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Production Considerations (Sharded Clusters)

Starting in version 4.2, MongoDB provides the ability to perform multi-document transactions for sharded clusters.

Distributed Transactions (Beta)

To join the beta program for distributed transactions, sign up at Distributed Transactions Beta Sign-Up.

The following page lists concerns specific to running transactions on a sharded cluster. These concerns are in addition to those listed in Production Considerations.

Sharded Transctions and MongoDB Drivers

For transactions on MongoDB 4.2 deployments (replica sets and sharded clusters), clients must use MongoDB drivers updated for MongoDB 4.2.

On sharded clusters with multiple mongos instances, performing transactions with drivers updated for MongoDB 4.0 (instead of MongoDB 4.2) will fail and can result in errors, including:

Note

Your driver may return a different error. Refer to your driver’s documentation for details.

Error Code Error Message
251 cannot continue txnId -1 for session ... with txnId 1
50940 cannot commit with no participants

Performance

Single Shard

Transactions that target a single shard should have the same performance as replica-set transactions.

Multiple Shards

Transactions that affect multiple shards incur a greater performance cost.

Note

On a sharded cluster, transactions that span multiple shards will error and abort if any involved shard contains an arbiter.

Time Limit

To specify a time limit, specify a maxTimeMS limit on commitTransaction.

If maxTimeMS is unspecified, MongoDB will use the transactionLifetimeLimitSeconds.

If maxTimeMS is specified but would result in transaction that exceeds transactionLifetimeLimitSeconds, MongoDB will use the transactionLifetimeLimitSeconds.

To modify transactionLifetimeLimitSeconds for a sharded cluster, the parameter must be modified for all shard replica set members.

Read Concerns

Multi-document transactions support "local", "majority", and "snapshot" read concern levels.

For transactions on a sharded cluster, only the "snapshot" read concern provides a consistent snapshot across multiple shards.

For more information on read concern and transactions, see Transactions and Read Concern.

Shard Configuration Restriction

You cannot run transactions on a sharded cluster that has a shard with writeConcernMajorityJournalDefault set to false (such as a shard with a voting member that uses the in-memory storage engine).

Arbiters

Transactions whose write operations span multiple shards will error and abort if any transaction operation reads from or writes to a shard contains an arbiter.

See also Three Member Primary-Secondary-Arbiter Shards for transaction restrictions on shards that have disabled read concern majority.

Three Member Primary-Secondary-Arbiter Shards

For a sharded cluster with three-member PSA shards, you may have disabled read concern “majority” (i.e. --enableMajorityReadConcern false or replication.enableMajorityReadConcern: false) to avoid cache pressure.

On sharded clusters,
  • If a transaction involves a shard that has disabled read concern “majority”, you cannot use read concern "snapshot" for the transaction. You can only use read concern "local" or "majority" for the transaction. If you use read concern "snapshot", the transaction errors and aborts.

    readConcern level 'snapshot' is not supported in sharded clusters when enableMajorityReadConcern=false.
    
  • Transactions whose write operations span multiple shards will error and abort if any of the transaction’s read or write operations involves a shard that has disabled read concern "majority".

To check if read concern “majority” is disabled,
You can run db.serverStatus() and check the storageEngine.supportsCommittedReads field. If false, read concern “majority” is disabled.

Backups and Restores

Warning

To maintain the atomicity guarantees of transactions across shards, use the coordinated backup and restore services provided by MongoDB Atlas or MongoDB Ops Manager. Manual backups and restores do not maintain the atomicity guarantees of transactions across shards.

Chunk Migrations

Chunk migration acquires exclusive collection locks during certain stages.

If an ongoing transaction has a lock on a collection and a chunk migration that involves that collection starts, these migration stages must wait for the transaction to release the locks on the collection, thereby impacting the performance of chunk migrations.

If a chunk migration interleaves with a transaction (for instance, if a transaction starts while a chunk migration is already in progress and the migration completes before the transaction takes a lock on the collection), the transaction errors during the commit and aborts.

Depending on how the two operations interleave, some sample errors include (the error messages have been abbreviated):

  • an error from cluster data placement change ... migration commit in progress for <namespace>
  • Cannot find shardId the chunk belonged to at cluster time ...

Outside Reads During Commit

During the commit for a transaction, outside read operations may try to read the same documents that will be modified by the transaction. If the transaction writes to multiple shards, then during the commit attempt across the shards

  • Outside reads that use read concern snapshot or "linearizable", or are part of causally consistent sessions (i.e. include afterClusterTime) wait for all writes of a transaction to be visible.
  • Outside reads using other read concerns do not wait for all writes of a transaction to be visible but instead read the before-transaction version of the documents available.

Additional Information

See also Production Considerations.