Sign InTry Free

Titan Configuration

This document introduces how to enable and disable Titan using the corresponding configuration items, data conversion mechanism, the relevant parameters, and the Level Merge feature.

Enable Titan

Titan is compatible with RocksDB, so you can directly enable Titan on the existing TiKV instances that use RocksDB. You can use one of the following methods to enable Titan:

  • Method 1: If you have deployed the cluster using TiUP, you can execute the tiup cluster edit-config ${cluster-name} command and edit the TiKV configuration file as the following example shows:

    tikv: rocksdb.titan.enabled: true

    Reload the configuration and TiKV will be rolling restarted dynamically:

    tiup cluster reload ${cluster-name} -R tikv

    For the detailed command, see Modify the configuration using TiUP.

  • Method 2: Directly edit the TiKV configuration file to enable Titan (NOT recommended for the production environment).

    [rocksdb.titan] enabled = true
  • Method 3: Edit the ${cluster_name}/tidb-cluster.yaml configuration file for TiDB Operator:

    spec: tikv: ## Base image of the component baseImage: pingcap/tikv ## tikv-server configuration ## Ref: config: | log-level = "info" [rocksdb] [rocksdb.titan] enabled = true

    Apply the configuration to trigger an online rolling restart of the TiDB cluster for the changes to take effect:

    kubectl apply -f ${cluster_name} -n ${namespace}

    For more information, refer to Configuring a TiDB Cluster in Kubernetes.

Data conversion

After Titan is enabled, the existing data stored in RocksDB is not immediately moved to the Titan engine. As new data is written to the TiKV and RocksDB performs compaction, the values are progressively separated from keys and written to Titan. Similarly, the data restored through BR snapshot/log, the data converted during scaling, or the data imported by TiDB Lightning Physical Import Mode, is not written directly into Titan. As compaction proceeds, the large values exceeding the default value (32KB) of min-blob-size in the processed SST files are separated into Titan. You can monitor the size of files stored in Titan by observing the TiKV Details > Titan kv > blob file size panel to estimate the data size.

If you want to speed up the writing process, you can use tikv-ctl to compact data of the whole TiKV cluster manually. For details, see manual compaction. The data access is continuous during the conversion from RocksDB to Titan, therefore the block cache of RocksDB significantly accelerates the data conversion process. In the test, by using tikv-ctl, a volume of 670 GiB TiKV data can be converted to Titan in one hour.

Note that the values in Titan Blob files are not continuous, and Titan's cache is at the value level, so the Blob Cache does not help during compaction. The conversion speed from Titan to RocksDB is an order of magnitude slower than that from RocksDB to Titan. In the test, it takes 12 hours to convert a volume of 800 GiB Titan data on a TiKV node to RocksDB by tikv-ctl in a full compaction.


By properly configuring Titan parameters, you can effectively improve database performance and resource utilization. This section introduces some key parameters you can use.


You can use min-blob-size to set the threshold for the value size to determine which data is stored in RocksDB and which in Titan's blob files. According to the test, 32KB is an appropriate threshold. It ensures that Titan's performance does not regress compared with RocksDB. However, in many scenarios, this value is not optimal. It is recommended that you refer to Impact of min-blob-size on performance to choose an appropriate value. If you want to further improve write performance and can tolerate scan performance regression, you can set it to the minimum value 1KB.

blob-file-compression and zstd-dict-size

You can use blob-file-compression to specify the compression algorithm used for values in Titan. You can also enable the zstd dictionary compression through zstd-dict-size to improve the compression rate.


You can use blob-cache-size to control the cache size of values in Titan. Larger cache size means higher read performance of Titan. However, too large a cache size causes Out of Memory (OOM) issues.

It is recommended to set the value of storage.block-cache.capacity to the store size minus the blob file size, and set blob-cache-size to memory size * 50% - block cache size according to the monitoring metrics when the database is running stably. This maximizes the blob cache size when the block cache is large enough for the whole RocksDB engine.

discardable-ratio and max-background-gc

The discardable-ratio parameter and max-background-gc parameter significantly impact Titan's read performance and garbage collection process.

When the ratio of obsolete data (the corresponding key has been updated or deleted) in a blob file exceeds the threshold set by discardable-ratio, Titan GC is triggered. Reducing this threshold can reduce space amplification but can cause more frequent Titan GC. Increasing this value can reduce Titan GC, I/O bandwidth, and CPU consumption, but increase disk space usage.

If you observe that the Titan GC thread is in full load for a long time from TiKV Details - Thread CPU - RocksDB CPU, consider adjusting max-background-gc to increase the Titan GC thread pool size.


You can adjust rate-bytes-per-sec to limit the I/O rate of RocksDB compaction, reducing its impact on foreground read and write performance during high traffic.

shared-blob-cache (New in v8.0.0)

You can control whether to enable the shared cache for Titan blob files and RocksDB block files through shared-blob-cache. The default value is true. When the shared cache is enabled, block files have higher priority. This means that TiKV prioritizes meeting the cache needs of block files and then uses the remaining cache for blob files.

Titan configuration example

The following is an example of the Titan configuration file. You can either use TiUP to modify the configuration or configure a TiDB cluster on Kubernetes.

[rocksdb] rate-bytes-per-sec = 0 [rocksdb.titan] enabled = true max-background-gc = 1 [rocksdb.defaultcf.titan] min-blob-size = "32KB" blob-file-compression = "zstd" zstd-dict-size = "16KB" discardable-ratio = 0.5 blob-run-mode = "normal" level-merge = false

Disable Titan

To disable Titan, you can configure the rocksdb.defaultcf.titan.blob-run-mode option. The optional values for blob-run-mode are as follows:

  • When the option is set to normal, Titan performs read and write operations normally.
  • When the option is set to read-only, all newly written values are written into RocksDB, regardless of the value size.
  • When the option is set to fallback, all newly written values are written into RocksDB, regardless of the value size. Also, all compacted values stored in the Titan blob file are automatically moved back to RocksDB.

To fully disable Titan for all existing and future data, you can follow these steps. Note that you can skip Step 2 because it greatly impacts online traffic performance. In fact even without Step 2, the data compaction consumes extra I/O and CPU resources when it moves data from Titan to RocksDB, and performance will degrade (sometimes as much as 50%) when TiKV I/O or CPU resources are limited.

  1. Update the configuration of the TiKV nodes you wish to disable Titan for. You can update configuration in two methods:

    • Execute tiup cluster edit-config, edit the configuration file, and execute tiup cluster reload -R tikv.

    • Manually update the configuration file and restart TiKV.

      [rocksdb.defaultcf.titan] blob-run-mode = "fallback" discardable-ratio = 1.0
  2. (Optional) Perform a full compaction using tikv-ctl. This process will consume a large amount of I/O and CPU resources.

    tikv-ctl --pd <PD_ADDR> compact-cluster --bottommost force
  3. After the compaction is finished, wait for the Blob file count metrics under TiKV-Details/Titan - kv to decrease to 0.

  4. Update the configuration of these TiKV nodes to disable Titan.

    [rocksdb.titan] enabled = false

Level Merge (experimental)

In TiKV 4.0, Level Merge, a new algorithm, is introduced to improve the performance of range query and to reduce the impact of Titan GC on the foreground write operations. You can enable Level Merge using the following option:

[rocksdb.defaultcf.titan] level-merge = true

Enabling Level Merge has the following benefits:

  • Greatly improve the performance of Titan range query.
  • Reduce the impact of Titan GC on the foreground write operations and improve write performance.
  • Reduce space amplification of Titan and the disk usage (compared to the disk usage with the default configuration).

Accordingly, the write amplification with Level Merge enabled is slightly higher than that of Titan but is still lower than that of the native RocksDB.

Was this page helpful?

Download PDFRequest docs changesAsk questions on Discord
One-stop & interactive experience of TiDB's capabilities WITHOUT registration.
TiDB Dedicated
TiDB Serverless
Get Demo
Get Started
© 2024 PingCAP. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy.