In a multi-master replication configuration, data can be updated simultaneously in different locations. Each master maintains a change log for its replica. The changes that occur on each master are replicated to the other servers.
Multi-master configurations have the following advantages:
Automatic write failover occurs when one master is inaccessible.
Updates can be made on a local master in a geographically distributed environment.
Multi-master replication uses a loose consistency replication model. This means that the same entries may be modified simultaneously on different servers. When updates are sent between the two servers, any conflicting changes must be resolved. Various attributes of a WAN, such as latency, can increase the chance of replication conflicts. Conflict resolution generally occurs automatically. A number of conflict rules determine which change takes precedence. In some cases conflicts must be resolved manually. For more information, see Solving Common Replication Conflicts in Sun Java System Directory Server Enterprise Edition 6.1 Administration Guide.
The number of masters that are supported in a multi-master topology is theoretically unlimited. The number of consumers and hubs is also theoretically unlimited. However, the number of consumers to which a single supplier can replicate depends on the capacity of the supplier server. You can use the SLAMD Distributed Load Generation Engine (SLAMD) to assess the capacity of the supplier server. For information about SLAMD, and to download the SLAMD software, see http://www.slamd.com.