Faster MySQL replication with group commit and delay

Published Jan 4, 2017

We’ve been having a problem with MySQL replication at VividCortex. Replicas periodically tend to fall behind and we couldn’t really figure out how to speed things up. It wasn’t about resources. The replicas have plenty of CPU and I/O available. We’re also using multithreaded replication (a.k.a. MTR) but most of the replication threads were idle.

One thing that we decided to try out was the new LOGICAL_CLOCK parallelization policy introduced in MySQL 5.7.2. Here’s what the MySQL reference manual says about slave-parallel-type:

When using a multi-threaded slave (slave_parallel_workers is greater than 0), this option specifies the policy used to decide which transactions are allowed to execute in parallel on the slave. The possible values are:

  • DATABASE: Transactions that update different databases are applied in parallel. This value is only appropriate if data is partitioned into multiple databases which are being updated independently and concurrently on the master. Only recommended if there are no cross-database constraints, as such constraints may be violated on the slave.

  • LOGICAL_CLOCK: Transactions that are part of the same binary log group commit on a master are applied in parallel on a slave. There are no cross-database constraints, and data does not need to be partitioned into multiple databases.

We’ve been using --slave-parallel-type=DATABASE, but clearly it has not been offering the level of parallelism we want. So we tried LOGICAL_CLOCK.

Initially, this ended being slower than --slave-parallel-type=DATABASE. My guess was we’re not grouping enough transactions per binary log commit for this to be a big improvement. Fortunately, that’s something we can tune using binlog_group_commit_sync_delay.

Here is the documentation about that:

Controls how many microseconds the binary log commit waits before synchronizing the binary log file to disk. By default binlog-group-commit-sync-delay is set to 0, meaning that there is no delay. Setting binlog-group-commit-sync-delay to a microsecond delay enables more transactions to be synchronized together to disk at once, reducing the overall time to commit a group of transactions because the larger groups require fewer time units per group. With the correct tuning, this can increase slave performance without compromising the master’s throughput.

Setting binlog-group-commit-sync-delay to 3000 (3 ms) and --slave-parallel-type=LOGICAL_CLOCK resulted in a huge improvement in replication delay. Too bad I didn’t learn about this sooner!

UPDATE: We wrote a follow-up blog post on our company site with some more details (and pictures!): “Solving MySQL Replication Lag with LOGICAL_CLOCK and Calibrated Delay”