1.7.  Queue State Replication

1.7.1.  Asynchronous Replication of Queue State  Overview

There is support in qpidd for selective asynchronous replication of queue state. This is achieved by:

(a) enabling event generation for the queues in question

(b) loading a plugin on the 'source' broker to encode those events as messages on a replication queue (this plugin is called replicating_listener.so)

(c) loading a custom exchange plugin on the 'backup' broker (this plugin is called replication_exchange.so)

(d) creating an instance of the replication exchange type on the backup broker

(e) establishing a federation bridge between the replication queue on the source broker and the replication exchange on the backup broker

The bridge established between the source and backup brokers for replication (step (e) above) should have acknowledgements turned on (this may be done through the --ack N option to qpid-route). This ensures that replication events are not lost if the bridge fails.

The replication protocol will also eliminate duplicates to ensure reliably replicated state. Note though that only one bridge per replication exchange is supported. If clients try to publish to the replication exchange or if more than a the single required bridge from the replication queue on the source broker is created, replication will be corrupted. (Access control may be used to restrict access and help prevent this).

The replicating event listener plugin (step (b) above) has the following options:

Queue Replication Options:
  --replication-queue QUEUE                      Queue on which events for
                                                 other queues are recorded
  --replication-listener-name NAME (replicator)  name by which to register the
                                                 replicating event listener
  --create-replication-queue                     if set, the replication will
                                                 be created if it does not

The name of the queue is required. It can either point to a durable queue whose definition has been previously recorded, or the --create-replication-queue option can be specified in which case the queue will be created a simple non-durable queue if it does not already exist.  Use with Clustering

The source and/or backup brokers may also be clustered brokers. In this case the federated bridge will be re-established between replicas should either of the originally connected nodes fail. There are however the following limitations at present:

  • The backup site does not process membership updates after it establishes the first connection. In order for newly added members on a source cluster to be eligible as failover targets, the bridge must be recreated after those members have been added to the source cluster.

  • New members added to a backup cluster will not receive information about currently established bridges. Therefore in order to allow the bridge to be re-established from these members in the event of failure of older nodes, the bridge must be recreated after the new members have joined.

  • Only a single URL can be passed to create the initial link from backup site to the primary site. this means that at the time of creating the initial connection the initial node in the primary site to which the connection is made needs to be running. Once connected the backup site will receive a membership update of all the nodes in the primary site, and if the initial connection node in the primary fails, the link will be re-established on the next node that was started (time) on the primary site.

Due to the acknowledged transfer of events over the bridge (see note above) manual recreation of the bridge and automatic re-establishment of te bridge after connection failure (including failover where either or both ends are clustered brokers) will not result in event loss.  Operations on Backup Queues

When replicating the state of a queue to a backup broker it is important to recognise that any other operations performed directly on the backup queue may break the replication.

If the backup queue is to be an active (i.e. accessed by clients while replication is on) only enqueues should be selected for replication. In this mode, any message enqueued on the source brokers copy of the queue will also be enqueued on the backup brokers copy. However not attempt will be made to remove messages from the backup queue in response to removal of messages from the source queue.  Selecting Queues for Replication

Queues are selected for replication by specifying the types of events they should generate (it is from these events that the replicating plugin constructs messages which are then pulled and processed by the backup site). This is done through options passed to the initial queue-declare command that creates the queue and may be done either through qpid-config or similar tools, or by the application.

With qpid-config, the --generate-queue-events options is used:

    --generate-queue-events N
                         If set to 1, every enqueue will generate an event that can be processed by
                         registered listeners (e.g. for replication). If set to 2, events will be
                         generated for enqueues and dequeues

From an application, the arguments field of the queue-declare AMQP command is used to convey this information. An entry should be added to the map with key 'qpid.queue_event_generation' and an integer value of 1 (to replicate only enqueue events) or 2 (to replicate both enqueue and dequeue events).

Applications written using the c++ client API may fine the qpid::client::QueueOptions class convenient. This has a enableQueueEvents() method on it that can be used to set the option (the instance of QueueOptions is then passed as the value of the arguments field in the queue-declare command. The boolean option to that method should be set to true if only enequeue events should be replicated; by default it is false meaning that both enqueues and dequeues will be replicated. E.g.

    QueueOptions options;
    session.queueDeclare(arg::queue="my-queue", arg::arguments=options);  Example

Lets assume we will run the primary broker on host1 and the backup on host2, have installed qpidd on both and have the replicating_listener and replication_exchange plugins in qpidd's module directory(*1).

On host1 we start the source broker and specifcy that a queue called 'replication' should be used for storing the events until consumed by the backup. We also request that this queue be created (as transient) if not already specified:

    qpidd --replication-queue replication-queue --create-replication-queue true --log-enable info+

On host2 we start up the backup broker ensuring that the replication exchange module is loaded:


We can then create the instance of that replication exchange that we will use to process the events:

    qpid-config -a host2 add exchange replication replication-exchange

If this fails with the message "Exchange type not implemented: replication", it means the replication exchange module was not loaded. Check that the module is installed on your system and if necessary provide the full path to the library.

We then connect the replication queue on the source broker with the replication exchange on the backup broker using the qpid-route command:

    qpid-route --ack 50 queue add host2 host1 replication-exchange replication-queue

The example above configures the bridge to acknowledge messages in batches of 50.

Now create two queues (on both source and backup brokers), one replicating both enqueues and dequeues (queue-a) and the other replicating only dequeues (queue-b):

    qpid-config -a host1 add queue queue-a --generate-queue-events 2
    qpid-config -a host1 add queue queue-b --generate-queue-events 1

    qpid-config -a host2 add queue queue-a
    qpid-config -a host2 add queue queue-b

We are now ready to use the queues and see the replication.

Any message enqueued on queue-a will be replicated to the backup broker. When the message is acknowledged by a client connected to host1 (and thus dequeued), that message will be removed from the copy of the queue on host2. The state of queue-a on host2 will thus mirror that of the equivalent queue on host1, albeit with a small lag. (Note however that we must not have clients connected to host2 publish to-or consume from- queue-a or the state will fail to replicate correctly due to conflicts).

Any message enqueued on queue-b on host1 will also be enqueued on the equivalent queue on host2. However the acknowledgement and consequent dequeuing of messages from queue-b on host1 will have no effect on the state of queue-b on host2.

(*1) If not the paths in the above may need to be modified. E.g. if using modules built from a qpid svn checkout, the following would be added to the command line used to start qpidd on host1:

    --load-module <path-to-qpid-dir>/src/.libs/replicating_listener.so

and the following for the equivalent command line on host2:

    --load-module <path-to-qpid-dir>/src/.libs/replication_exchange.so