Control Groups integration module for Apache
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mod_cgroup
README.md

README.md

mod_cgroup - Resource management per vhost

PURPOSE

mod_cgroup provides a system administrator with the capability to provide predictable service levels for each virtual host declared in httpd.

mod_cgroup can be used for:

  • Offering grades of service per virtual host or a group of virtual hosts.
  • Protecting other virtual hosts from problematic resource abuse in another vhost.
  • Penalizing a virtual host which fails to respect resouce limitations.
  • Ensuring a predictable capacity level is provided to all web services.

REQUIREMENTS

This module is purposely designed to work on Linux only. The module requires a version of linux which comes with a functioning cgroups implementation. The libcgroup library must be installed for the module to work as expected. It was written on version 0.36 however its likely to work on most of the earlier releases of this library. This is an apache2 module only.

USAGE

###CGroup

  • Description: Declares the CGroup a vhost will migrate to during content processing.
  • Syntax: CGroup path
  • Default: /
  • Context: server config, virtual host, directory

You use this parameter to declare the cgroup name to migrate a vhost to before processing. This takes the format used by libcgroup and cgconfig.conf MINUS the controllers. e.g "/vhost1", "/apache/vhost2"

###DefaultCGroup

  • Description: Declares the CGroup you relinquish to once processing has finished.
  • Syntax: DefaultCGroup path
  • Default: /
  • Context: server config

This parameter sets the cgroup to migrate to once processing of content has finished. This prevents you keeping workers in old cgroups for a vhost. This takes the format used by libcgroup and cgconfig.conf MINUS the controllers. e.g "/vhost1", "/apache/vhost2"

###RelinquishCGroup

  • Description: Enabled or disables relinquishment of cgroups.
  • Syntax: RelinquishCgroup on|off
  • Default: on
  • Context: server config

This parameter controls the behaviour of mod_cgroup once processing has finished. In nearly all circumstances you will want to keep this turned on as it ensures idle workers dont hang around in old cgroups. Depending on the future development of new controllers for control groups there might be an advantage for disabling the default behaviour.

Note that to use this module you must have pre-configured cgroups designed to honour whatever service constraints you want to declare. Typically this is done using cgconfig.conf in /etc.

LIMITATIONS

YOUR MILEAGE WILL VARY BY THE TYPES OF CGROUPS YOU CONFIGURE.

Currently mod_cgroup offers no facilities to declare specific controllers in the group. Thus all controllers are migrated to when you migrate to a cgroup.

This module relies on libcgroup to function. If this is not installed this module will not work as expected instead you will likely fail to start apache properly.

The module checks cgroups access on startup. If it cannot write to the cgroup, the module is implicitly disabled.

The subject apache runs in MUST be able to write to the cgroups files declared in the cgconfig. This not only means setting the cgroup tasks file as writable by the apache user but ALSO (if being used) any mandatory access control mechanisms allowing apache to write to the files too (such as SELinux, which under the default policy as of writing does not permit this). An example is provided below describing how to use the module including access issues you may come accross.

Certain controllers (such as the memory controller) will effectively OOM pids charged in their control group with using too much memory. Under certain circumstances this could sometimes kill requests mid-flight of processing ANOTHER vhost.

For example, if worker 1 in cgroup 1 allocates 80M of memory then worker 1 handles a request in cgroup 2 WHILST worker 2 handles another 80M allocation in cgroup 1, if theres insufficient memory in cgroup 1, OOM killer MAY choose to kill worker 1 mid request to free up space for worker 2.

The circumstances of this happening are unlikely, because oom-killer will attempt to kill tasks that reside inside of its own cgroup.

WARNING: The module offers no facility to prevent virtual hosts simply migrating themselves out of the cgroup they are in before processing their request. This is because apache by default needs write access to manage the tasks files used in cgroups. Whilst this is unlikely you should be vigilant to this possibility.

MEMORY CONTROLLER

One cool thing about the memory controller is that it will 'charge' pages that were used in that cgroup even if the task migrates to another cgroup!

What this means is that each individual vhost (or group of) is entirely responsible for the pages they accumlate within that group! So a seperate vhost does not pay for the overused memory of the original vhost.

SELINUX SUPPORT

SELinux by default will prevent mod_cgroup from running properly by preventing access to the relevent tasks file. SELinux support for mod_cgroup is provided using the file mod_cgroup.pp. To enable it. Run: semodule - i mod_cgroup.pp setsebool -P httpd_cgroup_control 1

EXAMPLE

In the following example we give vhost2 much less memory to play with than vhost1, we also degrade outbound throughput to prevent the host using too much bandwidth. Finally we offer less CPU time when under high cpu load.

We also attempt to put some files and locations into a restricted cgroup.

httpd.conf

LoadModule cgroup_module modules/mod_cgroup.so

NameVirtualHost *:80
DefaultCGroup /daemons/lamp
CGroup /daemons/lamp
RelinquishCGroup on

<VirtualHost *:80>
   ServerName vhost1.com
   CGroup /daemons/lamp/vhost1
   DocumentRoot /var/www/html1
       <Location /hungry>
           CGroup /daemons/lamp/restricted
       </Location>
</VirtualHost>

<VirtualHost *:80>
   ServerName vhost2.com
   CGroup /daemons/lamp/vhost2
   DocumentRoot /var/www/html2
       <FilesMatch .php$>
           CGroup /daemons/lamp/restricted
       </FilesMatch>
</VirtualHost>

cgconfig.conf

[...]
group daemons/lamp {
        perm {
                task {
                        uid = apache;
                        gid = root;
                }
                admin {
                        uid = root;
                        gid = root;
                }
        }
        cpu {
                cpu.shares = 1000;
        }

        memory {
                memory.memsw.limit_in_bytes = 512M;
                memory.limit_in_bytes = 256M;
        }
	net_cls {
		net_cls.classid = 0x10011;
	}
}

group daemons/lamp/vhost1 {
        perm {
                task {
                        uid = apache;
                        gid = root;
                }
                admin {
                        uid = root;
                        gid = root;
                }
        }
        cpu {
                cpu.shares = 100;
        }

        memory {
                memory.memsw.limit_in_bytes = 512M;
                memory.limit_in_bytes = 256M;
        }
}

group daemons/lamp/restricted {
	perm {
		task {
			uid = apache;
			gid = root;
		}
		admin {
			uid = root;
			gid = root;
		}
	}
	cpu {
		cpu.shares = 50;
	}

	memory {
		memory.memsw.limit_in_bytes = 512M;
		memory.limit_in_bytes = 256M;
	}
}

group daemons/lamp/vhost2 {
        perm {
                task {
                        uid = apache;
                        gid = root;
                }
                admin {
                        uid = root;
                        gid = root;
                }
        }
        cpu {
                cpu.shares = 25;
        }

        memory {
                memory.memsw.limit_in_bytes = 64M;
                memory.limit_in_bytes = 32M;
        }
        net_cls {
                net_cls.classid = 0x10012;
        }
}
[...]

bash script

#!/bin/bash
QDISC="tc qdisc add"
CLASS="tc class add"
FILTER="tc filter add"

$QDISC dev eth0 parent root handle 1: hfsc default 11 
$CLASS dev eth0 parent 1: classid 1:1 hfsc sc rate 12.5mbps ul rate 12.5mbps
$CLASS dev eth0 parent 1:1 classid 1:11 hfsc sc rate 12.0mbps ul rate 12.5mbps
$CLASS dev eth0 parent 1:1 classid 1:12 hfsc sc umax 1500 dmax 45ms rate 512kbps ul rate 1.5mbps

$FILTER dev eth0 handle 1: parent 1: protocol ip prio 10 cgroup

$QDISC dev eth0 parent 1:11 handle 11:0 pfifo
$QDISC dev eth0 parent 1:12 handle 12:0 sfq perturb 10

FURTHER READING

If you dont know about cgroups. Read the kernel documentation on it. If you want to understand how to restrict the network throughput of vhosts, the lartc offers excellent documentation on how to start. The net_cls controller documentation should fill in most of the other gaps.

This is not documentated anywhere, but note with net_cls 64bit systems have the length of the class you input as always 0x4hex whereas 32 bit is 0x2hex.

[Matthew Ife][mailto:matthew.ife@ukfast.co.uk]