Counters in Clusters
This section describes Counter behaviors in a Cluster.
- How Counters are modified and replicated.
- How Counters are allowed to be modified concurrently without conflict.
- In which rare cases do Counter modifications "race" against each other.
In this page:
Value Modification Flow
Each node manages its own portion of a Counter's total value, independently from other nodes.
In the following 3-nodes-cluster example:
- The total value of the "ProductLikes" Counter is 80.
- Each node independently manages a portion of this total.
Counter Name Node Tag Counter Value on this node ProductLikes A 42 ProductLikes B 28 ProductLikes C 10
When a client modifies a Counter's value, only the portion of the Counter's value on the node this client writes to is modified. The Counter's values on the other nodes do not change.
In the following example:
- A client has used node B to increment ProductLikes by 5.
- Only node B's portion of the value is incremented.
Counter Name Node Tag Counter Value per node ProductLikes A 42 ProductLikes B 33 ProductLikes C 10
Value Replication Flow
After modifying the Counter's value locally, a node replicates the new value to all other nodes.
This way each node is always kept updated with the values set for each Counter by all nodes.
In the following example:
ProductLikesCounter is incremented by 2 on node C.
- Node C sends the new node-C value (12) to nodes A and B.
- All nodes are updated with the same three values.
Counter Name Node Tag Counter Value per node ProductLikes A 42 ProductLikes B 33 ProductLikes C 12
Note that only the Counter's value is replicated.
The document itself hasn't been modified and needs no replication.
Server Reply to Client Request
When a client requests a Counter's value, it gets a single accumulated sum.
In the following example, a request for ProductLikes's value will yield 85.
Counter Name Node Tag Counter Value per node ProductLikes A 42 ProductLikes B 33 ProductLikes C 10 Total Value: 42+33+10 = 85
Counter Name modification
Replication due to a Counter Name modification:
- As described in the Overview section, creating or deleting a Counter triggers a document change.
- As a result, the whole document, including the new Counter value, is replicated to all nodes in the database group.
Existing Counters aren't replicated, since they already exist on the other nodes and their values haven't changed.
The same Counter can be concurrently modified by multiple clients.
As described in the Counters in a multi-node cluster section, each node manages its own portion of a Counter's value.
As a result:
- Clients can modify the same Counter concurrently.
- Nodes do not need to coordinate Counter modification with each other.
Concurrent value modification cannot cause conflicts.
- Find more about Counters and conflicts in the Overview section.
When Increment and
Delete are called concurrently,
their order of execution is unknown and the outcome becomes uncertain.
We can identify this behavior in two different scenarios:
- In a single-server system
- In a multi-node cluster
In a Single-Server System
Different clients may simultaneously request to Delete and Increment the same Counter.
The result depends upon the server's order of execution.
- If Delete is executed last, the Counter will be permanently deleted.
- If Delete is executed before Increment, the Counter will be deleted but then re-created with the value of the Increment action as its initial value.
In a Multi-Node Cluster
Different nodes may concurrently Delete and Increment the same Counter.
- It is considered a conflict, that we resolve in favor of the increment action.
- The incrementing node will simply ignore the delete action.
- The deleting node will delete the Counter, but re-insert it upon the incoming replication.