Sorry, I should have been a little more explicit. At this point, the situation I'm considering is this; out of 3 servers, 1 server 'A' forgets its persistent state (due to a bad disk, say) and it restarts. My guess from what I could understand/reason about the internals was that the server 'A' will re-synchronize correctly on restart, by getting the entire snapshot.

I just wanted to make sure that this was a good assumption to make - or find out if I was missing corner cases where the fact that A has lost all memory could lead to inconsistencies (to take an example, in plain Paxos, no acceptor can forget the highest number prepare request to which it has responded).

More generally, is it a safe assumption to make that the ZooKeeper service will maintain all its guarantees if a minority of servers lose persistent state (due to bad disks, etc) and restart at some point in the future?

Mahadev Konar wrote:
Hi Thomas,

If a zookeeper server loses all state and their are enough servers in the
ensemble to continue a zookeeper service ( like 2 servers in the case of
ensemble of 3), then the server will get the latest snapshot from the leader
and continue.

The idea of zookeeper persisting its state on disk is just so that it does
not lose state. All the guarantees that zookeeper makes is based on the
understanding that we do not lose state of the data we store on the disk.

Their might be problems if we lose the state that we stored on the disk.
We might lose transactions that have been committed and the ensemble might
start with some snapshot in the past.

You might want ot read through how zookeeper internals work. This will help
you understand on why the persistence guarantees are required.


On 12/16/08 9:45 AM, "Thomas Vinod Johnson" <> wrote:

What is the expected behavior if a server in a ZooKeeper service
restarts with all its prior state lost? Empirically, everything seems to
work*.  Is this something that one can count on, as part of ZooKeeper
design, or are there known conditions under which this could cause
problems, either liveness or violation of ZooKeeper guarantees?

I'm really most interested in a situation where a single server loses
state, but insights into issues when more than one server loses state
and other interesting failure scenarios are appreciated.


* The restarted server appears to catch up to the latest snapshot (from
the current leader?).

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