Scaling MDrivenServer for multiple reasons

As your Turnkey or other MDriven projects grow in popularity, you may want to scale out to multiple servers. Even if the load of a particular server is not the reason, the regional distance might be. With distance comes latency and latency kills the joy of almost any system.

To work around load and latency, we offer a distribution mechanism in MDrivenServer.

The strategy behind the MDrivenServer distribution is based on the assumption that data reads are much more common than data writes. Luckily, this is the case in all administrative applications I can think of.

Distribution normally poses a couple of problems:

  1. There is a tradeoff between distribution and consistency – meaning if you have the same data in multiple places that are far apart, you cannot always be sure it is exactly equal given a point in time.
  2. A distributed solution is harder to maintain because there are more nodes involved in the solution.

MDrivenServer solves both these problems elegantly.

The Number One Issue: Consistency

The number one issue is a fact of physics. We need to make sure that we minimize the suffering due to it. MDrivenServer solves this by appointing only 1 MDrivenServer as Master. The Master is the only one that receives data writes from users. All MDriverServer Slaves are connected to this Master and when users of a Slave are saving data, the MDrivenServer Slave routes that data block to its Master. Once the Master accepts the message, the Slave asks the Master if there is any news ready for distribution. The Master then answers with the newly committed data blocks and the Slave merges these into its own database.

The whole operation is done in a split second. The Slave continuously polls the Master for changes. Given enough time and clear internet pathways, the Slave will have the same content as the Master.

In the event of network failure, such as the Slave cannot reach the Master, users will not be able to save data and the Slave will not get updated data from the Master. This will all rectify itself once the Slave can reach the Master again.

It is always the Slave that initiates the communication. The Master just accepts save requests and delivers committed updates.

MDrivenServers that participate in this cluster need to add an extra table to their database. The table makes sure that the commit-blocks that have been applied to the Master are backed up along with the rest of the data in the database. The transaction updating the business data is also used for the commit-block information. This way the Master is consistent even when restored from a backup.

Since the extra table structure is equal for the Master and Slave(s), it is easy to use a backup of a Master-DB to deploy it as a new Slave.

The Number Two Issue: Maintenance

Your system is constantly evolving. The model is changed on a monthly, weekly, or even daily basis. The data in one given commit-block is created in the context of one model version only. This means that Slaves are not allowed to have a different model from that of the Master. As you may have a Slave in every part of the world, you can imagine the administrative work it takes to keep this cluster configured correctly.

To manage this, we write a checksum of the current model along with each commit-block we persist in the Master. As a Slave receives newly created commit-blocks, it may discover that the model checksum used to create the commit-block differs from the model the slave currently uses.

If the Slave discovers that it uses the wrong model, it asks the Master for the model it needs, using the model checksum passed along the commit-block. The Master then returns this model to the Slave and the Slave engages in an automatic evolution of its database. Once the evolve is fulfilled, the commit-block can be safely applied.

The described mechanism makes it possible for you to sit back and deploy to one Master node and trust that the Slaves you have distributed all over the world or stacked next to each other to handle the load will be maintained automatically.

Q: Can this be used with my own server built with the MDriven Framework? Are there any reusable components that I can use?

The main thing is the ability to catch the commit-blocks used for SyncHandler inside the DB transaction that will apply it:

var res = new Eco.Persistence.SyncHandler();
res.OnSubmittedCommitBlock += Res_OnSubmittedCommitBlock;

Once you can do that, you can catch the commit-block and save it to the same DB – inside the same transaction:

var updP = (e.OperationsParams as TUpdateParameters);
if (updP != null)
foreach (IDatabase db in updP.Databases)
var query = db.GetExecQuery();

query.AssignSqlText(“insert into MDrivenServerSynk (Time,CommitBlock,modelid,slaveMergeTime) values (:inserttime,:CommitBlock,:modelid,:slaveMergeTime) “);

  • Once you can do that, have your Slaves copy these commit-blocks and apply them to their own DB.
  • The other thing is to catch all updating calls to the Slave and reroute those to the Master instead. A commit-block will be created and applied by the well-behaving slave.
  • The third thing is to have the Slave discover Master model changes and auto-evolve so that the commit-blocks are applied to the correct environment at all times.

MDrivenServer does these three things for you.

This page was edited 21 days ago on 02/10/2024. What links here