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From Bill Stoddard <>
Subject Re: Potential memory leak in /modules/cache/mod_mem_cache.c
Date Wed, 02 Nov 2005 22:54:20 GMT
Ruediger Pluem wrote:
> On 11/02/2005 10:54 PM, Bill Stoddard wrote:
>>Ruediger Pluem wrote:
> [..cut..]
>>>Finding calls to malloc and friends in the code of mod_mem_cache is a
>>>clear documentation
>>>that there is no development care of this code as they should not be
>>>used inside of
>>>httpd code. Throughout the httpd code memory pools will be used to
>>>aquire memory for storing
>>>data structures.
>>mod_mem_cache does not use pools to store objects because it is not
>>straightforward how to recover pool storage when stale cache objects are
>>removed from the cache. For example, if you have 10,000 objects in the
>>mem cache and you need to garbage collect 1837 of them, how do you do it
>>(and return the memory to the system) if all 10,000 objects are
>>allocated out of the same pool? There are ways of doing it, but not
> Ok. You got me :-). I should have taken a closer look at the code before.
> I agree that this problem is not straightforward to solve, especially not
> for someone who is not that deep into pools like me and who still has a lot
> to learn in this area.
> In order to improve my understanding of mod_mem_cache at which I had
> a (more) closer look than before I would like to ask some questions:
> For whatever reason I firmly believed that mod_mem_cache has a common cache
> via shared memory over all httpd processes. This does not seem to be true, correct?

Correct. mod_mem_cache stores objects in the heap (not in shared memory). It can store file
contents in heap 
or it can store open file descriptors.

> But if each httpd process maintains its own local cache, this would mean
> that the same object needs to be cached multiple times if clients request
> the same object from different httpd processes. This would
> - increase the load on the backend

> - increase the thundering herd problem for stale cache entries

> - increase memory usage per object as each httpd process does have a local
>   copy of it in memory.

> Do I see this correct?

Yep, you see it correctly. Mod_mem_cache is most interesting to me personally as a benchmark
toy. It should be 
possible to extend mod_mem_cache to cache headers (rather than rebuilding them for each response
sent out of 
the cache), align storage on processor cache-lines and other performance tweaks to serve static
pages really 
really fast (or cache dynamically generated pages until they become stale). You should be
able to use 
mod_mem_cache to explore the static page performance limits of Apache HTTPD 2.0.

> Regards
> RĂ¼diger


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