[openstack-dev] [Marconi] Why is marconi a queue implementation vs a provisioning API?
flavio at redhat.com
Thu Mar 20 12:34:02 UTC 2014
On 20/03/14 09:09 +0000, Mark McLoughlin wrote:
>On Wed, 2014-03-19 at 12:37 -0700, Devananda van der Veen wrote:
>> Let me start by saying that I want there to be a constructive discussion
>> around all this. I've done my best to keep my tone as non-snarky as I could
>> while still clearly stating my concerns. I've also spent a few hours
>> reviewing the current code and docs. Hopefully this contribution will be
>> beneficial in helping the discussion along.
>Thanks, I think it does.
Very helpful, Thanks!
>> For what it's worth, I don't have a clear understanding of why the Marconi
>> developer community chose to create a new queue rather than an abstraction
>> layer on top of existing queues. While my lack of understanding there isn't
>> a technical objection to the project, I hope they can address this in the
>> aforementioned FAQ.
>> The reference storage implementation is MongoDB. AFAIK, no integrated
>> projects require an AGPL package to be installed, and from the discussions
>> I've been part of, that would be a show-stopper if Marconi required
>> MongoDB. As I understand it, this is why sqlalchemy support was required
>> when Marconi was incubated. Saying "Marconi also supports SQLA" is
>> disingenuous because it is a second-class citizen, with incomplete API
>> support, is clearly not the recommended storage driver, and is going to be
>> unusuable at scale (I'll come back to this point in a bit).
>> Let me ask this. Which back-end is tested in Marconi's CI? That is the
>> back-end that matters right now. If that's Mongo, I think there's a
>> problem. If it's SQLA, then I think Marconi should declare any features
>> which SQLA doesn't support to be optional extensions, make SQLA the
>> default, and clearly document how to deploy Marconi at scale with a SQLA
>> Then there's the db-as-a-queue antipattern, and the problems that I have
>> seen result from this in the past... I'm not the only one in the OpenStack
>> community with some experience scaling MySQL databases. Surely others have
>> their own experiences and opinions on whether a database (whether MySQL or
>> Mongo or Postgres or ...) can be used in such a way _at_scale_ and not fall
>> over from resource contention. I would hope that those members of the
>> community would chime into this discussion at some point. Perhaps they'll
>> even disagree with me!
>> A quick look at the code around claim (which, it seems, will be the most
>> commonly requested action) shows why this is an antipattern.
>> The MongoDB storage driver for claims requires _four_ queries just to get a
>> message, with a serious race condition (but at least it's documented in the
>> code) if multiple clients are claiming messages in the same queue at the
>> same time. For reference:
>> The SQLAlchemy storage driver is no better. It's issuing _five_ queries
>> just to claim a message (including a query to purge all expired claims
>> every time a new claim is created). The performance of this transaction
>> under high load is probably going to be bad...
>> Lastly, it looks like the Marconi storage drivers assume the storage
>> back-end to be infinitely scalable. AFAICT, the mongo storage driver
>> supports mongo's native sharding -- which I'm happy to see -- but the SQLA
>> driver does not appear to support anything equivalent for other back-ends,
>> eg. MySQL. This relegates any deployment using the SQLA backend to the
>> scale of "only what one database instance can handle". It's unsuitable for
>> any large-scale deployment. Folks who don't want to use Mongo are likely to
>> use MySQL and will be promptly bitten by Marconi's lack of scalability with
>> this back end.
>> While there is a lot of room to improve the messaging around what/how/why,
>> and I think a FAQ will be very helpful, I don't think that Marconi should
>> graduate this cycle because:
>> (1) support for a non-AGPL-backend is a legal requirement [*] for Marconi's
>> (2) deploying Marconi with sqla+mysql will result in an incomplete and
>> unscalable service.
>> It's possible that I'm wrong about the scalability of Marconi with sqla +
>> mysql. If anyone feels that this is going to perform blazingly fast on a
>> single mysql db backend, please publish a benchmark and I'll be very happy
>> to be proved wrong. To be meaningful, it must have a high concurrency of
>> clients creating and claiming messages with (num queues) << (num clients)
>> << (num messages), and all clients polling on a reasonably short interval,
>> based on what ever the recommended client-rate-limit is. I'd like the test
>> to be repeated with both Mongo and SQLA back-ends on the same hardware for
>My guess (and it's just a guess) is that the Marconi developers almost
>wish their SQLA driver didn't exist after reading your email because of
>the confusion it's causing. My understanding is that the SQLA driver is
>not intended for production usage.
Yeah, pretty much the feeling now! :D
In a more serious note, I do see some value in the sqlalchemy backend
that I already expressed in a previous email on this thread. However,
I do agree with the feeling that a queuing system on top of mysql is
not a good idea. The reasons why we put some energy on this have
already been expressed as well.
>If Marconi just had a MongoDB driver, I think your points would boil
> "I don't have a clear understanding of why the Marconi developer
> community chose to create a new queue rather than an abstraction
> layer on top of existing queues"
The goal of the project has always been to provide an abstraction on
top of existing technologies. In order to do that, we need to create
an API that groups the common operations provided by the protocols
that such technologies sit on top of.
This, however, is not clear when you look at the supported drivers and
see that the project existing drivers are MongoDB and sqlalchemy. I
really believe that an amqp driver is must-have driver in order to
clear this point out.
The project does not proxy calls to the underlying technologies. It
unifies those operations in a common API. The idea behind supporting
API extensions is to provide a nice way to expose through Marconi's
API some operations that are not common among the supported storage
> "no integrated projects require an AGPL package to be installed, and
> from the discussions I've been part of, that would be a show-stopper
> if Marconi required MongoDB"
This is one of the reasons we support sqlalchemy now. I think it's
quite late to analyze whether it was or not the right call. Marconi
does not require MongoDB to be installed. In fact, the default driver
is sqlalchemy+sqlite. However, it'd be unfair to say that's the ideal
driver to use and that it'd be enough to use that on production.
Thinking about production environments and the scale needs those
environments have, it is fair to say that Marconi requires MongoDB.
> "whether a database like Mongo can be used in such a way _at_scale_
> and not fall over from resource contention. The MongoDB storage
> driver for claims requires _four_ queries just to get a message, with
> a serious race condition if multiple clients are claiming messages in
> the same queue at the same time."
It'd be unfair to just evaluate the case based on the number of
queries. Requiring 4 queries is not nice, I agree but:
1. Those queries were thought in a way that would not lock down the
2. Some of those queries will go away.
I realize that this is quite a vague answer but I'd like to dedicate
some time in a more detailed one on the FAQ proposed below.
>I think the first two concerns have been expressed already, but the
>third one is new. I've put my attempt at drafting a FAQ here:
>and added the scalability concern to it.
I'd like to thank you all for being constructive, analyzing the
problem and diving into Marconi's code. I really appreciate the
outcome of this thread and I do realize we still have a lot of work to
do, especially community-wise.
I'll dedicate time and effort to provide the necessary information on
the open questions in this thread and I'll then come back with a more
detailed FAQ that we can go through again.
P.S: In case you're interested, I'll be presenting Marconi on March
27th in a Hangout session. I'll try to cover these questions there as
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