How Consistency Is Achieved in WAN Deployments
When two or more VMware GemFire systems are configured to distribute events over a WAN, each system performs local consistency checking before it distributes an event to a configured gateway sender. Discarded events are not distributed across the WAN.
Regions can also be configured to distribute updates to other VMware GemFire clusters over a WAN. With a distributed WAN configuration, multiple gateway senders asynchronously queue and send region updates to another VMware GemFire cluster. It is possible for multiple sites to send updates to the same region entry at the same time. It is also possible that, due to a slow WAN connection, a cluster might receive region updates after a considerable delay, and after it has applied more recent updates to a region. To ensure that WAN-replicated regions eventually reach a consistent state, VMware GemFire first ensures that each cluster performs consistency checking to regions before queuing updates to a gateway sender for WAN distribution. In order words, region conflicts are first detected and resolved in the local cluster, using the techniques described in the previous sections.
When a VMware GemFire cluster in a WAN configuration receives a distributed update, conflict checking is performed to ensure that all sites apply updates in the same way. This ensures that regions eventually reach a consistent state across all VMware GemFire clusters. The default conflict checking behavior for WAN-replicated regions is summarized as follows:
- If an update is received from the same VMware GemFire cluster that last updated the region entry, then there is no conflict and the update is applied.
- If an update is received from a different VMware GemFire cluster than the one that last updated the region entry, then a potential conflict exists. A cluster applies the update only when the update has a timestamp that is later than the timestamp currently recorded in the cache.
Note: If you use the default conflict checking feature for WAN deployments, you must ensure that all VMware GemFire members in all clusters synchronize their system clocks. For example, use a common NTP server for all VMware GemFire members that participate in a WAN deployment.
As an alternative to the default conflict checking behavior for WAN deployments, you can develop and deploy a custom conflict resolver for handling region events that are distributed over a WAN. Using a custom resolver enables you to handle conflicts using criteria other than, or in addition to, timestamp information. For example, you might always prioritize updates that originate from a particular site, given that the timestamp value is within a certain range.
When a gateway sender distributes an event to another VMware GemFire site, it adds the distributed system ID of the local cluster, as well as a timestamp for the event. In a default configuration, the cluster that receives the event examines the timestamp to determine whether or not the event should be applied. If the timestamp of the update is earlier than the local timestamp, the cluster discards the event. If the timestamp is the same as the local timestamp, then the entry having the highest distributed system ID is applied (or kept).
You can override the default consistency checking for WAN events by installing a conflict resolver plug-in for the region. If a conflict resolver is installed, then any event that can potentially cause a conflict (any event that originated from a different distributed system ID than the ID that last modified the entry) is delivered to the conflict resolver. The resolver plug-in then makes the sole determination for which update to apply or keep.
See “Implementing a GatewayConflictResolver” under Resolving Conflicting Events to configure a custom resolver.