This document describes how to read data from the history versions using the system variable
tidb_snapshot, including specific usage examples and strategies for saving historical data.
TiDB implements a feature to read history data using the standard SQL interface directly without special clients or drivers.
tidb_snapshot system variable is introduced to support reading history data. About the
- The variable is valid in the
- Its value can be modified using the
- The data type for the variable is text.
- The variable accepts TSO (Timestamp Oracle) and datetime. TSO is a globally unique time service, which is obtained from PD. The acceptable datetime format is "2016-10-08 16:45:26.999". Generally, the datetime can be set using second precision, for example "2016-10-08 16:45:26".
- When the variable is set, TiDB creates a Snapshot using its value as the timestamp, just for the data structure and there is no any overhead. After that, all the
SELECToperations will read data from this Snapshot.
After reading data from history versions, you can read data from the latest version by ending the current Session or using the
SET statement to set the value of the
tidb_snapshot variable to "" (empty string).
TiDB implements Multi-Version Concurrency Control (MVCC) to manage data versions. The history versions of data are kept because each update/removal creates a new version of the data object instead of updating/removing the data object in-place. But not all the versions are kept. If the versions are older than a specific time, they will be removed completely to reduce the storage occupancy and the performance overhead caused by too many history versions.
In TiDB, Garbage Collection (GC) runs periodically to remove the obsolete data versions. For GC details, see TiDB Garbage Collection (GC)
Pay special attention to the following:
tidb_gc_life_time: This system variable is used to configure the retention time of earlier modifications (default:
- The output of
SELECT * FROM mysql.tidb WHERE variable_name = 'tikv_gc_safe_point'. This is the current
safePointwhere you can read historical data up to. It is updated every time the garbage collection process is run.
At the initial stage, create a table and insert several rows of data:mysql> create table t (c int); Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.01 sec) mysql> insert into t values (1), (2), (3); Query OK, 3 rows affected (0.00 sec)
View the data in the table:mysql> select * from t; +------+ | c | +------+ | 1 | | 2 | | 3 | +------+ 3 rows in set (0.00 sec)
View the timestamp of the table:mysql> select now(); +---------------------+ | now() | +---------------------+ | 2016-10-08 16:45:26 | +---------------------+ 1 row in set (0.00 sec)
Update the data in one row:mysql> update t set c=22 where c=2; Query OK, 1 row affected (0.00 sec)
Make sure the data is updated:mysql> select * from t; +------+ | c | +------+ | 1 | | 22 | | 3 | +------+ 3 rows in set (0.00 sec)
tidb_snapshotvariable whose scope is Session. The variable is set so that the latest version before the value can be read.mysql> set @@tidb_snapshot="2016-10-08 16:45:26"; Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)
Result: The read from the following statement is the data before the update operation, which is the history data.mysql> select * from t; +------+ | c | +------+ | 1 | | 2 | | 3 | +------+ 3 rows in set (0.00 sec)
tidb_snapshotvariable to be "" (empty string) and you can read the data from the latest version:mysql> set @@tidb_snapshot=""; Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)mysql> select * from t; +------+ | c | +------+ | 1 | | 22 | | 3 | +------+ 3 rows in set (0.00 sec)
Before you restore data from an older version, make sure that Garbage Collection (GC) does not clear the history data while you are working on it. This can be done by setting the
tidb_gc_life_time variable as the following example shows. Do not forget to set the variable back to the previous value after the restore.
SET GLOBAL tidb_gc_life_time="60m";
To restore data from an older version, you can use one of the following methods:
For simple cases, use
SELECTafter setting the
tidb_snapshotvariable and copy-paste the output, or use
SELECT ... INTO LOCAL OUTFLEand use
LOAD DATAto import the data later on.
Use Dumpling to export a historical snapshot. Dumpling performs well in exporting larger sets of data.