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Distributed, redundant and transactional storage for ZODB

Project description

NEO is a distributed, redundant and scalable implementation of ZODB API. NEO stands for Nexedi Enterprise Object.


A NEO cluster is composed of the following types of nodes:

  • “master” nodes (mandatory, 1 or more)

    Takes care of transactionality. Only one master node is really active (the active master node is called “primary master”) at any given time, extra masters are spares (they are called “secondary masters”).

  • “storage” nodes (mandatory, 1 or more)

    Stores data in a MySQL database, preserving history. All available storage nodes are in use simultaneously. This offers redundancy and data distribution. Other storage backends than MySQL are considered for future release.

  • “admin” nodes (mandatory for startup, optional after)

    Accepts commands from neoctl tool and transmits them to the primary master, and monitors cluster state.

  • “client” nodes

    Well… Something needing to store/load data in a NEO cluster.

ZODB API is fully implemented except:

  • pack: only old revisions of objects are removed for the moment
    (full implementation is considered)
  • blobs: not implemented (not considered yet)

There is a simple way to convert FileStorage to NEO and back again.

See also for more detailed information about features related to scalability.


In addition of the disclaimer contained in the licence this code is released under, please consider the following.

NEO does not implement any authentication mechanism between its nodes, and does not encrypt data exchanged between nodes either. If you want to protect your cluster from malicious nodes, or your data from being snooped, please consider encrypted tunelling (such as openvpn).



  1. Make neo directory available for python to import (for example, by adding its container directory to the PYTHONPATH environment variable).

  2. Choose a cluster name and setup a MySQL database

  3. Start all required nodes:

    neomaster --cluster=<cluster name>
    neostorage --cluster=<cluster name> --database=user:passwd@host
    neoadmin --cluster=<cluster name>
  4. Tell the cluster it can provide service:

    neoctl start

How to use

First make sure Python can import ‘neo.client’ package.

In zope

  1. Edit your zope.conf, add a neo import and edit the zodb_db section by replacing its filestorage subsection by a NEOStorage one. It should look like:

    %import neo.client
    <zodb_db main>
        # Main FileStorage database
            name <cluster name>
        mount-point /
  2. Start zope

In a Python script

Just create the storage object and play with it:

from neo.client.Storage import Storage
s = Storage(master_nodes="", name="main")

“name” and “master_nodes” parameters have the same meaning as in configuration file.

Shutting down

There is no administration command yet to stop properly a running cluster. So following manual actions should be done:

  1. Make sure all clients like Zope instances are stopped, so that cluster become idle.
  2. Stop all master nodes first with a SIGINT or SIGTERM, so that storage nodes don’t become in OUT_OF_DATE state.
  3. At last stop remaining nodes with a SIGINT or SIGTERM.


NEO has no built-in deployment features such as process daemonization. We use supervisor with configuration like below:


command=neomaster -c neo -s master_01 -f /neo/neo.conf

command=neostorage -c neo -s storage_01 -f /neo/neo.conf

command=neoadmin -c neo -s admin -f /neo/neo.conf


Developers interested in NEO may refer to NEO Web site and subscribe to following mailing lists:

Commercial Support

Nexedi provides commercial support for NEO:

Change History

0.9 (2011-09-12)

Initial release.

NEO is considered stable enough to replace existing ZEO setups, except that:

  • there’s no backup mechanism (aka efficient snapshoting): there’s only replication and underlying MySQL tools
  • MySQL tables format may change in the future

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