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How We Made Percona XtraDB Cluster Scale

 | April 19, 2017 |  Posted In: MySQL, Percona XtraDB Cluster, XtraDB Cluster

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Percona XtraDB ClusterIn this blog post, we’ll look at the actions and efforts Percona experts took to scale Percona XtraDB Cluster.

Introduction

When we first started analyzing Percona XtraDB Cluster performance, it was pretty bad. We would see contention even with 16 threads. Performance was even worse with sync binlog=1, although the same pattern was observed even with the binary log disabled. The effect was not only limited to OLTP workloads, as even other workloads (like update-key/non-key) were also affected in a wider sense than OLTP.

That’s when we started analyzing the contention issues and found multiple problems. We will discuss all these problems and the solutions we adapted. But before that, let’s look at the current performance level.

Check this blog post for more details.

The good news is Percona XtraDB Cluster is now optimized to scale well for all scenarios, and the gain is in the range of 3x-10x.

Understanding How MySQL Commits a Transaction

Percona XtraDB Cluster contention is associated mainly with Commit Monitor contention, which comes into the picture during commit time. It is important to understand the context around it.

When a commit is invoked, it proceeds in two phases:

  • Prepare phase: mark the transaction as PREPARE, updating the undo segment to capture the updated state.
    • If bin-log is enabled, redo changes are not persisted immediately. Instead, a batch flush is done during Group Commit Flush stage.
    • If bin-log is disabled, then redo changes are persisted immediately.
  • Commit phase: Mark the transaction commit in memory.
    • If bin-log is enabled, Group Commit optimization kicks in, thereby causing a flush of redo-logs (that persists changes done to db-objects + PREPARE state of transaction) and this action is followed by a flush of the binary logs. Since the binary logs are flushed, redo log capturing of transaction commit doesn’t need to flush immediately (Saving fsync)
    • If bin-log is disabled, redo logs are flushed on completion of the transaction to persist the updated commit state of the transaction.

What is a Monitor in Percona XtraDB Cluster World?

Monitors help maintain transaction ordering. For example, the Commit Monitor ensures that no transaction with a global-seqno greater than the current commit-processing transaction’s global seqno is allowed to proceed.

How Percona XtraDB Cluster Commits a Transaction

Percona XtraDB Cluster follows the existing MySQL semantics of course, but has its own step to commit the transaction in the replication world. There are two important themes:

  1. Apply/Execution of transaction can proceed in parallel
  2. Commit is serialized based on cluster-wide global seqno.

Let’s understand the commit flow with Percona XtraDB Cluster involved (Percona XtraDB Cluster registers wsrep as an additional storage engine for replication).

  • Prepare phase:
    • wsrep prepare: executes two main actions:
      • Replicate the transaction (adding the write-set to group-channel)
      • Entering CommitMonitor. Thereby enforcing ordering of transaction.
    • binlog prepare: nothing significant (for this flow).
    • innobase prepare: mark the transaction in PREPARE state.
      • As discussed above, the persistence of the REDO log depends on if the binlog is enabled/disabled.
  • Commit phase
    • If bin-log is enabled
      • MySQL Group Commit Logic kicks in. The semantics ensure that the order of transaction commit is the same as the order of them getting added to the flush-queue of the group-commit.
    • If bin-log is disabled
      • Normal commit action for all registered storage engines is called with immediate persistence of redo log.
    • Percona XtraDB Cluster then invokes the post_commit hook, thereby releasing the Commit Monitor so that the next transaction can make progress.

With that understanding, let’s look at the problems and solutions:

PROBLEM-1:

Commit Monitor is exercised such that the complete commit operation is serialized. This limits the parallelism associated with the prepare-stage. With log-bin enabled, this is still ok since redo logs are flushed at group-commit flush-stage (starting with 5.7). But if log-bin is disabled, then each commit causes an independent redo-log-flush (in turn probable fsync).

OPTIMIZATION-1:

Split the replication pre-commit hook into two explicit actions: replicate (add write-set to group-channel) + pre-commit (enter commit-monitor).

The replicate action is performed just like before (as part of storage engine prepare). That will help complete the InnoDB prepare action in parallel (exploring much-needed parallelism in REDO flush with log-bin disabled).

On completion of replication, the pre-commit hook is called. That leads to entering the Commit Monitor for enforcing the commit ordering of the transactions. (Note: Replication action assigns the global seqno. So even if a transaction with a higher global seqno finishes the replication action earlier (due to CPU scheduling) than the transaction with a lower global seqno, it will wait in the pre-commit hook.)

Improved parallelism in the innodb-prepare stage helps accelerate log-bin enabled flow, and the same improved parallelism significantly helps in the log-bin disabled case by reducing redo-flush contention, thereby reducing fsyncs.


PROBLEM-2:

MySQL Group Commit already has a concept of ordering transactions based on the order of their addition to the GROUP COMMIT queue (FLUSH STAGE queue to be specific). Commit Monitor enforces the same, making the action redundant but limiting parallelism in MySQL Group Commit Logic (including redo-log flush that is now delayed to the flush stage).

With the existing flow (due to the involvement of Commit Monitor), only one transaction can enter the GROUP COMMIT Queue, thereby limiting optimal use of Group Commit Logic.

OPTIMIZATION-2:

Release the Commit Monitor once the transaction is successfully added to flush-stage of group-commit. MySQL will take it from there to maintain the commit ordering. (We call this interim-commit.)

Releasing the Commit Monitor early helps other transactions to make progress and real MySQL Group Commit Leader-Follower Optimization (batch flushing/sync/commit) comes into play.

This also helps ensure batch REDO log flushing.


PROBLEM-3:

This problem is specific to when the log-bin is disabled. Percona XtraDB Cluster still generates the log-bin, as it needs it for forming a replication write-set (it just doesn’t persist this log-bin information). If disk space is not a constraint, then I would suggest operating Percona XtraDB Cluster with log-bin enabled.

With log-bin disabled, OPTIMIZATION-1 is still relevant, but OPTIMIZATION-2 isn’t, as there is no group-commit protocol involved. Instead, MySQL ensures that the redo-log (capturing state change of transaction) is persisted before reporting COMMIT as a success. As per the original flow, the Commit Monitor is not released till the commit action is complete.

OPTIMIZATION-3:

The transaction is already committed to memory and the state change is captured. This is about persisting the REDO log only (REDO log modification is already captured by mtr_commit). This means we can release the Commit Monitor just before the REDO flush stage kicks in. Correctness is still ensured as the REDO log flush always persists the data sequentially. So even if trx-1 loses its slots before the flush kicks in, and trx-2 is allowed to make progress, trx-2’s REDO log flush ensures that trx-1’s REDO log is also flushed.


Conclusion

With these three main optimizations, and some small tweaks, we have tuned Percona XtraDB Cluster to scale better and made it fast enough for the growing demands of your applications. All of this is available with the recently released Percona XtraDB Cluster 5.7.17-29.20. Give it a try and watch your application scale in a multi-master environment, making Percona XtraDB Cluster the best fit for your HA workloads.

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Krunal Bauskar

Krunal is PXC lead at Percona. He is responsible for day-day PXC development, what goes into PXC, bug fixes, releases, etc.. Before joining Percona he use to work as part of InnoDB team at MySQL/Oracle. He authored most of the temporary table revamp work, undo log truncate, atomic truncate and lot of other features. In past he was associated with Yahoo! Labs researching on bigdata problems and database startup which is now part of Teradata. His interest mainly includes data-management at any scale and has been practicing it for more than decade now.

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