HA Cluster Configuration
A TigerGraph system with High Availability (HA) is a cluster of server machines which uses replication to provide continuous service when one or more servers are not available or when some service components fail.
TigerGraph HA service provides load balancing when all components are operational, as well as automatic failover in the event of a service disruption.
The following terms describe the size and dimension of a HA cluster:
 replication factor

Total number of instances of your data.
 partitioning factor

Number of machines across which one copy of the data is distributed. In practice, the partitioning factor of a cluster is decided by dividing the total number of machines in the cluster by the replication factor.
 cluster size

Total number of machines in the cluster.
If an HA cluster has a replication factor of 2, the cluster maintains two instances of the data, stored on separate machines. If an HA cluster has a partitioning factor of 2, each instance of the data is distributed across two machines.
If an HA cluster has a replication factor of 2 and a partitioning factor of two, the cluster has a total of 4 machines. With the 4 machines, the cluster maintains two instances of the data, each distributed across two machines.
Replication and distribution both increase query throughput and improve system resiliency. There is no upper limit for either partitioning factor or replication factor.
For example, the following cluster has a replication factor of 2 and a cluster size of 10, which produces a partitioning factor of \(10 / 2 = 5\).
System Requirements

A highly available cluster has a cluster size of at least 4 and a replication factor of at least 2. A highly available cluster can withstand the failure of any node in the cluster.

If you choose to resize a cluster after installation, ensure every node across the cluster is running the same version of TigerGraph.
Configuring HA settings
There are two ways of configuring HA settings for a cluster:

Configure HA settings during installation.

Resize a cluster after installation.
Configure HA settings during installation
Configuring a HA cluster is part of platform installation.
During TigerGraph platform installation, specify the replication factor. The default value for replication factor is 1, which means there is no HA setup for the cluster. The user does not explicitly set the partitioning factor. Instead, the TigerGraph system will set the partitioning factor through the following formula:
partitioning factor = (number of machines / replication factor)
If the division does not produce an integer, some machines will be left unused. For example, if you install a 7node cluster with a replication factor of 2, the resulting configuration is 2way HA for a database with a partitioning factor of 3. One machine is left unused.
Resize a running cluster
In addition to configuring HA settings during installation, you can also resize a running cluster.
Cluster resizing allows you to perform the following:

Expand a cluster

Shrink a cluster

Repartition a cluster
During cluster resizing, you should expect a brief amount of cluster downtime, during which your cluster will not be able to respond to requests. The specific amount of downtime varies depending on your cluster size, machine memory and CPU, etc. For reference:
Before expansion  After expansion  

Replication factor 
2 
2 
Partitioning factor 
2 
4 
Data volume (per copy) 
100 GB 

Instance type 
GCP EC2 with 8 vCPUs and 32 GB memory 

Downtime 
About 4 minutes 
Before expansion  After expansion  

Replication factor 
2 
4 
Partitioning factor 
4 
4 
Data volume (per copy) 
500 GB 

Instance type 
GCP EC2 with 8 vCPUs and 32 GB memory 

Downtime 
About 9 minutes 
Configure bucket number to reduce data skew
When you set up an HA cluster, TigerGraph automatically distributes data across different partitions in buckets for every instance of your data. The default number of buckets is fixed and does not change based on the number of partitions. When the number of buckets cannot be evenly divided by the number of partitions, more data is distributed to the partitions with extra buckets, resulting in data skew. However, you can configure the number of buckets before data loading to reduce or avoid data skew.
The number of buckets is controlled by the parameter GPE.NumberOfHashBucketInBit
.
The number of buckets equals 2 to the power of the value of the parameter GPE.NumberOfHashBucketInBit
.
The default value of GPE.NumberOfHashBucketInBit
is 5.
Therefore, a cluster has \(2^5 = 32\) buckets by default.
This means that data skew happens when you have a partition number that cannot evenly divide 32.
Data skew is more significant when the modulus \(M = N_{bucket} \bmod N_{partition}\) is closer to half of \(N_{partition}\), where \(N_{bucket}\) is the number of buckets, and \(N_{partition}\) is the number of partitions.
To minimize data skew as well as resource contention issues that can be caused by a high number of buckets, choose a low bucket number that leaves the modulus close to either 0 or the number of partitions.
We do not suggest you adjust the bucket number to be lower than the default value. A bucket number that is too low might negatively impact performance. 
Example
For example, if each instance of your data has 9 partitions, the 32 buckets are distributed as follows:
Partition  Buckets  

Partition #1 
Bucket #1 
Bucket #10 
Bucket #19 
Bucket #28 
Partition #2 
Bucket #2 
Bucket #11 
Bucket #20 
Bucket #29 
Partition #3 
Bucket #3 
Bucket #12 
Bucket #21 
Bucket #30 
Partition #4 
Bucket #4 
Bucket #13 
Bucket #22 
Bucket #31 
Partition #5 
Bucket #5 
Bucket #14 
Bucket #23 
Bucket #32 
Partition #6 
Bucket #6 
Bucket #15 
Bucket #24 

Partition #7 
Bucket #7 
Bucket #16 
Bucket #25 

Partition #8 
Bucket #8 
Bucket #17 
Bucket #26 

Partition #9 
Bucket #9 
Bucket #18 
Bucket #27 
Partitions #1 to #5 each has 4 buckets, while partitions 6 to 9 only have 3 buckets. This means that each partition between #1 to #5 has 33% more data than a partition between #6 and #9. Therefore, partitions #1 to #5 altogether end up storing 20 / 32 = 62.5% percent of the data, when they should only store 5 / 9 = 55.5%.
To reduce data skew in this scenario, change GPE.NumberOfHashBucketInBit
to 6 by running the following command:
$ gadmin config set GPE.NumberOfHashBucketInBit 6
This leaves the cluster with \(2^6=64\) buckets instead. Each partition has 7 buckets, and only partition 1 has one extra bucket.