Introducing Dragonfly Cloud! Learn More

Question: What does "Mongo replication freeze" refer to?


Mongodb replication is a process that allows the data from one MongoDB database server (the primary) to be replicated to one or more databases (the secondaries). This ensures high availability and data redundancy. However, there are situations where you might want to temporarily stop this replication process. This is often referred to as a 'replication freeze.'

Why Would You Freeze Replication?

  1. Maintenance Work: If you're performing maintenance on the secondary servers (like hardware upgrades or batch processing jobs), you might not want them to receive updates from the primary during this period.
  2. Investigating Issues: In case of replication lag or other issues, freezing replication can help in diagnosing problems without new data complicating the situation.
  3. Controlled Data Migration: During a planned migration or upgrade, freezing replication could be used to ensure no data changes occur while transitioning.

How to Freeze Replication in MongoDB

To freeze replication, you effectively pause the application of operations on the secondary nodes. This can be done using the rs.freeze() method in the Mongo shell:

// This command will freeze the replication for 60 seconds on the secondary node rs.freeze(60)

Note: The argument to rs.freeze() specifies the number of seconds to hold the replication. Passing 0 unfreezes the replication if it's currently frozen.


  • Impact on Cluster: Freezing replication impacts the consistency of your data across the cluster. It should be used judiciously and typically only in controlled scenarios.
  • Failover: If the primary fails while replication is frozen, it might delay the election of a new primary since the secondaries might not be up-to-date.
  • Thawing: Remember to unfreeze (or wait for the automatic unfreeze if you've set a duration) to resume normal replication operations.


Freezing replication in MongoDB is a powerful feature for managing your clusters during specific operational tasks. However, due to its implications on data consistency and cluster health, it should be used with care and thorough understanding.

Was this content helpful?

White Paper

Free System Design on AWS E-Book

Download this early release of O'Reilly's latest cloud infrastructure e-book: System Design on AWS.

Free System Design on AWS E-Book

Start building today 

Dragonfly is fully compatible with the Redis ecosystem and requires no code changes to implement.