V3 Multi-Datacenter Replication Reference:
Fullsync via Active Anti-Entropy

Note: Technical preview

The active anti-entropy fullsync strategy, as it pertains to replication, is currently in technical preview mode. This means that it hasn’t been tested at large scale and that there may be issues that Basho must address prior to a general release. Please don’t use this feature on a production system without professional services or customer service engineering support.


Riak Enterprise Multi-Datacenter (MDC) Replication version 3 (Riak Enterprise version 1.4.0+) can now take advantage of Riak’s active anti-entropy (AAE) subsystem, which was first introduced as a technology preview in Riak 1.3.0.

AAE plus Replication uses existing Riak AAE hash trees stored in LevelDB, so if AAE is already active, there is no additional startup delay for enabling the aae fullsync strategy. AAE can also be enabled for the first time on a cluster, although some custom settings can enhance performance in this case to help AAE trees be built more quickly. See Configuration/AAE Tree Build Optimization.


  • Riak Enterprise version 1.4.0 or later installed on source and sink clusters
  • Riak Enterprise MDC Replication Version 3 enabled on source and sink clusters
  • Both source and sink clusters must be of the same ring size
  • AAE must be enabled on both source and sink clusters
  • fullsync_strategy in the riak_repl section of the advanced.config configuration file must be set to aae on both source and sink clusters
  • AAE trees must have been built on both source and sink clusters. In the event that an AAE tree is not built on both the source and sink, fullsync will default to the keylist fullsync strategy for that partition.


If you are using Riak Enterprise version 2.0, configuration is managed using the advanced.config files on each node. The semantics of the advanced.config file are similar to the formerly used app.config file. For more information and for a list of configurable parameters, see our documentation on Advanced Configuration.

Enable Active Anti-Entropy

To enable active anti-entropy (AAE) in Riak Enterprise, you must enable it in Riak in both source and sink clusters. If it is not enabled, the keylist strategy will be used.

To enable AAE in Riak KV:

anti_entropy = active

By default, it could take a couple of days for the cluster to build all of the necessary hash trees because the default build rate of trees is to build 1 partition per hour, per node. With a ring size of 256 and 5 nodes, that is 2 days.

Changing the rate of tree building can speed up this process, with the caveat that rebuilding a tree takes processing time from the cluster, and this should not be done without assessing the possible impact on get/put latencies for normal cluster operations. For a production cluster, we recommend leaving the default in place.

For a test cluster, the build rate can be changed in riak.conf. If a partition has not had its AAE tree built yet, it will default to using the keylist replication strategy. Instructions on these settings can be found in the section directly below.

AAE Tree Build Optimization

You can speed up the build rate for AAE-related hash trees by adjusting the anti_entropy.tree.build_limit.* and anti_entropy.concurrency_limit settings.

anti_entropy.tree.build_limit.number = 10
anti_entropy.tree.build_limit.per_timespan = 1h
anti_entropy.concurrency_limit = 10

Enable AAE Fullsync Replication Strategy

Finally, the replication fullsync strategy must be set to use aae on both source and sink clusters. If not, the keylist replication strategy will be used.

To enable AAE w/ Version 3 MDC Replication:

{riak_repl, [
             % ...
             {fullsync_strategy, aae},
             % ...