system collections. The following collections are excluded intentionally from replication: _apps, _trx, _replication, _configuration, _jobs, _queues, _sessions, _foxxlog and all statistics collections. Write operations for the following system collections can be queried from a master: _aqlfunctions, _graphs, _users.
  • Foxx applications consist of database entries and application scripts in the file system. The file system parts of Foxx applications are not tracked anywhere and thus not replicated in current versions of ArangoDB. To replicate a Foxx application, it is required to copy the application to the remote server and install it there using the foxx-manager utility.
  • master servers do not know which slaves are or will be connected to them. All servers in a replication setup are currently only loosely coupled. There currently is no way for a client to query which servers are present in a replication.
  • when not using our mesos integration failover must be handled by clients or client APIs.
  • there currently is one replication applier per ArangoDB database. It is thus not possible to have a slave apply operations from multiple masters into the same target database.
  • replication is set up on a per-database level. When using ArangoDB with multiple databases, replication must be configured individually for each database.
  • the replication applier is single-threaded, but write operations on the master may be executed in parallel if they affect different collections. Thus the replication applier might not be able to catch up with a very powerful and loaded master.
  • replication is only supported between the two ArangoDB servers running the same ArangoDB version. It is currently not possible to replicate between different ArangoDB versions.
  • a replication applier cannot apply data from itself.