Tag: performance
Momentum MTA Performance Tuning Tips
7 Jan2012

This post is being constantly updated as we find out more useful information on Momentum tuning. Last update: 2012-05-05.

About 2 months ago I’ve joined LivingSocial technical operations team and one of my first tasks there was to figure out a way to make our MTAs perform better and deliver faster. We use a really great product called Momentum MTA (former Ecelerity) and it is really fast, but it is always good to be able to squeeze as much performance as possible so I’ve started looking for a ways to make our system faster.

While working on it I’ve created a set of scripts to integrate Momentum with Graphite for all kinds of crazy stats graphing, those scripts will be opensourced soon, but for now I’ve decided to share a few tips about performance-related changes we’ve made to improve our performance at least 2x:

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ActiveMQ + Ruby Stomp Client: How to process elements one by one
30 Oct2008

Few months ago I’ve switched one of our internal projects from doing synchronous database saves of analytics data to an asynchronous processing using starling + a pool of workers. This was the day when I really understood the power of specialized queue servers. I was using database (mostly, MySQL) for this kind of tasks for years and sometimes (especially under a highly concurrent load) it worked not so fast… Few times I worked with some queue servers, but those were either some small tasks or I didn’t have a time to really get the idea, that specialized queue servers were created just to do these tasks quickly and efficiently.

All this time (few months now) I was using starling noticed really bad thing in how it works: if workers die (really die, or lock on something for a long time, or just start lagging) and queue start growing, the thing could kill your server and you won’t be able to do something about it – it just eats all your memory and this is it. Since then I’ve started looking for a better solution for our queuing, the technology was too cool to give up. I’ve tried 5 or 6 different popular solutions and all of them sucked… They ALL had the same problem – if your queue grows, this is your problem and not queue broker’s :-/ The last solution I’ve tested was ActiveMQ and either I wasn’t able to push it to its limits or it is really so cool, but looks like it does not have this memory problem. So, we’ve started using it recently.

In this small post I’d like to describe a few things that took me pretty long to figure out in ruby Stomp client: how to make queues persistent (really!) and how to process elements one by one with clients’ acknowledgments.
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Advanced Squid Caching for Rails Applications: Preface
25 Oct2008

Since the day one when I joined Scribd, I was thinking about the fact that 90+% of our traffic is going to the document view pages, which is a single action in our documents controller. I was wondering how could we improve this action responsiveness and make our users happier.

Few times I was creating a git branches and hacking this action trying to implement some sort of page-level caching to make things faster. But all the time results weren’t as good as I’d like them to be. So, branches were sitting there and waiting for a better idea.
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Found an Ideal I/O Scheduler for my MySQL boxes
20 Jul2008

Today I was doing some work on one of our database servers (each of them has 4 SAS disks in RAID10 on an Adaptec controller) and it required huge multi-thread I/O-bound read load. Basically it was a set of parallel full-scan reads from a 300Gb compressed innodb table (yes, we use innodb plugin). Looking at the iostat I saw pretty expected results: 90-100% disk utilization and lots of read operations per second. Then I decided to play around with linux I/O schedulers and try to increase disk subsystem throughput. Here are the results:

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FastSessions Rails Plugin Released
6 Feb2008

How often do we think about our http sessions implementation? I mean, do you know, how your currently used sessions-related code will behave when sessions number in your database will grow up to millions (or, even, hundreds of millions) of records? This is one of the things we do not think about. But if you’ll think about it, you’ll notice, that 99% of your session-related operations are read-only and 99% of your sessions writes are not needed. Almost all your sessions table records have the same information: session_id and serialized empty session in the data field.

Looking at this sessions-related situation we have created really simple (and, at the same time, really useful for large Rails projects) plugin, which replaces ActiveRecord-based session store and makes sessions much more effective. Below you can find some information about implementation details and decisions we’ve made in this plugin, but if you just want to try it, then check out our project site.

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