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From "Benedict (JIRA)" <>
Subject [jira] [Commented] (CASSANDRA-3852) use LIFO queueing policy when queue size exceeds thresholds
Date Sat, 14 Feb 2015 12:40:12 GMT


Benedict commented on CASSANDRA-3852:

It's worth pointing out this change won't necessarily help tail latencies, it will just shift
the tail - the most extreme tail will be worse, with the less extreme tail hopefully better.
It's possible that to benchmark this change effectively we will need CASSANDRA-8756, else
we may have hiccups in processing that cause some of our synchronous workers to block for
a lengthy interval (because service keeps getting bumped to the back of the queue), reducing

There's also a potential problem: Whilst the (gradated) LIFO policy itself is easily introduced
to our internal executors, once a message is relegated within an executor there is a high
likelihood it will never be serviced. However the associated state on both the owning node
and the coordinator accumulates for the entire timeout period. This _could_ lead to a situation
where this increases the temporary heap burden on the cluster under periods of high load,
actually worsening the load and harming our ability to recover, especially on the coordinator
which may receive full responses from some nodes, but no digest from others that relegated
their work (say) and so accumulate the full response. 

I would quite like to see the introduction of two things in conjunction with this:

1) Proactive escalation of relegation to a complete drop of the message if work arrival rates
indicate the message is unlikely to be serviced
2) Notification to the coordinator by the owning node that the message has been dropped

It might also be useful to tie this in with CASSANDRA-8518 (probably not first time around),
so that the size is factored into the decision to escalate to a drop.

It's likely this should also be an optional behaviour, the default for which is debatable.
Opinions welcome, so we can decide if this will still make it into 3.0, and if so what the
scope will be.

> use LIFO queueing policy when queue size exceeds thresholds
> -----------------------------------------------------------
>                 Key: CASSANDRA-3852
>                 URL:
>             Project: Cassandra
>          Issue Type: Improvement
>            Reporter: Peter Schuller
>              Labels: performance
>             Fix For: 3.0
> A strict FIFO policy for queueing (between stages) is detrimental to latency and forward
progress. Whenever a node is saturated beyond incoming request rate, *all* requests become
slow. If it is consistently saturated, you start effectively timing out on *all* requests.
> A much better strategy from the point of view of latency is to serve a subset requests
quickly, and letting some time out, rather than letting all either time out or be slow.
> Care must be taken such that:
> * We still guarantee that requests are processed reasonably timely (we couldn't go strict
LIFO for example as that would result in requests getting stuck potentially forever on a loaded
> * Maybe, depending on the previous point's solution, ensure that some requests bypass
the policy and get prioritized (e.g., schema migrations, or anything "internal" to a node).
> A possible implementation is to go LIFO whenever there are requests in the queue that
are older than N milliseconds (or a certain queue size, etc).
> Benefits:
> * All cases where the client is directly, or is indirectly affecting through other layers,
a system which has limited concurrency (e.g., thread pool size of X to serve some incoming
request rate), it is *much* better for a few requests to time out while most are serviced
quickly, than for all requests to become slow, as it doesn't explode concurrency. Think any
random non-super-advanced php app, ruby web app, java servlet based app, etc. Essentially,
it optimizes very heavily for improved average latencies.
> * Systems with strict p95/p99/p999 requirements on latencies should greatly benefit from
such a policy. For example, suppose you have a system at 85% of capacity, and it takes a write
spike (or has a hiccup like GC pause, blocking on a commit log write, etc). Suppose the hiccup
racks up 500 ms worth of requests. At 15% margin at steady state, that takes 500ms * 100/15
= 3.2 seconds to recover. Instead of *all* requests for an entire 3.2 second window being
slow, we'd serve requests quickly for 2.7 of those seconds, with the incoming requests during
that 500 ms interval being the ones primarily affected. The flip side though is that once
you're at the point where more than N percent of requests end up having to wait for others
to take LIFO priority, the p(100-N) latencies will actually be *worse* than without this change
(but at this point you have to consider what the root reason for those pXX requirements are).
> * In the case of complete saturation, it allows forward progress. Suppose you're taking
25% more traffic than you are able to handle. Instead of getting backed up and ending up essentially
timing out *every single request*, you will succeed in processing up to 75% of them (I say
"up to" because it depends; for example on a {{QUORUM}} request you need at least two of the
requests from the co-ordinator to succeed so the percentage is brought down) and allowing
clients to make forward progress and get work done, rather than being stuck.

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