Archive copies


Layout of Software Heritage archive copies (click to zoom).

The Software Heritage archive exists in several copies, to minimize the risk of losing archived source code artifacts. The layout of existing copies, their relationships, as well as their geographical and administrative domains are shown in the layout diagram above.

We recall that the archive is conceptually organized as a graph, and specifically a Merkle DAG, see data model for more information.

Ingested source code artifacts land directly on the primary copy, which is updated live and also used as reference for deduplication purposes. There, different parts of the Merkle DAG as stored using different backend technologies. The leaves of the graph, i.e., content objects (or “blobs”), are stored in a key-value object storage, using their SHA1 identifiers as keys (see persistent identifiers). SHA1 collision avoidance is enforced by the module. The rest of the graph is stored in a Postgres database (see SQL storage).

At of 2022-09-27, the primary object storage contains about 12 billion blobs with a median size of 3 KB—yes, that is a lot of very small files—for a total compressed size of about 800 TB. The Postgres database takes about 8 TB (compressed), half of which is used by indexes. In terms of graph metrics, the Merkle DAG has about 26 B nodes and 370 B edges.

The secondary copy is hosted on Microsoft Azure cloud, using its native blob storage for the object storage and a large virtual machine to run a Postgres instance there. The database is kept up-to-date w.r.t. the primary copy using Postgres WAL replication. The object storage is kept up-to-date using swh.archiver.

Archive copies (as opposed to archive mirrors) are operated by the Software Heritage Team at Inria. The primary archived copy is geographically located at Rocquencourt, France; the secondary copy hosted in the Europe West region of the Azure cloud.