I'm running a 4 servers master-master cluster of MySql. (2 servers version 5.1, and 2 version 5.5)

While checking the slave status, i see the seconds_behind_master at 0, and half a second after i see it jumps to 2000, and so fourth.

What could it possibly be? How can i debug it?

Replication topology: 1 -> 2 -> 3 -> 4 -> 1


It seems that server 3 has its SBM at 0, while the other servers are jumping up and down. Does that help?

UPDATE 2 It seems that the issue is with server 1. When creating a test table in server 4, checking the relay log in server 1 shows the create statement was copied to the relay log in server 1 instantly, but the table is not created. It looks like the server is busy doing something, and there is a huge delay between when the server gets the statement, and when it executes it.

UPDATE 3 The same thing happens on server 4.

UPDATE 4 Ok i found the issue. Servers 1 2 & 4 were having "invalidating query cache entries (table)" stuck in their replication thread. After disabling cache, server 4 is ok but 1&2 are still having this issue.

It looks like a common bug: http://bugs.mysql.com/bug.php?id=60696

If anyone knows how to fix it, i would be glad to hear

  • Is the time accurate on both servers?
    – ceejayoz
    Commented Jun 11, 2013 at 14:42
  • yes, running "date" on all servers shows exactly the same. Should i check mysql time?
    – shaharmor
    Commented Jun 11, 2013 at 14:48
  • Have you verified that all of the servers are using a different server-id?
    – user143703
    Commented Jun 11, 2013 at 15:16
  • Yes, everyone has different server-id
    – shaharmor
    Commented Jun 11, 2013 at 15:25
  • How big are the updates/changes to the master(s)? Remember that MySQL can use multiple threads and processes to make use of the DBs, while the replication user is a single process period.
    – NickW
    Commented Jun 11, 2013 at 15:51

2 Answers 2


There is one flaw with mysql's seconds_behind_master value: it only takes into account the position relative to one upstream hop away. Easiest demonstrated with a slightly simpler replication topology:

server1 -> server2 -> server3

If server2 falls behind, and is processing some long-running queries, the following will happen, assuming 00:00 as start point:

00:00: Everyone ok
00:01: server1 writes two 10-minute queries to the binlog, no replication delay anywhere
00:02: server2 starts processing query one. Replication delay for server2 starts growing, replication delay for server3 stays zero
10:02: server2 is done with query one, starts processing query two. server2 replication delay is growing still. server3 replication delay suddenly jumps to 10 minutes.
20:02: server2 is done with query 2, replication delay zero again. Server3 will be done with query 3, replication delay jumps back to zero, and then back up to 10 as it processes the next query.

So, the jumpy behaviour is caused by not using a global timestamp for replication delay, but simply the delay behind the last "hop" in the replication chain. We found this severely annoying and now use MySQL's event scheduler to update a timer table on each master every second, so we can actually see actual delay from the global master (in a non-ring topology) or delay from any peer in a ring.

  • I belive the issue is not related to long running queries. First because i dont't see the servers processing anything, and second, because as i mentiomed in update4, the server stops processing and gets stuck on invalidating cache
    – shaharmor
    Commented Jun 12, 2013 at 5:40

The issue was indeed the invalidating query cache entries (table) on the old non-Percona servers which caused the replication to halt until the cache was invalidated (Which took a lot of time).
As stated here: http://bugs.mysql.com/bug.php?id=60696

We solved the issue by moving entirely to Percona MySQL server v5.5 which has the ability to disable Query Cache completely.

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