Titan Config

Learn how to enable Titan in TiKV.

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Titan is a plugin of RocksDB developed by PingCAP to provide key-value separation. The goal of Titan is to reduce write amplification of RocksDB when using large values.

How Titan works

Titan Architecture

Titan separates values from the LSM-tree during flush and compaction. While the actual value is stored in a blob file, the value in the LSM tree functions as the position index of the actual value. When a GET operation is performed, Titan obtains the blob index for the corresponding key from the LSM tree. Using the index, Titan identifies the actual value from the blob file and returns it. For more details on design and implementation of Titan, please refer to Titan: A RocksDB Plugin to Reduce Write Amplification.

Caveat: Titan’s improved write performance is at the cost of sacrificing storage space and range query performance. It’s mostly recommended for scenarios of large values (>= 1KB).

How to enable Titan

As Titan has not reached an appropriate maturity to be applied in production, it is disabled in TiKV by default. Before enabling it, make sure you understand the caveat as mentioned above and that you have evaluated your scenarios and needs.

To enable Titan in TiKV, in the TiKV configuration file, specify:

# Enables or disables `Titan`. Note that Titan is still an experimental feature.
# default: false
enabled = true

More Titan configuration parameters are as follows:


  • The directory in which the Titan Blob file is stored
  • Default value: titandb


  • Determines whether to disable Garbage Collection (GC) that Titan performs to Blob files
  • Default value: false


  • The maximum number of GC threads in Titan
  • Default value: 1
  • Minimum value: 1

How to fall back to RocksDB

If you find Titan does not help or is causing read or other performance issues, you can take the following steps to fall back to RocksDB:

  1. Enter the fallback mode by specifying:

    tikv-ctl --host modify-tikv-config -m kvdb -n default.blob_run_mode -v "kFallback"
    Make sure you have already enabled Titan.
  2. Wait until the number of blob files reduces to 0. Alternatively, you can do this quickly via tikv-ctl compact-cluster.

  3. In the TiKV configuration file, specify rocksdb.titan.enabled=false, and restart TiKV.