Changes to Lucene are only persisted to disk during a Lucene commit, which is a relatively heavy operation and so cannot be performed after every index or delete operation. Changes that happen after one commit and before another will be lost in the event of process exit or HW failure.
To prevent this data loss, each shard has a transaction log or write ahead log associated with it. Any index or delete operation is written to the translog after being processed by the internal Lucene index.
In the event of a crash, recent transactions can be replayed from the transaction log when the shard recovers.
An Elasticsearch flush is the process of performing a Lucene commit and starting a new translog. It is done automatically in the background in order to make sure the transaction log doesn’t grow too large, which would make replaying its operations take a considerable amount of time during recovery. It is also exposed through an API, though its rarely needed to be performed manually.
The following dynamically updatable settings control how often the in-memory buffer is flushed to disk:
- Once the translog hits this size, a flush will happen. Defaults to
- After how many operations to flush. Defaults to
- How long to wait before triggering a flush regardless of translog size. Defaults to
- How often to check if a flush is needed, randomized between the interval value
and 2x the interval value. Defaults to
The data in the transaction log is only persisted to disk when the translog is
fsynced and committed. In the event of hardware failure, any data written
since the previous translog commit will be lost.
By default, Elasticsearch commits the translog at the end of every index, delete,
update, or bulk request. In fact, Elasticsearch
will only report success of an index, delete, update, or bulk request to the
client after the transaction log has been successfully
fsynced and committed
on the primary and on every allocated replica.
The following static per-index setting controls sync frequency of the translog:
- How often the translog is
fsynced to disk and committed, regardless of write operations. Defaults to
The following dynamically updatable per-index settings control the behaviour of the transaction log:
Whether or not to
fsyncand commit the translog after every index, delete, update, or bulk request. This setting accepts the following parameters:
fsyncand commit after every request. In the event of hardware failure, all acknowledged writes will already have been committed to disk.
fsyncand commit in the background every
sync_interval. In the event of hardware failure, all acknowledged writes since the last automatic commit will be discarded.
Whether to buffer writes to the transaction log in memory or not. This setting accepts the following parameters:
- (default) Translog writes first go to a 64kB buffer in memory,
and are only written to the disk when the buffer is full, or when an
fsyncis triggered by a write request or the
- Translog writes are written to the file system immediately, without
buffering. However, these writes will only be persisted to disk when an
fsyncand commit is triggered by a write request or the