In the event where the association between a source and target is lost or broken, incremental replications will not work. At this point, the only available option is to run an initial replication on the complete dataset. Running the initial replication again, is bandwidth and resource intensive, as it is essentially running again as a new policy. The Differential Replication offers a far better alternative to running the initial replication again.
Note: Running an Initial Replication again after the source and target cluster association is broken has impacts not only on bandwidth and cluster resources, but also creates ballooning snapshots on the target cluster for snapshots outside of SyncIQ re-replication. A Differential Replication eliminates these concerns.
The term ‘Differential Replication’ is also referred to as ‘Target Aware Sync’, ‘Target Aware Initial Sync’, and ‘Diff Sync’. All of these terms are referencing a Differential Replication.
A Differential Replication, similar to an Incremental Replication only replicates changed data blocks and new data that does not exist on the target cluster. Determining what exists on each cluster is part of the differential replication’s algorithm. The files on the source directory are compared to the target directory to decide if replication is required. The algorithm to determine if a file should be replicated is based on if the file or directory is new, the file size and length, and finally the short and full hash of the file.
Note: Target Aware Synchronizations are much more CPU-intensive than regular baseline replication, but they potentially yield much less network traffic if both source and cluster datasets are already seeded with similar data.
The Target Aware Initial Sync feature, available only using the CLI. To enable target-aware initial synchronization, use the following command:
isi sync policies modify <policy_name> --target-compare-initial-sync=on