Scale-in and Scale-out

Design goals

When the storage capacity of the cluster is insufficient or the read/write throughput is too high, it is necessary to scale out the capacity by adding more nodes. On the contrary, scaling in can be achieved by reducing the number of nodes.

The scaling in and scaling out described in this document are for replica servers.

When scale out or scale in the cluster, it’s necessary to consider:

  • Do not stop Pegasus service
  • Try not to affect availability as much as possible
  • Minimize unnecessary data transmission as much as possible

Scale out steps

The scale out steps are relatively simple:

  • To add multiple servers, start the replica server process on these newly added servers. After starting, the replica server will actively contact the meta server and join the node list.
  • When the meta level is steady, load balancing is not performed. Therefore, when using the nodes -d command in the shell tool, you can see that the status of the newly added node is in ALIVE status, but the count of replicas served by the node is 0.
  • Set through shell tool set_meta_level lively to start load balancing, and the meta server will gradually migrate some replicas to the newly added node.
  • Observe the servicing replicas through the nodes -d command of the shell tool. After reaching balanced status, use the set_meta_level steady to turn off load balancing and complete the scale out process.

Scale in steps

There are more factors to consider when scaling in compared to scaling out, mainly including:

  • If multiple nodes need to be removed from the cluster at the same time, they need to be removed one by one, and wait for one to be removed completely before removing another to avoid affecting the availability of the cluster and data integrity.
  • If multiple nodes need to be removed from the cluster at the same time, when removing one node, it is advisable to avoid the meta server assigning replicas to other nodes that are about to be removed when curing replicas. Otherwise, when removing other nodes, it has to cure the replicas again, resulting in unnecessary cross node data transmission. Black_list is provided for this aim.

Note: When the node has been removed, its status on the meta server will change to UNALIVE, which may cause the proportion of ALIVE nodes to be lower than the configuration value of node_live_percentage_threshold_for_update, then the meta server will automatically downgrade to the freezed state, then all reconfiguration operations (i.e. reassigning replicas operations) cannot be performed, and the scaling in process cannot be performed. So before scaling in, it is necessary to calculate whether the situation would be caused. If so, modify the configuration of the meta server and set the node_live_percentage_threshold_for_update to low enough to ensure that the meta server does not automatically downgrade to the freezed state during the scaling in process.

  • Calculate the proportion of ALIVE nodes after scaling in, if it is lower than configuration value of node_live_percentage_threshold_for_update, then use remote commands to update the value to be small enough.
    >>> remote_command -t meta-server meta.live_percentage $percentage

    percentage is an integer with a value range of [0, 100].

  • Using shell tools command set_meta_level to set the cluster to steady mode and disable the rebalance to avoid unnecessary replica migration.
    >>> set_meta_level steady
  • Use shell tools to send remote commands to the meta server to update assign_secondary_black_list:
    >>> remote_command -t meta-server $address_list

    address_list is the ip:port list of nodes to be removed, separated by commas.

  • Use shell tools to set assign_delay_ms to 10, to make it possible to cure replicas immediately on other alive nodes after the node has been removed:
    >>> remote_command -t meta-server 10
  • Remove replica servers one by one. The removing steps for a single replica server:
    • Kill the replica server process that you want to remove.
    • Use shell tools command ls -d to check the cluster status, wait for all partitions to be fully recovered to health status (all tables have 0 unhealthy partition counts).
    • Clean up the data on this node to free up disk space.
  • Restart the meta server:
    • Restarting the meta server is to clear the records of the removed nodes (i.e. no longer displaying removed nodes in the nodes -d command of the shell tools), reset the modified configuration items mentioned above.


The above steps are completed by the script scripts/

However, this script cannot be used directly because it relies on the minos deployment tool.

Nodes migration

The nodes migration of the cluster can be achieved by first scaling out and then scaling in. To minimize unnecessary data transmission, it is recommended to follow the following steps:

  • Scaling out: Add the new servers to the cluster, but temporarily do not perform rebalance after joining.
  • Scaling in: Remove the old servers through the Scale in steps above.
  • Perform rebalance.

Other configurations

  • Limit the migration speed. It can be achieved by limiting the read and write bandwidth per disk to avoid the performance impact caused by high disk IO throughput.
    >>> remote_command -t replica-server nfs.max_send_rate_megabytes_per_disk $rate
    >>> remote_command -t replica-server nfs.max_copy_rate_megabytes_per_disk $rate

    The unit of rate is MB/s.

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Apache Pegasus is an effort undergoing incubation at The Apache Software Foundation (ASF), sponsored by the Apache Incubator. Incubation is required of all newly accepted projects until a further review indicates that the infrastructure, communications, and decision making process have stabilized in a manner consistent with other successful ASF projects. While incubation status is not necessarily a reflection of the completeness or stability of the code, it does indicate that the project has yet to be fully endorsed by the ASF.

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