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From Paul Davis <>
Subject Re: Unique instance IDs?
Date Mon, 12 Dec 2011 02:52:06 GMT
On Sun, Dec 11, 2011 at 7:19 PM, Randall Leeds <> wrote:
> On Sun, Dec 11, 2011 at 04:00, Alex Besogonov <> wrote:
>> I wonder, why there are no unique instance IDs in CouchDB? I'm
>> thinking about 'the central server replicates 2000000 documents to a
>> million of clients' scenario.
>> Right now it's not possible to make replication on the 'big central
>> server' side to be stateless, because the other side tries to write
>> replication document which is later used to establish common ancestry.
>> Server can ignore/discard it, but then during the next replication
>> client would just have to replicate all the changes again. Of course,
>> the results would be consistent in any case but quite a lot of
>> additional traffic might be required.
>> It should be simple to assign each instance a unique ID (computed
>> using UUID and the set of applied replication filters) and use it to
>> establish common replication history. It can even be compatible with
>> the way the current replication system works and basically the only
>> visible change should be the addition of UUID to database info.
>> Or am I missing something?
> I proposed UUIDs for databases a long, long time ago and it's come up
> a few times since. If the UUID is database-level, then storing it with
> the database is dangerous -- copying a database file would result in
> two CouchDB's hosting "the same" (but really different) databases. If
> the UUID is host-level, then this reduces to a re-invention of DNS. In
> other words, all DBs should already be uniquely identified by their
> URLs.
> Regarding your second paragraph, replicating couches _could_ try to
> establish common ancestry only by examining a local checkpoint of
> replication, but the couch replicator looks for the log on both
> couches to ensure that the database hasn't been deleted+recreated nor
> has it crashed before certain replicated changes hit disk, as a double
> check that the sequence numbers have the expected shared meaning.
> It seems like maybe you're wondering about whether couch could
> generate snapshot ids that are more meaningful than the sequence
> number. For a single pair of couches the host-db-seq combo is enough
> information to replicate effectively. When there's more hosts involved
> we can talk about more powerful checkpoint ids that would be shareable
> or resolvable to find common ancestry between more than two
> replicating hosts to speed up those scenarios. My intuition always
> says that this leads to hash trees, but I haven't thought about it
> deeply enough to fully conceive of what this accomplishes or how it
> would work.
> -R

I did have a shimmering of an idea for this awhile back. Basically we
do both host and db uuid's and the information we use to identifiy
replications is a hash of the concatenation.

That way we can copy db's around and not muck with things as well as
error out a bit. Though this still has a bit of an issue if we copy
the host uuid around as well. Though we migth be able to look for a
mac address or something and then fail to boot if the check fails
(with an optional override if someone changes a nic).

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