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  1. Kafka
  2. KAFKA-9876 Implement Raft Protocol for Metadata Quorum
  3. KAFKA-12181

Loosen monotonic fetch offset validation by raft leader



    • Sub-task
    • Status: Resolved
    • Major
    • Resolution: Fixed
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      Currently in the Raft's leader implementation, we validate that follower fetch offsets increase monotonically. This protects the guarantees that Raft provides since a non-monotonic update means that the follower has lost committed data, which may or may not result in data loss. It depends whether the update also causes a non-monotonic update to the high watermark. If the fetch is from an observer, no harm done since observers do not affect the high watermark. If the fetch is from a voter and a majority of nodes (excluding the fetcher) have offsets larger than or equal to the high watermark, also no harm done. It's easy to check for these cases and log a warning instead of raising an error.

      The question then is what to do if we get a voter fetch which does cause the high watermark to regress? The problem is that there are some scenarios where data loss might be unavoidable. For example, a follower's disk might become corrupt and ultimately get replaced. Often the damage is already done by the time we get the Fetch request with the non-monotonic offset, so the stricter validation in fact just prevents recovery.

      It's worth noting also that the stricter validation by the leader cannot be relied on to detect data loss. It could be the case that a recovered voter restarts in the middle of an election. There is no general way that I'm aware of that lets us detect when a voter has lost previously committed data.

      With all of this mind, my conclusion is that it makes sense to loosen the validation in fetches. The leader can still ensure that its high watermark does not go backwards and we can still log a warning, but it should not prevent replicas from catching up after hard failures with disk state loss.


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              hachikuji Jason Gustafson
              hachikuji Jason Gustafson
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