This might seem like a strange question to ask, of course the direct route should be more efficient, but it makes for very complicated setup and prone to errors, in my opinion of course. But all opinions aside, wouldn't an API be simpler and less error prone for the administration of servers than directly allowing slaves to access the master database? Consider this implementation without direct database access: Admin generates an "enrolment key" for use during initial slave configuration. Slave calls to API using key for configuration data; Master provides appropriate response including a new key for the slave for next/future call(s) Slave now updates itself by API. Now that the to me is better than the current system for any number of reasons, Security, Simplified setup/management, Data integrity and, the list could go on. I recently found that an failed install can currently leave the slave in a partially configured state requiring manual recovery, and with data on both the master and the slave to resolve, I would say that alone is a perfect reason to improve The Perfect Server [couldn't resist - its a curse ]. Its worth a footnote that the install could be better handled, why is there no dependency checking occurring before changes are applied? What about a "dry run" option with provision to allow commit upon success? Anyway I hope to see this in a soon to be coming update, over and out, back to it i must go.