Shards Allocationedit

Shards allocation is the process of allocating shards to nodes. This can happen during initial recovery, replica allocation, rebalancing, or handling nodes being added or removed.

The following settings may be used:

Allow to control when rebalancing will happen based on the total state of all the indices shards in the cluster. always, indices_primaries_active, and indices_all_active are allowed, defaulting to indices_all_active to reduce chatter during initial recovery.
Allow to control how many concurrent rebalancing of shards are allowed cluster wide, and default it to 2.
Allow to control specifically the number of initial recoveries of primaries that are allowed per node. Since most times local gateway is used, those should be fast and we can handle more of those per node without creating load. Defaults to 4.
How many concurrent recoveries are allowed to happen on a node. Defaults to 2.

Controls shard allocation for all indices, by allowing specific kinds of shard to be allocated.

Can be set to:

  • all - (default) Allows shard allocation for all kinds of shards.
  • primaries - Allows shard allocation only for primary shards.
  • new_primaries - Allows shard allocation only for primary shards for new indices.
  • none - No shard allocations of any kind are allowed for all indices.
Allows to perform a check to prevent allocation of multiple instances of the same shard on a single host, based on host name and host address. Defaults to false, meaning that no check is performed by default. This setting only applies if multiple nodes are started on the same machine.
The number of streams to open (on a node level) to recover a shard from a peer shard. Defaults to 3.
The number of streams to open (on a node level) for small files (under 5mb) to recover a shard from a peer shard. Defaults to 2.

Shard Allocation Awarenessedit

Cluster allocation awareness allows to configure shard and replicas allocation across generic attributes associated the nodes. Lets explain it through an example:

Assume we have several racks. When we start a node, we can configure an attribute called rack_id (any attribute name works), for example, here is a sample config:

node.rack_id: rack_one

The above sets an attribute called rack_id for the relevant node with a value of rack_one. Now, we need to configure the rack_id attribute as one of the awareness allocation attributes (set it on all (master eligible) nodes config):

cluster.routing.allocation.awareness.attributes: rack_id

The above will mean that the rack_id attribute will be used to do awareness based allocation of shard and its replicas. For example, lets say we start 2 nodes with node.rack_id set to rack_one, and deploy a single index with 5 shards and 1 replica. The index will be fully deployed on the current nodes (5 shards and 1 replica each, total of 10 shards).

Now, if we start two more nodes, with node.rack_id set to rack_two, shards will relocate to even the number of shards across the nodes, but, a shard and its replica will not be allocated in the same rack_id value. The only exception to the later is when the cluster is left with less rack_id values then shard copies. If your cluster spans two racks and one of them is lost, it is still worth while to spread replicas across the nodes in the rack that was left (see Forced Awareness for an alternative).

The awareness attributes can hold several values, for example:

cluster.routing.allocation.awareness.attributes: rack_id,zone

NOTE: When using awareness attributes, shards will not be allocated to nodes that don’t have values set for those attributes.

Forced Awarenessedit

Sometimes, we know in advance the number of values an awareness attribute can have, and more over, we would like never to have more replicas than needed allocated on a specific group of nodes with the same awareness attribute value. For that, we can force awareness on specific attributes.

For example, lets say we have an awareness attribute called zone, and we know we are going to have two zones, zone1 and zone2. Here is how we can force awareness on a node: zone1,zone2
cluster.routing.allocation.awareness.attributes: zone

Now, lets say we start 2 nodes with set to zone1 and create an index with 5 shards and 1 replica. The index will be created, but only 5 shards will be allocated (with no replicas). Only when we start more shards with set to zone2 will the replicas be allocated.

Automatic Preference When Searching / GETingedit

When executing a search, or doing a get, the node receiving the request will prefer to execute the request on shards that exists on nodes that have the same attribute values as the executing node. This only happens when the cluster.routing.allocation.awareness.attributes setting has been set to a value.

Realtime Settings Updateedit

The settings can be updated using the cluster update settings API on a live cluster.

Shard Allocation Filteringedit

Allow to control allocation of indices on nodes based on include/exclude filters. The filters can be set both on the index level and on the cluster level. Lets start with an example of setting it on the cluster level:

Lets say we have 4 nodes, each has specific attribute called tag associated with it (the name of the attribute can be any name). Each node has a specific value associated with tag. Node 1 has a setting node.tag: value1, Node 2 a setting of node.tag: value2, and so on.

We can create an index that will only deploy on nodes that have tag set to value1 and value2 by setting index.routing.allocation.include.tag to value1,value2. For example:

curl -XPUT localhost:9200/test/_settings -d '{
      "index.routing.allocation.include.tag" : "value1,value2"

On the other hand, we can create an index that will be deployed on all nodes except for nodes with a tag of value value3 by setting index.routing.allocation.exclude.tag to value3. For example:

curl -XPUT localhost:9200/test/_settings -d '{
      "index.routing.allocation.exclude.tag" : "value3"

index.routing.allocation.require.* can be used to specify a number of rules, all of which MUST match in order for a shard to be allocated to a node. This is in contrast to include which will include a node if ANY rule matches.

The include, exclude and require values can have generic simple matching wildcards, for example, value1*. A special attribute name called _ip can be used to match on node ip values. In addition _host attribute can be used to match on either the node’s hostname or its ip address. Similarly _name and _id attributes can be used to match on node name and node id accordingly.

Obviously a node can have several attributes associated with it, and both the attribute name and value are controlled in the setting. For example, here is a sample of several node configurations:

node.group1: group1_value1
node.group2: group2_value4

In the same manner, include, exclude and require can work against several attributes, for example:

curl -XPUT localhost:9200/test/_settings -d '{
    "index.routing.allocation.include.group1" : "xxx",
    "index.routing.allocation.include.group2" : "yyy",
    "index.routing.allocation.exclude.group3" : "zzz",
    "index.routing.allocation.require.group4" : "aaa"

The provided settings can also be updated in real time using the update settings API, allowing to "move" indices (shards) around in realtime.

Cluster wide filtering can also be defined, and be updated in real time using the cluster update settings API. This setting can come in handy for things like decommissioning nodes (even if the replica count is set to 0). Here is a sample of how to decommission a node based on _ip address:

curl -XPUT localhost:9200/_cluster/settings -d '{
    "transient" : {
        "cluster.routing.allocation.exclude._ip" : ""