Leader Election

Description

In distributed computing, leader election is the process of designating a single process as the organizer of some task distributed among several computers (nodes). Before the task is begun, all network nodes are unaware which node will serve as the "leader," or coordinator, of the task. After a leader election algorithm has been run, however, each node throughout the network recognizes a particular, unique node as the task leader.

NOTE: Curator has two leader election recipes. Which one to use depends on your requirements.

Participating Classes

  • LeaderSelector
  • LeaderSelectorListener
  • LeaderSelectorListenerAdapter
  • CancelLeadershipException

Usage

Creating a LeaderSelector

public LeaderSelector(CuratorFramework client,
                      String mutexPath,
                      LeaderSelectorListener listener)
Parameters:
client - the client
mutexPath - the path for this leadership group
listener - listener
public LeaderSelector(CuratorFramework client,
                      String mutexPath,
                      ThreadFactory threadFactory,
                      Executor executor,
                      LeaderSelectorListener listener)
Parameters:
client - the client
mutexPath - the path for this leadership group
threadFactory - factory to use for making internal threads
executor - the executor to run in
listener - listener

General Usage

LeaderSelectors must be started:

leaderSelector.start();

Once started, the takeLeadership() of your listener will be called when you have leadership. Your takeLeadership() method should only return when leadership is being relinquished.

When you are through with the LeaderSelector instance, you should call close:

leaderSelector.close();

Error Handling

The LeaderSelectorListener class extends ConnectionStateListener. When the LeaderSelector is started, it adds the listener to the Curator instance. Users of the LeaderSelector must pay attention to any connection state changes. If an instance becomes the leader, it should respond to notification of being SUSPENDED or LOST. If the SUSPENDED state is reported, the instance must assume that it might no longer be the leader until it receives a RECONNECTED state. If the LOST state is reported, the instance is no longer the leader and its takeLeadership method should exit.

IMPORTANT: The recommended action for receiving SUSPENDED or LOST is to throw CancelLeadershipException. This will cause the LeaderSelector instance to attempt to interrupt and cancel the thread that is executing the takeLeadership method. Because this is so important, you should consider extending LeaderSelectorListenerAdapter. LeaderSelectorListenerAdapter has the recommended handling already written for you.