Swap relocation performed for shard – How to solve this OpenSearch error

Opster Team

Aug-23, Version: 2.4-2.9

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Briefly, this error occurs when OpenSearch decides to move a shard from one node to another to balance the load across the cluster. This process is known as shard relocation or swapping. It can be triggered by factors like node addition, removal, or disk space issues. To resolve this, you can adjust the cluster settings to control shard allocation. For instance, you can set the ‘cluster.routing.allocation.enable’ to ‘none’ to disable shard allocation. Alternatively, you can use the ‘cluster.routing.allocation.disk.watermark’ settings to manage disk space usage.

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This guide will help you check for common problems that cause the log ” Swap relocation performed for shard [{}] ” to appear. To understand the issues related to this log, read the explanation below about the following OpenSearch concepts: routing, cluster, relocation, shard.

Log Context

Log “Swap relocation performed for shard [{}]” classname is RoutingNodes.java.
We extracted the following from OpenSearch source code for those seeking an in-depth context :

        ShardRouting newPrimary = primaryShard.moveActivePrimaryToReplica();
        ShardRouting newReplica = replicaShard.moveActiveReplicaToPrimary();
        updateAssigned(primaryShard; newPrimary);
        updateAssigned(replicaShard; newReplica);
        logger.info("Swap relocation performed for shard [{}]"; newPrimary.shortSummary());

    private void unassignPrimaryAndPromoteActiveReplicaIfExists(
        ShardRouting failedShard;


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