A newer version of IMDG is available.

View latest

Want to try Hazelcast 5.0?

We’ve combined the in-memory storage of IMDG with the stream processing power of Jet to bring you an all new Hazelcast platform.

Tuning WAN Replication For Lower Latencies and Higher Throughput

Starting with Hazelcast IMDG 3.12, we have redesigned the WAN replication mechanism to allow tuning for lower latencies of replication and higher throughput. In most cases, WAN replication is sufficient with out-of-the-box settings which cause WAN replication to replicate the map and cache events with little overhead. However, there might be some use cases where the latency between a map/cache mutation on one cluster and its visibility on the other cluster must be kept within some bounds. To achieve such demands, you can first try tuning the WAN replication mechanism using the following publisher properties:

  • batch.size

  • batch.max.delay.millis

  • replication.idle.minParkNs

  • replication.idle.maxParkNs

To understand the implications of these properties, let’s first dive into how WAN replication works.

WAN replication runs in a separate thread and tries to send map and cache mutation events in batches to the target endpoints for higher throughput. The target endpoints are usually members in a target Hazelcast cluster but different WAN implementations may have different target endpoints. The event batch is collected by iterating over the WAN queues for different partitions and, different maps and caches. WAN replication tries and collects a batch of a size which can be configured using the batch.size property.

If enough time has passed and the WAN replication thread hasn’t collected enough events to fill a batch, it sends what it has collected nevertheless. This is controlled by the batch.max.delay.millis property. The "enough time" precisely means that more than the configured amount of milliseconds has passed since the time the last batch was sent to any target endpoint.

If there are no events in any of the WAN queues, the WAN replication thread goes into the idle state by parking the WAN replication thread. The minimum park time can be defined using the replication.idle.minParkNs property and the maximum park time can be controlled using the replication.idle.maxParkNs property. If a WAN event is enqueued while the WAN replication thread is in the idle state, the latency for replication of that WAN event increases.

An example WAN replication configuration using the default values of the above properties is shown below.

<hazelcast>
    ...
    <wan-replication name="my-wan-cluster-batch">
        <wan-publisher group-name="london">
            <class-name>com.hazelcast.enterprise.wan.replication.WanBatchReplication</class-name>
            ...
            <properties>
                <property name="batch.size">500</property>
                <property name="batch.max.delay.millis">1000</property>
                <property name="replication.idle.minParkNs">10000000</property> <!-- 10 ms -->
                <property name="replication.idle.maxParkNs">250000000</property> <!-- 250 ms -->
                ...
            </properties>
        </wan-publisher>
    </wan-replication>
    ...
</hazelcast>

We will now discuss tuning these properties. Unfortunately, the exact tuning parameters heavily depend on the load, mutation rate, latency between the source and target clusters and even use cases. We will thus discuss some general approaches and pointers.

When tuning for low latency, the first thing you might want to do is lower the replication.idle.minParkNs and replication.idle.maxParkNs property values. This will affect the latencies that you see when having a low number of operations per second, since this is when the WAN replication thread will be mostly in idle state. Try lowering both properties but keep in mind that the lower the property value, the more time the WAN replication thread will spend consuming CPU in a quiescent state - when there is no mutation on the maps or caches.

The next property you might lower is the batch.max.delay.millis. If you have a strict upper bound on the latency for WAN replication, this property must be below that limit. Setting this value too low might adversely affect the performance as well since then the WAN replication thread might be sending smaller batches than what it would if the property was higher and it had waited for some more time. You can even try setting this property to zero which instructs the WAN replication thread to send batches as soon as it is able to collect any events; but keep in mind this will result in many smaller batches instead of less bigger event batches.

When tuning for lower latencies, configuring the batch.size usually has little effect, especially at lower mutation rates. At a low number of operations per second, the event batches will usually be very small since the WAN replication thread will not be able to collect the full batch and respect the required latencies for replication. The batch.size property might have more effect at higher mutation rates. Here, you will probably want to use bigger batches to avoid paying for the latencies when sending lots of smaller batches, so try increasing the batch size and benchmarking at high load.

There are a couple of other configuration values that you might try changing but it depends on your use case. The first one is adding a separate configuration for a WAN replication executor. Collecting of WAN event batches and processing the responses from the target endpoints are done on a shared executor. This executor is shared between the other parts of the Hazelcast system and all of the WAN replication publishers will use the same executor. In some cases, you might want to create a dedicated executor for all WAN replication publishers. The name of this executor is hz:wan. Below is an example of a concrete, dedicated executor for WAN replication. See the Configuring Executor Service section for more information on the configuration options of the executor.

<hazelcast>
    ...
    <executor-service name="hz:wan">
        <pool-size>16</pool-size>
    </executor-service>
    ...
</hazelcast>

The last two properties that you might want to change are ack.type and max.concurrent.invocations. Changing these properties allow you to get a greater throughput at the expense of event ordering. This means that these properties may only be changed if your application can tolerate WAN events to be received out-of-order. For instance, if you are updating or removing the existing map or cache entries, an out-of-order WAN event delivery would mean that the event for the entry removal or update might be processed by the target cluster before the event is received to create that entry. This does not causes exceptions but it causes the clusters to fall out-of-sync. In these cases, you most probably will not be able to use these properties. On the other hand, if you are only creating new, immutable entries (which are then removed by the expiration mechanism), you can use these properties to achieve a greater throughput.

The ack.type property controls at which time the target cluster will send a response for the received WAN event batch. The default value is ACK_ON_OPERATION_COMPLETE which will ensure that all events are processed before the response is sent to the source cluster. The value ACK_ON_RECEIPT instructs the target cluster to send a response as soon as it has received the WAN event batch but before it has been processed. This has two implications. One is that events can now be processed out-of-order (see the previous paragraph) and the other is that the exceptions thrown on processing the WAN event batch will not be received by the source cluster and the WAN event batch will not be retried. As such, some events might get lost in case of errors and the clusters may fall out-of-sync. WAN sync can help bring those clusters in-sync. The benefit of the ACK_ON_RECEIPT value is that now the source cluster can send a new batch sooner, without waiting for the previous batch to be processed fully.

The max.concurrent.invocations property controls the maximum number of WAN event batches being sent to the target cluster concurrently. Setting this property to anything less than 2 will only allow a single batch of events to be sent to each target endpoint and will maintain causality of events for a single partition (events are not received out-of-order). Setting this property to 2 or higher will allow multiple batches of WAN events to be sent to each target endpoint. Since this allows reordering of batches due to the network conditions, causality and ordering of events for a single partition is lost and batches for a single partition are now sent randomly to any available target endpoint. This, however, does present a faster WAN replication for certain scenarios such as replicating immutable, independent map entries which are only added once and where ordering, when these entries are added, is not necessary. Keep in mind that if you set this property to a value which is less than the target endpoint count, you will lose performance as not all target endpoints will be used at any point in time to process the WAN event batches. So, for instance, if you have a target cluster with 3 members (target endpoints) and you want to use this property, it only makes sense to set it to a value higher than 3. Otherwise, you can simply disable it by setting it to less than 2 in which case WAN will use the default replication strategy and adapt to the target endpoint count while maintaining causality.

An example WAN replication configuration using the default values of the aforementioned properties is shown below.

<hazelcast>
    ...
    <wan-replication name="my-wan-cluster-batch">
        <wan-publisher group-name="london">
            <class-name>com.hazelcast.enterprise.wan.replication.WanBatchReplication</class-name>
            ...
            <properties>
                <property name="ack.type">ACK_ON_OPERATION_COMPLETE</property>
                <property name="max.concurrent.invocations">-1</property>
                ...
            </properties>
        </wan-publisher>
    </wan-replication>
    ...
</hazelcast>

Finally, as we’ve mentioned, the exact values which will give you the optimal performance depend on your environment and use case. Please benchmark and try out different values to find out the right values for you.