State Snapshot Transfer

State Snapshot Transfer is a full data copy from one node (donor) to the joining node (joiner). It’s used when a new node joins the cluster. In order to be synchronized with the cluster, new node has to transfer data from the node that is already part of the cluster. There are three methods of SST available in Percona XtraDB Cluster: mysqldump, rsync and xtrabackup. The downside of mysqldump and rsync is that the donor node becomes READ-ONLY while data is being copied from one node to another (SST applies FLUSH TABLES WITH READ LOCK command). Xtrabackup SST does not require READ LOCK for the entire syncing process, only for syncing the MySQL system tables and writing the information about the binlog, galera and slave information (same as the regular XtraBackup backup). State snapshot transfer method can be configured with the wsrep_sst_method variable.


If the variable gcs.sync_donor is set to Yes (default No), whole cluster will get blocked if the donor is blocked by the State Snapshot Transfer and not just the donor node.

Using Percona Xtrabackup

This is the least blocking method as it locks the tables only to copy the MyISAM system tables. XtraBackup is run locally on the donor node, so it’s important that the correct user credentials are set up on the donor node. In order for PXC to perform the SST using the XtraBackup, credentials for connecting to the donor node need to be set up in the variable wsrep_sst_auth. Beside the credentials, one more important thing is that the datadir needs to be specified in the server configuration file my.cnf, otherwise the transfer process will fail.

More information about the required credentials can be found in the XtraBackup manual. Easy way to test if the credentials will work is to run the innobackupex on the donor node with the username and password specified in the variable wsrep_sst_auth. For example, if the value of the wsrep_sst_auth is root:Passw0rd innobackupex command should look like:

innobackupex --user=root --password=Passw0rd /tmp/

Script used for this method can be found in /usr/bin/wsrep_sst_xtrabackup and it’s provided with the Percona XtraDB Cluster binary packages.

After 5.5.31-23.7.5 this method introduced the new my.cnf option which can be used to set XtraBackup streaming option:


Currently supported formats are tar (default, used in previous releases) and xbstream. Some of the benefits of choosing the xbstream over tar is that it supports more advanced features like encrypted, compact and compressed backups.


Currently there is a limitations when using the xbstream option that the datadir needs to be empty before starting the SST or otherwise the process will fail and the node will not be able to join the cluster.

Using mysqldump

This method uses the standard mysqldump to dump all the databases from the donor node and import them to the joining node. For this method to work wsrep_sst_auth needs to be set up with the root credentials. This method is the slowest one and it also performs the global lock while doing the SST which will block writes to the donor node.

Script used for this method can be found in /usr/bin/wsrep_sst_mysqldump and it’s provided with the Percona XtraDB Cluster binary packages.

Using rsync

This method uses rsync to copy files from donor to the joining node. In some cases this can be faster than using the XtraBackup but requires the global data lock which will block writes to the donor node. This method doesn’t require username/password credentials to be set up in the variable wsrep_sst_auth.

Script used for this method can be found in /usr/bin/wsrep_sst_rsync and it’s provided with the Percona XtraDB Cluster binary packages.

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