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Multi-Leader Replication

So far in this chapter we have only considered replication architectures using a single leader. Although that is a common approach, there are interesting alternatives.

Leader-based replication has one major downside: there is only one leader, and all writes must go through it.[1] If you can’t connect to the leader for any reason, for example due to a network interruption between you and the leader, you can’t write to the database.

A natural extension of the leader-based replication model is to allow more than one node to accept writes. Replication still happens in the same way: each node that processes a write must forward that data change to all the other nodes. We call this a multi-leader configuration (also known as master-master or active/active replication). In this setup, each leader simultaneously acts as a follower to the other leaders.

  • [1] If the database is partitioned (see Chapter 6), each partition has one leader. Different partitions may havetheir leaders on different nodes, but each partition must nevertheless have one leader node.
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