Available since:
Time complexity:
ACL categories:
@admin, @slow, @dangerous,

This command, that can only be sent to a Redis Cluster replica node, forces the replica to start a manual failover of its master instance.

A manual failover is a special kind of failover that is usually executed when there are no actual failures, but we wish to swap the current master with one of its replicas (which is the node we send the command to), in a safe way, without any window for data loss. It works in the following way:

  1. The replica tells the master to stop processing queries from clients.
  2. The master replies to the replica with the current replication offset.
  3. The replica waits for the replication offset to match on its side, to make sure it processed all the data from the master before it continues.
  4. The replica starts a failover, obtains a new configuration epoch from the majority of the masters, and broadcasts the new configuration.
  5. The old master receives the configuration update: unblocks its clients and starts replying with redirection messages so that they'll continue the chat with the new master.

This way clients are moved away from the old master to the new master atomically and only when the replica that is turning into the new master has processed all of the replication stream from the old master.

FORCE option: manual failover when the master is down

The command behavior can be modified by two options: FORCE and TAKEOVER.

If the FORCE option is given, the replica does not perform any handshake with the master, that may be not reachable, but instead just starts a failover ASAP starting from point 4. This is useful when we want to start a manual failover while the master is no longer reachable.

However using FORCE we still need the majority of masters to be available in order to authorize the failover and generate a new configuration epoch for the replica that is going to become master.

TAKEOVER option: manual failover without cluster consensus

There are situations where this is not enough, and we want a replica to failover without any agreement with the rest of the cluster. A real world use case for this is to mass promote replicas in a different data center to masters in order to perform a data center switch, while all the masters are down or partitioned away.

The TAKEOVER option implies everything FORCE implies, but also does not uses any cluster authorization in order to failover. A replica receiving CLUSTER FAILOVER TAKEOVER will instead:

  1. Generate a new configEpoch unilaterally, just taking the current greatest epoch available and incrementing it if its local configuration epoch is not already the greatest.
  2. Assign itself all the hash slots of its master, and propagate the new configuration to every node which is reachable ASAP, and eventually to every other node.

Note that TAKEOVER violates the last-failover-wins principle of Redis Cluster, since the configuration epoch generated by the replica violates the normal generation of configuration epochs in several ways:

  1. There is no guarantee that it is actually the higher configuration epoch, since, for example, we can use the TAKEOVER option within a minority, nor any message exchange is performed to generate the new configuration epoch.
  2. If we generate a configuration epoch which happens to collide with another instance, eventually our configuration epoch, or the one of another instance with our same epoch, will be moved away using the configuration epoch collision resolution algorithm.

Because of this the TAKEOVER option should be used with care.

Implementation details and notes

  • CLUSTER FAILOVER, unless the TAKEOVER option is specified, does not execute a failover synchronously. It only schedules a manual failover, bypassing the failure detection stage.
  • An OK reply is no guarantee that the failover will succeed.
  • A replica can only be promoted to a master if it is known as a replica by a majority of the masters in the cluster. If the replica is a new node that has just been added to the cluster (for example after upgrading it), it may not yet be known to all the masters in the cluster. To check that the masters are aware of a new replica, you can send CLUSTER NODES or CLUSTER REPLICAS to each of the master nodes and check that it appears as a replica, before sending CLUSTER FAILOVER to the replica.
  • To check that the failover has actually happened you can use ROLE, INFO REPLICATION (which indicates "role:master" after successful failover), or CLUSTER NODES to verify that the state of the cluster has changed sometime after the command was sent.
  • To check if the failover has failed, check the replica's log for "Manual failover timed out", which is logged if the replica has given up after a few seconds.


Simple string reply: OK if the command was accepted and a manual failover is going to be attempted. An error if the operation cannot be executed, for example if the client is connected to a node that is already a master.
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