When Group Replication's distributed recovery process is carrying out state transfer from the binary log, to synchronize the joining member with the donor up to a specific point in time, the joining member and donor make use of GTIDs (see Section 19.1.3, “Replication with Global Transaction Identifiers”). However, GTIDs only provide a means to realize which transactions the joining member is missing. They do not help marking a specific point in time to which the server joining the group must catch up, nor do they convey certification information. This is the job of binary log view markers, which mark view changes in the binary log stream, and also contain additional metadata information, supplying the joining member with missing certification-related data.
This topic explains the role of view changes and the view change identifier, and the steps to carry out state transfer from the binary log.
A view corresponds to a group of members participating actively in the current configuration, in other words at a specific point in time. They are functioning correctly and online in the group.
A view change occurs when a modification to the group configuration happens, such as a member joining or leaving. Any group membership change results in an independent view change communicated to all members at the same logical point in time.
A view identifier uniquely identifies a view. It is generated whenever a view change happens.
At the group communication layer, view changes with their associated view identifiers mark boundaries between the data exchanged before and after a member joins. This concept is implemented through a binary log event: the "view change log event" (VCLE). The view identifier is recorded to demarcate transactions transmitted before and after changes happen in the group membership.
The view identifier itself is built from two parts: a randomly generated part, and a monotonically increasing integer. The randomly generated part is generated when the group is created, and remains unchanged while there is at least one member in the group. The integer is incremented every time a view change happens. Using these two different parts enables the view identifier to identify incremental group changes caused by members joining or leaving, and also to identify the situation where all members leave the group in a full group shutdown, so no information remains of what view the group was in. Randomly generating part of the identifier when the group is started from the beginning ensures that the data markers in the binary log remain unique, and an identical identifier is not reused after a full group shutdown, as this would cause issues with distributed recovery in the future.
All servers are online and processing incoming transactions from the group. Some servers may be a little behind in terms of transactions replicated, but eventually they converge. The group acts as one distributed and replicated database.
Whenever a new member joins the group and therefore a view change is performed, every online server queues a view change log event for execution. This is queued because before the view change, several transactions can be queued on the server to be applied and as such, these belong to the old view. Queuing the view change event after them guarantees a correct marking of when this happened.
Meanwhile, the joining member selects a suitable donor from the list of online servers as stated by the membership service through the view abstraction. A member joins on view 4 and the online members write a view change event to the binary log.
If group members and the joining member are set up with the
clone plugin (see
Section 18.104.22.168, “Cloning for Distributed Recovery”), and the
difference in transactions between the joining member and the
group exceeds the threshold set for a remote cloning operation
Group Replication begins distributed recovery with a remote
cloning operation. A remote cloning operation is also carried
out if required transactions are no longer present in any
group member's binary log files. During a remote cloning
operation, the existing data on the joining member is removed,
and replaced with a copy of the donor's data. When the remote
cloning operation is complete and the joining member has
restarted, state transfer from a donor's binary log is carried
out to get the transactions that the group applied while the
remote cloning operation was in progress. If there is not a
large transaction gap, or if the clone plugin is not
installed, Group Replication proceeds directly to state
transfer from a donor's binary log.
For state transfer from a donor's binary log, a connection is established between the joining member and the donor and state transfer begins. This interaction with the donor continues until the server joining the group's applier thread processes the view change log event that corresponds to the view change triggered when the server joining the group came into the group. In other words, the server joining the group replicates from the donor, until it gets to the marker with the view identifier which matches the view marker it is already in.
As view identifiers are transmitted to all members in the group at the same logical time, the server joining the group knows at which view identifier it should stop replicating. This avoids complex GTID set calculations because the view identifier clearly marks which data belongs to each group view.
While the server joining the group is replicating from the donor, it is also caching incoming transactions from the group. Eventually, it stops replicating from the donor and switches to applying those that are cached.
When the server joining the group recognizes a view change log event with the expected view identifier, the connection to the donor is terminated and it starts applying the cached transactions. Although it acts as a marker in the binary log, delimiting view changes, the view change log event also plays another role. It conveys the certification information as perceived by all servers when the server joining the group entered the group, in other words the last view change. Without it, the server joining the group would not have the necessary information to be able to certify (detect conflicts) subsequent transactions.
The duration of the catch up is not deterministic, because it depends on the workload and the rate of incoming transactions to the group. This process is completely online and the server joining the group does not block any other server in the group while it is catching up. Therefore the number of transactions the server joining the group is behind when it moves to this stage can, for this reason, vary and thus increase or decrease according to the workload.
When the server joining the group reaches zero queued transactions and its stored data is equal to the other members, its public state changes to online.