Thanks Stefan for the answers above. These are really helpful.

I have a few followup questions:
  1. I see my savepoints are created in a folder, which has a _metadata file and another file. Looking at the code it seems like the metadata file contains tasks states, operator state and master states. What is the purpose of the other file in the savepoint folder? My guess is it should be a checkpoint file? 
  2. I am planning to use s3 as my state backend, so want to ensure that application restarts are not affected by read-after-write consistency of s3( if I use s3 as a savepoint backend). I am curious how flink restores data from the _metadata file, and the other file? Does the _metadata file contain path to these other files? or would it do a listing on the s3 folder?

Please let me know,


On Tue, Sep 26, 2017 at 2:36 AM, Stefan Richter <> wrote:

I have answered your questions inline:
  1. It seems to me that checkpoints can be treated as flink internal recovery mechanism, and savepoints act more as user-defined recovery points. Would that be a correct assumption?
You could see it that way, but I would describe savepoints more as user-defined *restart* points than *recovery* points. Please take a look at my answers in this thread, because they cover most of your question:

  1. While cancelling an application with -s option, it specifies the savepoint location. Is there a way during application startup to identify the last know savepoint from a folder by itself, and restart from there. Since I am saving my savepoints on s3, I want to avoid issues arising from ls command on s3 due to read-after-write consistency of s3.
I don’t think that this feature exists, you have to specify the savepoint.

  1. Suppose my application has a checkpoint at point t1, and say i cancel this application sometime in future before the next available checkpoint( say t1+x). If I start the application without specifying the savepoint, it will start from the last known checkpoint(at t1), which wont have the application state saved, since I had cancelled the application. Would this is a correct assumption?
If you restart a canceled application it will not consider checkpoints. They are only considered in recovery on failure. You need to specify a savepoint or externalized checkpoint for restarts to make explicit that you intend to restart a job, and not to run a new instance of the job.

  1. Would using ExternalizedCheckpointCleanup.RETAIN_ON_CANCELLATION be same as manually saving regular savepoints? 
Not the same, because checkpoints and savepoints are different in certain aspects, but both methods leave you with something that survives job cancelation and can be used to restart from a certain state.