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TiCDC Overview

TiCDC is a tool used for replicating incremental data of TiDB. Specifically, TiCDC pulls TiKV change logs, sorts captured data, and exports row-based incremental data to downstream databases.

Usage scenarios

  • Provides data high availability and disaster recovery solutions for multiple TiDB clusters, ensuring eventual data consistency between primary and secondary clusters in case of disaster.
  • Replicates real-time data changes to homogeneous systems so as to provide data sources for various scenarios such as monitoring, caching, global indexing, data analysis, and primary-secondary replication between heterogeneous databases.

Major features

Key capabilities

  • Replicate incremental data from one TiDB cluster to another TiDB cluster with second-level RPO and minute-level RTO.
  • Replicate incremental data from a TiDB cluster to a MySQL database (or other MySQL-compatible databases) with low latency.
  • Replicate incremental data from a TiDB cluster to a Kafka cluster. The recommended data format includes Canal-JSON and Avro.
  • Replicate tables with the ability to filter databases, tables, DMLs, and DDLs.
  • Be highly available with no single point of failure. Supports dynamically adding and deleting TiCDC nodes.
  • Support cluster management through Open API, including querying task status, dynamically modifying task configuration, and creating or deleting tasks.

Replication order

  • For all DDL or DML statements, TiCDC outputs them at least once.

  • When the TiKV or TiCDC cluster encounters a failure, TiCDC might send the same DDL/DML statement repeatedly. For duplicated DDL/DML statements:

    • MySQL sink can execute DDL statements repeatedly. For DDL statements that can be executed repeatedly in the downstream, such as truncate table, the statement is executed successfully. For those that cannot be executed repeatedly, such as create table, the execution fails, and TiCDC ignores the error and continues the replication.
    • Kafka sink
      • Kafka sink provides different strategies for data distribution. You can distribute data to different Kafka partitions based on the table, primary key, or timestamp. This ensures that the updated data of a row is sent to the same partition in order.
      • All these distribution strategies send Resolved TS messages to all topics and partitions periodically. This indicates that all messages earlier than the Resolved TS have been sent to the topics and partitions. The Kafka consumer can use the Resolved TS to sort the messages received.
      • Kafka sink sends duplicated messages sometimes, but these duplicated messages do not affect the constraints of Resolved Ts. For example, if a changefeed is paused and then resumed, Kafka sink might send msg1, msg2, msg3, msg2, and msg3 in order. You can filter the duplicated messages from Kafka consumers.

Replication consistency

  • MySQL sink

    • TiCDC enables redo log to ensure eventual consistency of data replication.

    • TiCDC ensures that the order of single-row updates is consistent with that in the upstream.

    • TiCDC does not ensure that the execution order of downstream transactions is the same as that of upstream transactions.

TiCDC architecture

As an incremental data replication tool for TiDB, TiCDC is highly available through PD's etcd. The replication process is as follows:

  1. Multiple TiCDC processes pull data changes from TiKV nodes.
  2. Data changes pulled from TiKV are sorted and merged internally.
  3. Data changes are replicated to multiple downstream systems through multiple replication tasks (changefeeds).

The architecture of TiCDC is shown in the following figure:

TiCDC architecture

The components in the preceding architecture diagram are described as follows:

  • TiKV Server: TiKV nodes in a TiDB cluster. When data changes, TiKV nodes send the changes as change logs (KV change logs) to TiCDC nodes. If TiCDC nodes find the change logs not continuous, they will actively request the TiKV nodes to provide change logs.
  • TiCDC: TiCDC nodes where the TiCDC processes run. Each node runs a TiCDC process. Each process pulls data changes from one or more tables in TiKV nodes, and replicates the changes to the downstream system through the sink component.
  • PD: The scheduling module in a TiDB cluster. This module is in charge of scheduling cluster data and usually consists of three PD nodes. PD provides high availability through the etcd cluster. In the etcd cluster, TiCDC stores its metadata, such as node status information and changefeed configurations.

As shown in the preceding architecture diagram, TiCDC supports replicating data to TiDB, MySQL, and Kafka databases.

Best practices

  • When you use TiCDC to replicate data between two TiDB clusters and the network latency between the clusters is higher than 100 ms, it is recommended that you deploy TiCDC in the region (IDC) where the downstream TiDB cluster is located.

  • TiCDC only replicates the table that has at least one valid index. A valid index is defined as follows:

    • A primary key (PRIMARY KEY) is a valid index.
    • A unique index (UNIQUE INDEX) is valid if every column of the index is explicitly defined as non-nullable (NOT NULL) and the index does not have the virtual generated column (VIRTUAL GENERATED COLUMNS).
  • To use TiCDC in disaster recovery scenarios, you need to configure redo log.

  • When you replicate a wide table with a large single row (greater than 1K), it is recommended that you configure per-table-memory-quota so that per-table-memory-quota = ticdcTotalMemory/(tableCount * 2). ticdcTotalMemory is the memory of a TiCDC node, and tableCount is the number of target tables that a TiCDC node replicates.

Unsupported scenarios

Currently, the following scenarios are not supported:

  • The TiKV cluster that uses RawKV alone.
  • The DDL operation CREATE SEQUENCE and the SEQUENCE function in TiDB. When the upstream TiDB uses SEQUENCE, TiCDC ignores SEQUENCE DDL operations/functions performed upstream. However, DML operations using SEQUENCE functions can be correctly replicated.

TiCDC only provides partial support for scenarios of large transactions in the upstream. For details, refer to Does TiCDC support replicating large transactions? Is there any risk?.

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