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Re: ITS#7052, syncrepl, deletes, and MMR
Rein Tollevik wrote:
On 13.02.12 00:47, Howard Chu wrote:
Long time with little OpenLDAP work, but I'm still around ;-)
Glad to hear from you ;)
I'm still seeing cases where deleted entries are getting resurrected
when a number of concurrent Add/Delete sequences are occurring, with
multiple MMR servers (4 minimum to show the error).
Just for the record, this is not the problem reported in this ITS, the
ITS bug is the same as discussed in this thread:
The queuing of an old CSN done as a fix to ITS#7052 may have introduced
a new race condition, an ITS and fix is coming.
I would prefer a rewrite so that only the frontend assigned CSNs to
operations though. The current situation where syncrepl attaches the
entryCSN or old CSNs to the operation just to prevent the backend from
generating new CSNs appears to me like curing the symptom rather than
That doesn't seem practical, since syncrepl operates behind the frontend. (As
well as many other overlays, etc.)
The problem begins because multiple writes are outstanding, and they are
replicated in persist mode without a CSN in their syncrepl cookie. This
is a normal occurrence when the current op does not correspond to the
last committed CSN.
This looks to me as the root of the problem seen here. Replicating
without CSN implies replicating possible incomplete state, and when
there are multiple paths by which these operations can reach a server we
end up with race conditions.
I'd prefer that all changes replicated in persist mode carried a single
CSN and were replicated in CSN order (for all CSNs with the same SID
that is). It is probably sufficient to enforce this in MMR mode though.
The replicated changes are already being serialized, so serializing them
in CSN order shouldn't stall things noticeably and would eliminate the
type of race conditions seen here. And I guess it's already required
for delta replication?
Yes, that works. I've tested with a mutex in place to guarantee this. It
seemed like a pretty heavy restriction, so I didn't move forward with this
approach. Also I didn't arrange it so serialization was only enforced per SID;
that might be more suitable.
And yes, delta replication already does this since accesslog does full
The major drawback would be that after a refresh syncprov would have to
force its consumers to refresh as well. I.e the first hop in a chain
would have to complete its refresh before the next hop starts seeing the
updates. But database consistency is most important to me, so I would
have no problem living with that.
We've talked about this in the past as a desirable feature. Unfortunately it
would impose a noticeable startup delay before downstream consumers see any
updates, and in MMR it's a recipe for instant deadlock.
Because there is no CSN, the consumer doesn't update its cookie state
while performing a particular op.
As a result, if a client does Add/Delete/Add/Delete of the same DN, it's
possible for the Adds to propagate several times (more than the client
Adds and Modifies can usually be rejected if they're too old, because
they carry an entryCSN attribute which can be compared against the
existing entry, even if the consumer cookie state has not been updated.
But Deletes don't carry any attributes, and Deleted entries can't be
So, given a MMR setup like so:
1 -- 2
3 -- 4
A sequence of Add/Del/Add/Del performed at server 1 will be replicated
to both 2 and 3 immediately. They will then cascade it to server 4. If
many other writes were occurring at the same time, causing these writes
to be propagated without a cookie CSN, then server 4 will propagate them
back to 3 and 2 respectively, and 3 and 2 will re-add the deleted
entries because they have nothing to check that says the Adds are old.
This cycle only gets broken if server 1 eventually sends an op with
accompanying cookie update, so that all the downstream servers can see
that the ops are old.
There are actually two possible race conditions in this configuration,
when an add/delete is performed on the same DN:
1) The add is sent without CSN, the delete with. Assume that the
add/delete is handled by server 3 before it receives them from server 4.
It will then act upon the CSN-less add and discard the delete as
already being seen, and end up with an entry not present on the origin
2) Neither the add nor the delete are sent with a CSN. This can lead to
the endless add/delete cycle outlined above when there exist loops in
the MMR topology. The cycle will only be broken if the same DN is
re-added with a CSN, updating the CSN by changing other entries is not
sufficient. The wild CSN-less add will be stopped when it reaches a
server with the newly added entry, and hence also the delete. But which
servers that will end up acting on the delete is yet another race
Hm, given that the replication handles add and modify fairly equal,
could a modify/delete sequence be sufficient to trigger these race
That would require a modify of a nonexistent entry on at least one of the
servers. I don't think you'll see this...
OK, upon further digging, this appears to be caused by ITS#6024. rein's
patch prevents the consumer and provider from informing each other of
their SIDs when no CSN is present; this prevents syncprov's propagation
loop detection from working. Sigh. Reverting ITS#6024 patch...
Unfortunately, this will not fix scenario 1 and only scenario 2 when all
loops includes the server initiating the change. The rid and sid fields
of the cookie are not sufficient for loop detection in the general case,
and as such should only be used for optimization.
A new test script which exercise these race conditions is coming.
-- Howard Chu
CTO, Symas Corp. http://www.symas.com
Director, Highland Sun http://highlandsun.com/hyc/
Chief Architect, OpenLDAP http://www.openldap.org/project/