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Monitoring Replication Lag with EDB Replication Server



EDB Replication Server empowers DBAs with high-performance Multi-Master Replication (MMR) with the help of Postgres’ Logical Decoding framework. While performance is a signifiance improvement from the xDB 5.x trigger-based replication architecture, DBAs and sysadmins still seek to monitor and track replication lag. There are a number of ways to do this, and we’ll go over them.


Row Replication Lag

Much like using pg_stat_replication when employing Postgres’ built-in Streaming Replication, the most accurate form of replication lag monitoring is to see how many bytes (in this case, rows) a standby/target databse is behind its provider. The way to measure this is by executing the following query on the control databse (in most cases, the MDN):

SELECT COUNT(rrep_sync_id) AS pending_rows FROM _edb_replicator_pub.rrep_mmr_txset a, _edb_replicator_pub.rrep_txset_log b WHERE a.set_id = b.tx_set_id AND status IN ('P', 'R');

Note that this is the same query that Postgres Enterprise Manager’s (PEM) XDB Replication Probe uses. If you’re already using PEM, you can just enable the XDB Replication Probe, and you’ll be able to monitor the lag from the PEM client.


Time Replication Lag

For most people, they’re not interested in the number of bytes or rows a replication cluster is lagging behind. Instead, they’re more interested in how long it takes for ALL the unreplicated data to get to the other side. For this, there’s no real way to get a measurement without having a third-party monitoring to see if a change in one server has appeared in another server. Moreover, in an MMR situation, there are complexities in defining replication lag in terms of wallclock time, since all nodes are Master Databases.


One way to measure time lag in an EDB Replication Server cluster involves a few tricks, and the setup looks like this:

  • A table dedicated to testing replication performance (we’ll call it xdb_lag_test)
  • A table tabulating the time lag history (we’ll call it xdb_lag_history)
  • A function returning a trigger (named update_xdb_lag_history)
  • A trigger on the xdb_lag_test table


First, we create the xdb_lag_test table:

CREATE TABLE xdb_lag_test(
 source_host character varying(50) PRIMARY KEY,
 insert_time timestamp without time zone

Then, we add it to the publication (in this case, I’m creating a new publication, since it’s a new cluster in my environment):

java -jar ${XDB_HOME}/bin/edb-repcli.jar -createpub xdbtest -repsvrfile ${XDB_HOME}/etc/xdb_repsvrfile.conf -pubdbid 1 -reptype T -tables public.xdb_lag_test -repgrouptype M -standbyconflictresolution 1:E

After we verify that replication is working in both directions, create the xdb_lag_history table, trigger and function on the MDN:

CREATE TABLE xdb_lag_history
 source_host character varying(50) PRIMARY KEY,
 source_commit timestamp without time zone,
 target_commit timestamp without time zone,
 time_lag text

CREATE OR REPLACE FUNCTION update_xdb_lag_history() RETURNS trigger 
AS $$
 INSERT INTO xdb_lag_history VALUES (NEW.source_host, NEW.insert_time, now(), age(now(), NEW.stamp)::text); 

CREATE TRIGGER target_commit_trigger
 AFTER INSERT ON xdb_lag_test
 EXECUTE PROCEDURE update_xdb_lag_history();

ALTER TABLE xdb_lag_test ENABLE ALWAYS TRIGGER target_commit_trigger;

It is very important to note the ALTER TABLE statement that sets ENABLE ALWAYS TRIGGER – this prevents the DML coming from the non-MDN from being ignored by the trigger. Without this trigger enabled, you’ll never get any data inserted into xdb_lag_history.


Now, INSERT a row into xdb_lag_test on any of your non-MDNs:

edb=# insert into xdb_lag_test values ('non-mdn-1',now());
edb=# select * from xdb_lag_test;
 source_host |        insert_time        
 non-mdn-1   | 22-AUG-17 23:07:17.168134
(1 row)

Wait a few seconds for the data to replicate into the MDN, and then go check:

edb=# select * from xdb_lag_test ;
 source_host |         insert_time
 non-mdn-1   | 22-AUG-17 23:07:17.168134
(1 row)

edb=# select * from xdb_lag_history;
 source_host |       source_commit       |       target_commit       |     time_lag      
 non-mdn-1   | 22-AUG-17 23:07:17.168134 | 22-AUG-17 23:07:21.530587 | 00:00:04.362453
(1 row)

In this system, there was a 4.36sec lag in propagating the INSERT statement. Now, we can write to all the non-MDNs and see how much time it takes for data to replicate into the MDN. From here, other instrumentation can be to track time lag in EDB Replication Server.

1 Comment

I would suggest to define the trigger with "ENABLE REPLICA TRIGGER" so that it is invoked only in context of the replication session (xDB sets session_replication_role to "Replica").