Thursday, November 19, 2009

disk assisted mode performance in rsyslog

I would just like to clearify one thing: rsyslog supports disk assistance in which case messages are written to disk if the in-memory queue becomes full.

However, it is generally bad if the system needs to go to the disk during normal operations. That is primarily meant for things like output targets going offline. If this happens during normal operations, one is probably lost. In the v3&v4 engines, when disk mode is enabled, the in-memory worker threads are shut down. So all processing then takes place over the disk. That means processing will be slower than before. So if the system was incapable of handling the work load when running on a pure in-memory queue, it will definitely be incapable of handling it in disk mode.

Note that things are different in recent v5 engines: starting with 5.3.5, the disk worker runs concurrently to the in-memory workers and as such the performance is similar to what it was in non-disk mode. Still, overall processing is probably slower, so going to disk is not a cure for a system that can not handle the overall workload. In v5, however, it may be a way to handle excess bursts.

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