SUBSCRIBE SET - Start replication of Slony-I set
SUBSCRIBE SET (options);
This performs one of two actions:
· Initiates replication for a replication set
Causes a node (subscriber) to start replicating a set of tables
either from the origin or from another provider node, which must
itself already be be an active, forwarding subscriber.
The application tables contained in the set must already exist and
should ideally be empty. The current version of Slony-I will not
attempt to copy the schema of the set. The replication daemon will
start copying the current content of the set from the given provider
and then try to catch up with any update activity that happened
during that copy process. After successful subscription, the tables
are guarded on the subscriber, using triggers, against accidental
updates by the application.
If the tables on the subscriber are not empty, then the COPY SET
event (which is part of the subscription process) may wind up doing
more work than should be strictly necessary:
· It attempts to TRUNCATE the table, which will be efficient.
· If that fails (a foreign key relationship might prevent TRUNCATE
from working), it uses DELETE to delete all ‘old’ entries in the
· Those old entries clutter up the table until it is next VACUUMed
after the subscription process is complete
· The indices for the table will contain entries for the old, deleted
entries, which will slow the process of inserting new entries into
This operation can take a (potentially distinctly) non-zero period of
time. If you have a great deal of data in a particular set of tables,
it may take hours or even (if ‘a great deal’ indicates ‘tens or
hundreds gigabytes of data’) possibly multiple days for this event to
The SUBSCRIBE SET request will, nonetheless, return fairly much
immediately, even though the work, being handled by the COPY SET
event, is still in progress. If you need to set up subscriptions for
a set of cascading nodes, you will need to wait for each subscriber
to complete subscribing before submitting requests for subscriptions
that use that node as a provider. If you don’t, it won’t be a big
deal: slonik will check the node, discover that it is not yet an
active provider for the set, and report back:
Slony-I: provider 2 is not an active forwarding node for replication set 1
In effect, such subscription requests will be ignored until the
provider is ready.
· Revising subscription information for already-subscribed nodes.
If you need to revise subscription information for a node, you also
submit the new information using this command, and the new
configuration will be propagated throughout the replication network.
The normal reason to revise this information is that you want a node
to subscribe to a different provider node, or for a node to become a
‘forwarding’ subscriber so it may later become the provider for a
ID = ival
ID of the set to subscribe
PROVIDER = ival
Node ID of the data provider from which this node draws data.
RECEIVER = ival
Node ID of the new subscriber
FORWARD = boolean
Flag whether or not the new subscriber should store the log
information during replication to make it possible candidate for the
provider role for future nodes. Any node that is intended to be a
candidate for FAILOVER must have FORWARD = yes.
This uses “schemadocsubscribeset( integer, integer, integer, boolean )”
[not available as a man page].
SUBSCRIBE SET (
ID = 1,
PROVIDER = 1,
RECEIVER = 3,
FORWARD = YES
The FORWARD=boolean flag indicates whether the subscriber will store
log information in tables “sl_log_1” [not available as a man page] and
“sl_log_2” [not available as a man page]. Several implications fall
By storing the data in these tables on the subscriber, there is some
additional processing burden. If you are certain that you would never
want to SLONIK MOVE SET(7) or SLONIK FAILOVER(7) to a particular
subscriber, it is worth considering turning off forwarding on that
There is, however, a case where having forwarding turned off opens up a
perhaps-unexpected failure condition; a rule of thumb should be that
all nodes that connect directly to the origin should have forwarding
turned on. Supposing one such ‘direct subscriber’ has forwarding turned
off, it is possible for that node to be forcibly lost in a case of
failover. The problem comes if that node gets ahead of other nodes.
Let’s suppose that the origin, node 1 is at SYNC number 88901, a non-
forwarding node, node 2 has processed up to SYNC 88897, and other
forwarding nodes, 3, 4, and 5, have only processed data up to SYNC
88895. At that moment, the disk system on the origin node catches fire.
Node 2 has the data up to SYNC 88897, but there is no remaining node
that contains, in “sl_log_1” [not available as a man page] or
“sl_log_2” [not available as a man page], the data for SYNCs 88896 and
88897, so there is no way to bring nodes 3-5 up to that point.
At that point, there are only two choices: To drop node 2, because
there is no way to continue managing it, or to drop all nodes but 2,
because there is no way to bring them up to SYNC 88897.
That dilemma may be avoided by making sure that all nodes directly
subscribing to the origin have forwarding turned on.
· The fact that the request returns immediately even though the
subscription may take considerable time to complete may be a bit
Processing of the subscription involves two events; the
SUBSCRIBE_SET, initiated from the provider node, and an
ENABLE_SUBSCRIPTION, which is initiated on the subscriber node. This
means that SLONIK WAIT FOR EVENT(7) cannot directly wait for
completion of a subscription. If you need to wait for completion of a
subscription, then what you need to do instead is to submit a SLONIK
SYNC(7) request, and wait for that event.
· This command has two purposes; setting up subscriptions (which should
be unsurprising) and revising subscriptions, which isn’t so obvious
· New subscriptions are set up by using DELETE or TRUNCATE to empty the
table on a subscriber. If you created a new node by copying data from
an existing node, it might ‘seem intuitive’ that that data should be
kept; that is not the case - the former contents are discarded and
the node is populated from scratch.
This operation does not require acquiring any locks on the provider
On the subscriber node, it will have the effect of locking every table
in the replication set. In version 1.2, exclusive locks are acquired at
the beginning of the process; in earlier versions, locks were acquired
implicitly as activity mandated it, which left some risk of deadlock if
other applications could access the subscriber database at this time.
This command was introduced in Slony-I 1.0
12 May 2010 SLONIK SUBSCRIBE SET(7)