Replicate MySQL to Amazon Redshift with Tungsten: The good, the bad & the ugly

tungsten replicator

Heterogenous replication involves moving data from one database platform to another. This is a complicated endevour because datatypes, date & time formats, and a whole lot more tend to differ across platforms. In fact it’s so complex many enterprises simply employ a commercial solution to take away the drudgery.

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Enter Tungsten, which supports these types of deployments, on platforms as Postgresql, Mongodb, Oracle, Redshift, Vertica. With custom built appliers the field is infinite!

With that I’ve set out to get things working with Amazon Redshift. If you’re still struggling with the basics check out Wrestling with bears or how I tamed Tungsten Replicator.

1. Connect to redshift

The first thing you’ll need to do is allow your Tungsten boxes to reach redshift. Seems obvious, but when you’re juggling all these apples & oranges for the first time, it may slip you mind.

Configure your AWS security group to allow tungsten boxes

Get the external IP address of your tungsten box. If it’s in DNS this will work even if ping doesn’t.

$ ping

Add to your Redshift security config. I created a special group called Tungsten and added the two tungsten boxes by IP address. That’s because these machines were on a different AWS account. If they’re on the same account, you could allow the entire EC2 group, and be done.

Install psql client

The best way I found to test the connection was psql. Install that:

$ apt-get install postgresql-client

Verify your connection:

$ psql -p 5439 -h --username=root -d dwh

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2. Configure S3 access

Tungsten uses S3 heavily to move data into Redshift.

(I outlined this previously in 5 Reasons to move data to Amazon Redshift.

Install s3tools package

Tungsten uses the s3cmd to interface with the Amazon S3 API. Let’s install that:

$ apt-get install s3cmd

Now edit the .s3cfg file of tungsten user. Change

access_key = AAAAAAA
secret_key = BBBBBBB

Lastly edit the tungsten /opt/continuent/share/s3-config-redshift.json. There are four parameters.

"awsS3Path" : "s3://tungstenbucket",
"awsAccessKey" : "AAAAAAA",
"awsSecretKey" : "BBBBBBB",
"cleanUpS3Files" : "false",

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3. Create tables on Redshift

In a heterogenous environment, that is where source and destination databases are different platforms, Tungsten cannot create tables for you.

It will however, give you a helping hand in the process. Enter the ddlscan tool, which scans the CREATE TABLE statements on your source database, and generates them for your target platform.

For each table in source database, there will be a stage table in Redshift:

$ ddlscan jdbc:mysql://localhost:3306/test -user sync -db test -template ddl-mysql-redshift-staging.vm > test_stage.sql

$ cat test_stage.sql
SQL generated on Thu Jun 04 20:06:45 UTC 2015 by ./ddlscan utility of Tungsten

url = jdbc:mysql:thin://
user = sync
dbName = test


DROP TABLE test.stage_xxx_sean;
CREATE TABLE test.stage_xxx_sean
tungsten_opcode CHAR(2),
tungsten_seqno INT,
tungsten_row_id INT,
tungsten_commit_timestamp TIMESTAMP,
c1 VARCHAR(256) /* VARCHAR(64) */,
id INT,
PRIMARY KEY (tungsten_opcode, tungsten_seqno, tungsten_row_id)

And also a base table in redshift:

$ ddlscan jdbc:mysql://localhost:3306/test -user sync -db test -template ddl-mysql-redshift.vm > test.sql

$ cat test.sql
SQL generated on Thu Jun 04 20:06:51 UTC 2015 by ./ddlscan utility of Tungsten

url = jdbc:mysql:thin://
user = sync
dbName = test


DROP TABLE test.sean;
CREATE TABLE test.sean
c1 VARCHAR(256) /* VARCHAR(64) */,
id INT,

Lastly apply those scripts to your redshift database:

$ psql
dwh# \i file_stage.sql
dwh# \i file_table.sql

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4. Troubleshoot applier

Encountered “Delimiter Not Found” issue

This issue was mysterious and remains so a bit. What I did to fix it:

had an issue with the path, but fixed that:

  "awsS3Path" : "s3://tungstenbucket",

It was causing an interim bucket to be created. But that did not solve things.

Ok. So I hacked this a bit.

Anyone can help me troubleshoot what happened & why?

A. I skipped transactions

I brought the applier back online with this command.

trepctl -service redshift online -skip-seqno 1,1-100

B. I did lots of inserts & deletes on MySQL

I then did about 200 of these:

mysql> insert into test.sean values ('hi there', 20);
mysql> delete from test.sean where id = 20;

C. Now seeing data

dwh=# select * from test.sean;
                 c1                  | id 
 working......                       | 25
 hello sean i have an exclamation !! | 27
 hello sean i came from mysql        | 26
(3 rows)

I also set cleanupS3Files to false. Now I’m seeing files like this:

So that indicates all those INSERT followed by DELETES cleaned up things.

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5. Test data & table changes

B. Tested INSERT

At first the csv files were getting cleanedup by Tungsten. I added this option to s3-config-redshift.json file:

"cleanUpS3Files" : "false",

Then the files are kept around so we can review them. An insert record shows up in S3 like this:

"I","417","1","2015-06-05 17:44:35.000","tungsten new csv file? ","33",null

C. Tested DELETE

A DELETE record shows up in S3 like this:

"D","419","1","2015-06-05 17:45:48.000",null,"26",null

D. Tested UPDATE

An UPDATE record shows up in S3 like this:

"D","420","1","2015-06-05 17:48:55.000",null,"31",null
"I","420","2","2015-06-05 17:48:55.000","changed message text for redshift+tungsten update","31",null


As mentioned previously, this is *NOT* supported. However after doing the ALTER, the applier does *NOT* go offline. Also there are no errors. That’s because Tungsten does not support these and will filter them in a heterogenous environment.

The applier *DOES* go offline, after you try a new INSERT. That’s because it gets a new record for INSERT that doesn’t match.

“trepctl status” shows the following:

pendingExceptionMessage: CSV loading failed: schema=test table=sean CSV file=/tmp/staging/redshift/staging0/test-sean-413.csv message=Wrapped org.postgresql.util.PSQLException: ERROR: Load into table ‘stage_xxx_sean’ failed. Check ‘stl_load_errors’ system table for details. (../../tungsten-replicator//samples/scripts/batch/redshift.js#145)

redshift# alter table test.sean add column c3 integer default null;

redshift# alter table test.stage_xxx_sean add column c3 integer default null;

Then I brought the applier back online:

$ trepctl -service redshift online

Then check the status. It should say ONLINE for state.

$ trepctl status
Processing status command...
---- -----
appliedLastEventId : mysqld-bin.000022:0000000000000566;-1
appliedLastSeqno : 424
appliedLatency : 300585.739
autoRecoveryEnabled : false
autoRecoveryTotal : 0
channels : 1
clusterName : redshift
currentEventId : NONE
currentTimeMillis : 1433878195573
dataServerHost :
extensions :
host :
latestEpochNumber : 0
masterConnectUri : thl://
masterListenUri : null
maximumStoredSeqNo : 424
minimumStoredSeqNo : 0
offlineRequests : NONE
pendingError : NONE
pendingErrorCode : NONE
pendingErrorEventId : NONE
pendingErrorSeqno : -1
pendingExceptionMessage: NONE
pipelineSource : thl://
relativeLatency : 304511.573
resourcePrecedence : 99
rmiPort : 10000
role : slave
seqnoType : java.lang.Long
serviceName : redshift
serviceType : local
simpleServiceName : redshift
siteName : default
sourceId :
state : ONLINE
timeInStateSeconds : 351940.007
timezone : GMT
transitioningTo :
uptimeSeconds : 600921.759
useSSLConnection : false
version : Tungsten Replicator 4.0.0 build 18
Finished status command...

Lastly, let’s see what’s in the table, fire up the postgresql shell and take a look:

dwh=# select * from test.sean;
c1 | id | c3
working...... | 25 |
hello sean i have an exclamation !! | 27 |
hello will i break? | 30 |
some more records | 32 |
tungsten new csv file? | 33 |
another tungsten csv file? | 34 |
changed message text for redshift+tungsten update | 31 |
(7 rows)

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