This guide describes DRBD version 8.4 and above. For 8.3 please look here.


2.3. Replication modes

DRBD supports three distinct replication modes, allowing three degrees of replication synchronicity.

Protocol A. Asynchronous replication protocol. Local write operations on the primary node are considered completed as soon as the local disk write has finished, and the replication packet has been placed in the local TCP send buffer. In the event of forced fail-over, data loss may occur. The data on the standby node is consistent after fail-over, however, the most recent updates performed prior to the crash could be lost. Protocol A is most often used in long distance replication scenarios. When used in combination with DRBD Proxy it makes an effective disaster recovery solution. See Section 2.14, “Long-distance replication with DRBD Proxy” for more information.

Protocol B. Memory synchronous (semi-synchronous) replication protocol. Local write operations on the primary node are considered completed as soon as the local disk write has occurred, and the replication packet has reached the peer node. Normally, no writes are lost in case of forced fail-over. However, in the event of simultaneous power failure on both nodes and concurrent, irreversible destruction of the primary’s data store, the most recent writes completed on the primary may be lost.

Protocol C. Synchronous replication protocol. Local write operations on the primary node are considered completed only after both the local and the remote disk write have been confirmed. As a result, loss of a single node is guaranteed not to lead to any data loss. Data loss is, of course, inevitable even with this replication protocol if both nodes (or their storage subsystems) are irreversibly destroyed at the same time.

By far, the most commonly used replication protocol in DRBD setups is protocol C.

The choice of replication protocol influences two factors of your deployment: protection and latency. Throughput, by contrast, is largely independent of the replication protocol selected.

See Section 5.3, “Configuring your resource” for an example resource configuration which demonstrates replication protocol configuration.


This guide describes DRBD version 8.4 and above. For 8.3 please look here.