[rabbitmq-discuss] Federated exchange slowdown

Simone Busoli simone.busoli at gmail.com
Tue Mar 20 23:03:00 GMT 2012

Hi Simon, I'm confused as well. Please take my previous observation with a
grain of salt as I was publishing somewhat big messages (100KB) at a rate
that perhaps couldn't be handled very well by the network. As soon as I
reduced the size to one tenth everything started going more smoothly, for
as long as something weird didn't happen to the network. Here's the test
environment I've set up to reproduce the issue: two physical machines
connected each to a network switch (all devices are 100Mb), with the two
switches connected to each other. Of course B1 and B2 live on the two
machines, respectively. A bunch of consumers on each side. I'm faking a
network latency of a few hundreds of milliseconds via software, and
publishing 20 msg/s of 10 kB each on one side of a bidirectional federation
exchange seems to work fine.
If I try disconnecting the network cable which connects the two switched
and plug it back a few seconds later implies that the federated exchanges
never catch up with the messages queued up so far, in particular the
outgoing queue on the broker acting as the downstream in this scenario (the
one whose messages would then be discarded by the plugin once back to the
publisher side) seems to not be emptied by anyone anymore.

One other thing I noticed during the failure in the production environment
is that if I deleted this automatically created queue (i.e. the queue B2 ->
B1, with B1 being the originator of the messages), affected the queue B1 ->
B2, which from a slow delivery rate stopped completely. Now, as far as my
understanding goes each direction of an exchange federated between two
brokers in both directions should be independent of the other, but I
experienced exactly this, and given that a unidirectionally federated
exchange under the same conditions described above works just fine I am
wondering whether connecting two exchanges in this way implies some weird
behavior in which each side influences the other in a sort of cascading
behavior which leads to a deadlock.

Although unlikely to be the cause of this, I'm wondering if using
prefetch-count, which I'm using, could lead to this behavior. For example
after the network bounce mentioned above the prefetch count was reached on
both sides, so no more deliveries would be done until acks arrived from the
other side. Might it happen that this could imply a deadlock in which each
side is waiting for the other to send acknowledges before sending anymore

On Tue, Mar 20, 2012 at 13:21, Simon MacMullen <simon at rabbitmq.com> wrote:

> On 19/03/12 14:00, Busoli, Simone wrote:
>> Hi Simon, I think I've mostly tracked down the issue to the symmetric
>> setup of the federated exchanges between the two brokers. I noticed
>> that whenever I start publishing messages to an exchange configured
>> that way the network starts behaving in surprisingly ways. For
>> instance, I can no longer get two machines connected directly by two
>> network switches to ping each other. Stop publishing messages and
>> everything goes back to a normal state. A federated exchange which
>> goes in one direction only as well as a shovel instead behave just
>> fine.
> I am very confused by this.
> Really, nothing the federation plugin does should be able to stop ICMP
> pings from working, it's just a TCP connection after all.
> The only thing I can think of is that somehow federation is going mad and
> flooding the link with traffic - but I'm sure you would have noticed that.
> And pings should still get through anyway.
> Does wireshark / tcpdump / etc show anything unusual?
> Cheers, Simon
> --
> Simon MacMullen
> RabbitMQ, VMware
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