Synchronizing slots from primary to standby

From: Petr Jelinek <petr(dot)jelinek(at)2ndquadrant(dot)com>
To: PostgreSQL Hackers <pgsql-hackers(at)lists(dot)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: Synchronizing slots from primary to standby
Date: 2018-12-30 21:23:08
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As Andres has mentioned over at minimal decoding on standby thread [1],
that functionality can be used to add simple worker which periodically
synchronizes the slot state from the primary to a standby.

Attached patch is rough implementation of such worker. It's nowhere near
committable in the current state, it servers primarily two purposes - to
have something over what we can agree on the approach (and if we do,
serve as base for that) and to demonstrate that the patch in [1] can
indeed be used for this functionality. All this means that this patch
depends on the [1] to work.

The approach chosen by me is to change the logical replication launcher
to run also on a standby and to support new type of worker which is
started on a standby for the slot synchronization. The new worker
(slotsync) is responsible for periodically fetching information from the
primary server and moving slots on the standby forward (using the fast
forwarding functionality added in PG11) based on that. There is one
worker per database (logical slots are per database, walrcv_exec needs
db connection, etc). I had to add new replication command for listing
slots so that the launcher can check which databases on the upstream
actually have slots and start the slotsync only for those. The second
patch in the series just adds ability to filter which slots are actually

This approach should be eventually portable to logical replication as
well. The only difference there is that we need to be able to map lsns
of the publisher to the lsns of the subscriber. We already do that in
apply so that should be doable, I don't have that as goal for first
version of the feature though.

The basic functionality seems to be working pretty well, however there
are several discussion points and unfinished parts:

a) Do we want to automatically create and drop slots when they get
created on the primary? Currently the patch does auto-create but does
not auto-drop yet. There is no way to signal that slot was dropped so I
don't see straightforward way to differentiate between slots that have
been dropped on master and those that only exist on standby. I guess if
we added the second feature with slot list as well we could drop
anything on that list that's not on primary...
b) The slot creation is somewhat interesting. The slot might be created
while standby does not have wal for existing slots on primary because
they are behind of standby. We solve it by creating ephemeral slot and
wait for the primary slot to pass it's lsn before persisting it
(similarly to when we are trying to build initial snapshot). This seems
reasonable to me but the coding could use another pair of eyes there.
c) With the periodical start/stop (for the move) of the decoding on the
slot, the logging of every start of decoding context is pretty
annoying/spammy, we should probably tune that down.
d) The launcher integration needs improvement - add worker kind rather
than guessing from values of dbid, subid and relid and do decisions
based on that. Also the interfaces for manipulating the workers should
probably use LogicalRepWorkerId rather than above mentioned parameters
and guessing everywhere.
e) We probably should support synchronizing physical slots as well
(currently we only sync logical slots). But that should be easy provided
we don't mind that logical replication launcher is somewhat misnomer then...
f) Maybe walreceiver or startup should signal these new workers if
enough data is processed, so it's not purely time based. But I think
that kind of optimization can be left for later.

Also (these are pretty pointless until we agree that this is the right
- there is no documentation update yet
- there are no TAP tests yet
- the recheck timer might need GUC


Petr Jelinek
PostgreSQL Development, 24x7 Support, Training & Services

Attachment Content-Type Size
0002-Add-option-for-filtering-which-slots-get-synchronize.patch text/x-patch 13.7 KB
0001-Synchronize-logical-replication-slots-from-primary-t.patch text/x-patch 39.6 KB

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