[rabbitmq-discuss] difficulties with prefetch count

Allan Kamau kamauallan at gmail.com
Mon May 2 13:28:24 BST 2011

On Mon, May 2, 2011 at 3:01 PM, james anderson <james.anderson at setf.de> wrote:
> good afternoon, gentlemen;
> we find that a qos request with prefetch count of 1 does not reliably
> achieve "fair dispatch" and seek advice, what we should reconfigure in order
> to achieve it.
> the specification page[1] indicates that rmq supports local prefetch limits,
> but not global ones. the BasicQosDesign[2] wiki entry describes some
> restrictions, in particular qos/consume ordering. the work queue tutorial
> describes how to use prefetch constraints to achieve "fair dispatch".
> despite adhering to these understandings, we observe the following with rmq
> 2.1.1:
> a server process establishes four worker threads, each of which
>  - creates a connection to the rmq broker
>  - creates a shared work queue (most likely redundantly)
>  - a private sub-task queue for responses to delegated tasks
>  - creates two channels on its connection;
>   - one channel is for task messages; there it requests qos(prefetch=1),
> consume(work queue).
>   - one channel is used to delegate tasks; on this one just
> consume(delegated response queue).
>  - accepts delivery of task messages, processes them, publishes results to a
> task-identified response queue.
> a front-end process establishes equivalent threads, each of which supports
> http requests and mediates them to the server.
> for each front-end request, a thread
>  - creates a connection to the rmq server
>  - creates a task-specific queue (as per routing) for an eventual response
>  - subscribes to the response queue
>  - publishes a task message with routing to the work queue
>  - accepts delivery of task responses
>  - tears down the task response subscription and queue.
> in this particular situation, no delegation occurs. that is, no messages
> pass through the delegated work queue.
> we observe that, if a posted task takes an "long" time, not only its
> front-end thread will wait until that processing completes, but one
> additional front-end task hangs was well.
> while the long task transpires, other http requests are processed without
> delay. that is, their setup, request, subscription, delivery, and tear-down,
> all complete as normal. their task messages are delivered to one of the
> three unoccupied server threads which does the work and produces the
> response.
> independent of whether the front-end leaves the hung task to wait for a
> response or aborts it, by canceling the subscription, deleting the queue,
> and closing the connection, once the long-running server thread completes
> its task, the next message delivered to it is that message from the
> waiting-or-aborted front-end thread.
> if we use rabbitmqctl to display the connection/subscription/queue state
> during the long task processing, we observe that
> - the work queue has one unacknowledged message, but zero ready messages
> - the server task channels have a prefetch window of 1
> - no connection has a send pending
> that is, it appears as if one single message is held up until the long task
> complete, but is no where to be seen.
> what do we not understand about prefetch windows?
> ---------------
> [1] http://www.rabbitmq.com/specification.html
> [2] https://dev.rabbitmq.com/wiki/BasicQosDesign
> [3] http://www.rabbitmq.com/tutorials/tutorial-two-python.html
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I am quite new to RabbitMQ, reading your first line it seem you would
like the "fair dispatch" or round robin message fetching. This is the
default behaviour. The prefetch count of 1 does disable this "fair
dispatch" and lets the jobs be fetched by clients at quickly as they
can manage to consume them.


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