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Cluster Sizing and Other Considerations

June 18th, 2020 by Jack Vanlightly

This is the start of a short series where we look at sizing your RabbitMQ clusters. The actual sizing wholly depends on your hardware and workload, so rather than tell you how many CPUs and how much RAM you should provision, we’ll create some general guidelines and use a case study to show what things you should consider.

Common Questions

What is the best combination of VM size and VM count for your RabbitMQ cluster? Should you scale up and go for three nodes with 32 CPU threads? Or should you scale out and go for 9 nodes with 8 CPU threads? What type of disk offers the best value for money? How much memory do you need? Which hardware configuration is better for throughput, latency, cost of ownership?

First of all, there is no single answer. If you run in the cloud then there are fewer options but if you run on-premise then the sheer number of virtualisation, storage and networking products and configurations out there makes this an impossible question.

While there is no single sizing guide with hard numbers, we can go through a sizing analysis and hopefully that will help you with your own sizing.

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How to run benchmarks

June 4th, 2020 by Jack Vanlightly

There can be many reasons to do benchmarking:

  • Sizing and capacity planning
  • Product assessment (can RabbitMQ handle my load?)
  • Discover best configuration for your workload
In this post we’ll take a look at the various options for running RabbitMQ benchmarks. But before we do, you’ll need a way to see the results and look at system metrics.

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This Month in RabbitMQ, April 2020 Recap

June 1st, 2020 by Michael Klishin

A Webinar on Quorum Queues

Before we start with RabbitMQ project and community updates from April, we have a webinar to announce! Jack Vanlightly, a RabbitMQ core team member, will present on High Availability and Data Safety in Messaging on June 11th, 2020.

In this webinar, Jack Vanlightly will explain quorum queues, a new replicated queue type in RabbitMQ. Quorum queues were introduced in RabbitMQ 3.8 with a focus on data safety and efficient, predictable recovery from node failures. Jack will cover and contrast the design of quorum and classic mirrored queues.

After this webinar, you'll understand:

  • Why quorum queues offer better data safety than mirrored queues
  • How and why server resource usage changes when switching to quorum queues from mirrored queues
  • Some best practices when using quorum queues

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Quorum Queues and Flow Control – Stress Tests

May 15th, 2020 by Jack Vanlightly

In the last post we ran some simple benchmarks on a single queue to see what effect pipelining publisher confirms and consumer acknowledgements had on flow control. 

Specifically we looked at:

  • Publishers: Restricting the number of in-flight messages (messages sent but pending a confirm).
  • Consumers: Prefetch (the number in-flight messages the broker will allow on the channel)
  • Consumers: Ack Interval (multiple flag usage)
 

Unsurprisingly, we saw when we restricted publishers and the brokers to a small number of in-flight messages at a time, that throughput was low. When we increased that limit, throughput increased, but only to a point, after which we saw no more throughput gains but instead just latency increases. We also saw that allowing consumers to use the multiple flag was beneficial to throughput.

In this post we’re going to look at those same three settings, but with many clients, many queues and different amounts of load, including stress tests. We’ll see that publisher confirms and consumer acknowledgements play a role in flow control to help prevent overload of a broker. 

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Quorum Queues and Flow Control – Single Queue Benchmarks

May 14th, 2020 by Jack Vanlightly

In the last post we covered what flow control is, both as a general concept and the various flow control mechanisms available in RabbitMQ. We saw that publisher confirms and consumer acknowledgements are not just data safety measures, but also play a role in flow control. 

In this post we’re going to look at how application developers can use publisher confirms and consumer acknowledgements to get a balance of safety and high performance, in the context of a single queue. 

Flow control becomes especially important when a broker is being overloaded. A single queue is unlikely to overload your broker. If you send large messages then sure, you can saturate your network, or if you only have a single CPU core, then one queue could max it out. But most of us are on 8, 16 or 30+ core machines. But it’s interesting to break down the effects of confirms and acks on a single queue. From there we can take our learnings and see if they apply to larger deployments (the next post).

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Quorum Queues and Flow Control – The Concepts

May 4th, 2020 by Jack Vanlightly

As part of our quorum queue series we’re taking a look at flow control, how it protects RabbitMQ from being overloaded and how that relates to quorum queues.

What is Flow Control?

Flow control is a concept that has been in computer networking and networked software for decades. Essentially it is a mechanism for applying back pressure to senders to avoid overloading receivers. Receivers typically buffer incoming packets/messages as a way of dealing with a send rate that exceeds its processing rate. But receiver buffers cannot grow forever so either the send rate should only transiently exceed receiver processing capacity (bursty traffic) or the sender must be slowed down (back pressure).

Flow control is a way of applying this back pressure on the sender, slowing them down so that the receiver’s buffers do not overflow and latencies do not grow too large. In a chain of sender/receivers, this back pressure can propagate up the chain to the origin of the traffic. In more complex graphs of connected components, flow control can balance incoming traffic between fast and slow senders, avoiding overload but allowing the system to reach full utilisation despite different numbers of senders, different rates and different load patterns (steady or bursty).

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Quorum queues and why disks matter

April 21st, 2020 by Jack Vanlightly

Quorum queues are still relatively new to RabbitMQ and many people have still not made the jump from classic mirrored queues. Before you migrate to this new queue type you need to make sure that your hardware can support your workload and a big factor in that is what storage drives you use.

In this blog post we’re going to take a closer look at quorum queues and their performance characteristics on different storage configurations.

HDD or SSD? One drive or multiple drives?

The TL;DR is that we highly recommend SSDs when using quorum queues. The reason for this is that quorum queues are sensitive to IO latency and SSDs deliver lower latency IO than HDDs. With higher IO latency, you'll see lower throughput, higher end-to-end latency and some other undesirable effects.

Further down in this post we’ll demonstrate why we recommend this, using various benchmarks with different SSD and HDD configurations.

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RabbitMQ Gets an HA Upgrade

April 20th, 2020 by Jack Vanlightly

This is the first part of a series on quorum queues, our new replicated queue type. We'll be covering everything from what quorum queues are, to hardware requirements, migration from mirrored queues and best practices.

Introducing Quorum Queues

Mirrored queues, also known as HA queues have been the de facto option for years when requiring extra data safety guarantees for your messages. Quorum queues are the next generation of replicated queue that aim to replace most use cases for mirrored queues and are available from the 3.8 release and onward.

In this blog series we’re going to cover the following:

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This Month in RabbitMQ: March 2020 Recap

April 13th, 2020 by Michael Klishin

Due to the uncertainties of the COVID-19 virus, the RabbitMQ Summit team is canceling the Berlin Summit in June 2020. We do still hope that we can proceed with the plans for a summit in November in New York. Check back for updates.

Among other contributions this month, we have resources on using RabbitMQ successfully in a microservices architecture, why you should use messaging in your project with Rabbit and SpringBoot, and many other tips and tricks. So dive in, the water’s fine! And please stay safe, everyone.

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This Month in RabbitMQ, February 2020 Recap

March 10th, 2020 by Michael Klishin

This Month in RabbitMQ — February 2020 Recap!

RabbitMQ Summit is coming again! This time, the gathering will be in Berlin on June 9 and the call for proposals (to speak at the event) is open until March 22.

Mark your calendars, brush up on your Deutsch, and buy your tickets for the next chance to immerse yourself in all things RabbitMQ. I’m sure there will be at least a couple of RabbitMQ influencers there, too 🙂

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