Understanding Amazon DocumentDB Cluster Fault Tolerance - Amazon DocumentDB

Understanding Amazon DocumentDB Cluster Fault Tolerance

Amazon DocumentDB clusters are fault tolerant by design. Each cluster's volume spans multiple Availability Zones in a single AWS Region, and each Availability Zone contains a copy of the cluster's volume data. This functionality means that your cluster can tolerate an Availability Zone failure without any loss of data and only a brief interruption of service.

If the primary instance in a cluster fails, Amazon DocumentDB automatically fails over to a new primary instance in one of two ways:

  • By promoting an existing Amazon DocumentDB replica to the new primary instance and then creating a replacement for the promoted replica.

  • By creating a new primary instance.

If the cluster has one or more Amazon DocumentDB replicas, an Amazon DocumentDB replica is promoted to the primary instance during a failure event. A failure event results in a brief interruption, during which read and write operations fail with an exception. However, service is typically restored in less than 120 seconds, and often less than 60 seconds. To increase the availability of your cluster, we recommend that you create at least one or more Amazon DocumentDB replicas in two or more different Availability Zones.

You can customize the order in which your Amazon DocumentDB replicas are promoted to the primary instance after a failure by assigning each replica a priority. Priorities range from 0 for the highest priority to 15 for the lowest priority. If the primary instance fails, the Amazon DocumentDB replica with the highest priority is promoted to the new primary instance. You can modify the priority of an Amazon DocumentDB replica at any time. Modifying the priority doesn't trigger a failover. You can use the modify-db-instance operation with the --promotion-tier parameter. For more information about customizing the failover priority of an instance, see Amazon DocumentDB Failover.

More than one Amazon DocumentDB replica can share the same priority, resulting in promotion tiers. If two or more Amazon DocumentDB replicas share the same priority, then the replica that is largest in size is promoted to primary. If two or more Amazon DocumentDB replicas share the same priority and size, an arbitrary replica in the same promotion tier is promoted.

If the cluster doesn't contain any Amazon DocumentDB replicas, the primary instance is re-created during a failure event. A failure event results in an interruption, during which read and write operations fail with an exception. Service is restored when the new primary instance is created, which typically takes less than 10 minutes. Promoting an Amazon DocumentDB replica to the primary instance is much faster than creating a new primary instance.