Failure Detection

Failure detection is the time it takes for the space and the client to detect that failure has occurred. Failure detection consists of two main phases:

  1. The backup space detects that the primary space is down, and takes over as primary.
  2. The client detects that the machine running the primary space is down. In case it is running against a clustered space, it routs its requests to the new primary space (the backup space that has just taken over as primary).

One of two main failure scenarios might occur:

  • Process failure or machine crash
  • Network cable disconnection

It takes GigaSpaces a few seconds to recover from process failure or a machine crash. In case of network cable disconnection, the client first has to detect that it has been disconnected from the machine running the space. Therefore, recovery time in this case is longer.

Reducing Failure Detection Time

Configuring failure detection time can help you handle extreme failure scenarios more effectively. For example, in extreme cases of network disconnection, you might want the failover process to take 2-3 seconds.

Here is a good combination for the space settings you may use to reduce the failover time - these should be used with a fast network:


The following should be specified as system properties:


Notice that low (1-2sec) TCP KeepAlive time settings should be specified to achieve failure detection times of less than 15 sec.

  • Linux: echo 2 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/tcp_keepalive_time (2sec)
  • Windows: Registry setting KeepAliveTime

By default, the maximum time it takes for a backup space to switch into a primary mode takes ~6-8 seconds. If you would like to reduce the failover time , you should use the following formula:

100 [ms] + (yield-time * 7) + invocation-delay + (retry-count * retry-timeout) = failover time
  • The 100 ms above refers a constant that is related to the network latency. You should reduce this number for a fast network.

Change the default settings only if you have a special need to reduce the failover duration. (~1 second). In this case:

  • the yield-time minimum value should be 200 ms.
  • Reducing the invocation-delay and retry-timeout values, and increasing the retry-count values might increase the chatting overhead between the spaces and the lookup service.

For additional tuning options please contact the GigaSpaces Support Team.

Failure Detection Parameters

Space-Side Parameters

Active Election Parameters

The following parameters in the cluster schema active election block regard failure detection and recovery:

Parameter Parameter Description Default Value Unit
cluster-config.groups.group.fail-over-policy.active-election.yield-time This parameter allows you to configure the time it takes to yield to other participants between every election phase. 1000 millisec
cluster-config.groups.group.fail-over-policy.active-election.fault-detector.invocation-delay This parameter limits the amount of time the backup space waits between each ping to the primary space. 1000 millisec
cluster-config.groups.group.fail-over-policy.active-election.fault-detector.retry-count Related to the fault-detector.invocation-delay parameter, defines the number of times the backup checks if the primary space has failed 3
cluster-config.groups.group.fail-over-policy.active-election.fault-detector.retry-timeout Related to the retry-count parameter, defines the time between retries the backup checks if the primary space has failed 100 millisec
cluster-config.groups.group.fail-over-policy.active-election.connection-retries Defines the number of times the space instance will try to establish connection with the lookup service. The wait time in between retries is defined by the yield-time parameter 60

Client-Side Parameters

Proxy Connectivity

The Proxy Connectivity defines the settings in which the system checks the liveness of space members.

Watchdog Parameters

Service Grid Parameters

The Service GridClosed A built-in orchestration tool which contains a set of Grid Service Containers (GSCs) managed by a Grid Service Manager. The containers host various deployments of Processing Units and data grids. Each container can be run on a separate physical machine. This orchestration is available for XAP only. uses two complementary mechanisms for service detections – the Lookup Service and fault-detection handlers.

The fault-detection handlers check periodically if a service is alive, and in case of failure, how many times to retry and how often.

The GSMClosed Grid Service Manager. This is is a service grid component that manages a set of Grid Service Containers (GSCs). A GSM has an API for deploying/undeploying Processing Units. When a GSM is instructed to deploy a Processing Unit, it finds an appropriate, available GSC and tells that GSC to run an instance of that Processing Unit. It then continuously monitors that Processing Unit instance to verify that it is alive, and that the SLA is not breached. and GSCClosed Grid Service Container. This provides an isolated runtime for one (or more) processing unit (PU) instance and exposes its state to the GSM. fault-detection handler settings are controlled via the relevant properties. The PUFaultDetectionHandler is configurable using the SLA - member alive indicator.

For logging information, it is advised to monitor service failure by setting the logging level to Level.FINE.

# ServiceGrid FaultDetectionHandler logging

com.gigaspaces.grid.gsc.GSCFaultDetectionHandler.level = INFO
com.gigaspaces.grid.gsm.GSMFaultDetectionHandler.level = INFO
org.openspaces.puClosed This is the unit of packaging and deployment in the GigaSpaces Data Grid, and is essentially the main GigaSpaces service. The Processing Unit (PU) itself is typically deployed onto the Service Grid. When a Processing Unit is deployed, a Processing Unit instance is the actual runtime entity..container.servicegrid.PUFaultDetectionHandler.level = INFO

Jini Lookup Service Parameters

The LeaseRenewalManager in the advanced-space.config file is also related to failure detection and recovery:

Parameter Parameter Description Default Value
maxLeaseDuration The time the system waits between every lease renewal, for example: if the parameter value is 8000, the system renews the space lease every 8000 [milliseconds].
  As this value is reduced, renewal requests are performed more frequently while the service is up, and lease expiration occurs sooner when the service goes down.
roundTripTime This parameter instructs the renewal process to begin a certain amount of time (by default, 100 [milliseconds]) before the actual renewal time, thus making sure that the renewal process is successful.
  Significantly low values might result in failure to renew a lease. Durations of managed leases should exceed the roundTripTime.

Lookup Service Unicast Discovery Parameters

When a Jini Lookup Service fails and is brought back online, a client (such as a GSC, space or a client with a space proxy) needs to re-discover it. It uses Jini unicast discovery retrying to connect to the failed remote lookup service. The default unicast retry protocol provides a graduating approach, increasing the amount of time to wait before the next discovery attempts are made - upon each invocation, eventually reaching a maximum time interval over which discovery is re-tried. In this way, the network is not flooded with unicast discovery requests referencing a lookup service that may not be available for quite some time (if ever).

The downside is that it may delay the discovery of services if these are not brought up quickly. A discovery can be delayed us much as 15 minutes. If you have two GSMs and one fails, but it will be brought back up only in the next hour, then it's discovery will take ~15 minutes after it has loaded.

These settings can be configured. Refer to How to Configure Unicast Discovery.