How to move, recreate or retain the System Metadata Directory


How to move, recreate or retain the System Metadata Directory


The System Metadata (SMD) directory holds information on Secondary Indexes, UDF definitions, Truncation, Strong Consistency, User/Roles and more. It may be necessary to move, migrate or retain this information, for example, when upgrading to or over Aerospike version 4.5.1 (especially when replacing instances as part of the upgrade as commonly done in cloud environments). This article discusses methods by which this information can be moved, migrated or retained.

Method 1 - Using persistent shared storage to hold the file

Normally SMD information is held in /opt/aerospike/smd. It is possible to use the work-directory configuration parameter to specify where files and directories that would normally be under /opt/aerospike are held. This parameter can be set to a persistent shared storage location and so the information would not be lost should a new machine or cloud instance be required.

Method 2 - Copy to a safe location

If the Aerospike daemon on the node in question is shut down the /opt/aerospike/smd directory can be copied to a remote location and moved back once any changes have been made. This means that the work-directory does not need to change.

Method 3 - Recreate from other nodes in the cluster

If a node in the cluster starts without any information in the SMD directory, such as when a brand new node joins the cluster, the information will be received from other nodes within the cluster.


  • Aerospike 4.5.1 involves a non backward compatible protocol change for the SMD sub-system. Therefore, in a mixed clusterm SMD operations such as truncations or changes to UDFs will not propagate across all the nodes in the cluster. Method 3, given above, is not suitable for an upgrade to or over Aerospike 4.5.1