Benjamin Reed commented on ZOOKEEPER-368:
to address the motivation a bit consider poorly connected data centers and
cross datacenter zookeeper. we need to put zookeeper servers in the poorly
connected data centers because we will want to service all the reads locally in
those data centers, but we don't want to affect reliability or latency in other
data centers. for example, imagine we have 5 poorly connected data centers and
3 well connected data centers. we may put two servers in each data center. that
means that we have an ensemble of 16 servers, but because of the poorly
connected data centers, we are more likely to lose quorum than if we made the 5
poorly connected data centers observers and just used the 3 well connected data
centers to commit changes. you can view observers as proxies.
> Key: ZOOKEEPER-368
> URL: https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/ZOOKEEPER-368
> Project: Zookeeper
> Issue Type: New Feature
> Components: quorum
> Reporter: Flavio Paiva Junqueira
> Assignee: Henry Robinson
> Attachments: ZOOKEEPER-368.patch, ZOOKEEPER-368.patch,
> ZOOKEEPER-368.patch, ZOOKEEPER-368.patch
> Currently, all servers of an ensemble participate actively in reaching
> agreement on the order of ZooKeeper transactions. That is, all followers
> receive proposals, acknowledge them, and receive commit messages from the
> leader. A leader issues commit messages once it receives acknowledgments from
> a quorum of followers. For cross-colo operation, it would be useful to have a
> third role: observer. Using Paxos terminology, observers are similar to
> learners. An observer does not participate actively in the agreement step of
> the atomic broadcast protocol. Instead, it only commits proposals that have
> been accepted by some quorum of followers.
> One simple solution to implement observers is to have the leader forwarding
> commit messages not only to followers but also to observers, and have
> observers applying transactions according to the order followers agreed upon.
> In the current implementation of the protocol, however, commit messages do
> not carry their corresponding transaction payload because all servers
> different from the leader are followers and followers receive such a payload
> first through a proposal message. Just forwarding commit messages as they
> currently are to an observer consequently is not sufficient. We have a couple
> of options:
> 1- Include the transaction payload along in commit messages to observers;
> 2- Send proposals to observers as well.
> Number 2 is simpler to implement because it doesn't require changing the
> protocol implementation, but it increases traffic slightly. The performance
> impact due to such an increase might be insignificant, though.
> For scalability purposes, we may consider having followers also forwarding
> commit messages to observers. With this option, observers can connect to
> followers, and receive messages from followers. This choice is important to
> avoid increasing the load on the leader with the number of observers.
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