Compaction works as follows:
For database compaction, a new file is created into which all the existing active database information is written.
For view compaction, a new index file is created for each active design document, into which the active index information is written.
During the compaction process, the existing database files stay in place and continue to be used for storing information and updating the index data. This process ensures that the database is not unavailable while compaction takes place.
Once compaction has been completed, the old database is disabled and written and updates continue in the newly created database files.
The old database and index files are then deleted from the system.
Because of this process, the following precautions should be taken with the compaction process:
Compaction takes place as a background process while Couchbase Server is running. You do not need to shutdown or pause your database operation, and clients can continue to access and submit requests while the database is running.
Compaction operates on only a single server within your Couchbase Server cluster. You will need to perform compaction on each node in your cluster, on each database in your cluster.
The compaction process is both disk and CPU intensive. In heavy-write based databases where compaction is required, the compaction should be scheduled during off-peak hours. For auto-compaction you can schedule specific hours when compaction can take place.
Because the compaction process can take a long to complete on large and busy databases, it is possible for the compaction process to fail to complete properly while the database is still active. In extreme cases, this can lead to the compaction process never catching up with the database modifications, and eventually using up all the disk space.
Compaction should be performed during off-peak hours to prevent this problem.
The compaction process can be stopped and restarted. However, you should be aware that the if the compaction process is stopped, further updates to database are completed, and then the compaction process is restarted, the updated database may not be a clean compacted version. This is because any changes to the portion of the database file that were processed before the compaction was canceled and restarted have already been processed.
Because compaction occurs by creating new files and updating the information, you may need as much as twice the disk space of your current database and index files for compaction to take place.
However, it is important to keep in mind that the exact amount of the disk space required depends on the level of fragmentation, the amount of dead data and the activity of the database, as changes during compaction will also need to be written to the updated data files.
Before compaction takes place, the disk space is checked and the amount of available disk space is less than twice the current database size, the compaction process does not take place and a warning is issued in the log. See Section 6.7, “Log”.
Auto-compaction is available and will automatically trigger the compaction process on your database
Compaction activity is reported in the Couchbase Server log. You will see entries similar to following showing the compaction operation and duration:
Service couchbase_compaction_daemon exited on node 'firstname.lastname@example.org' in 0.00s (repeated 1 times)
For information on accessing the log, see Section 6.7, “Log”.