A resque plugin that scales heroku workers for batch jobs
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This gem defines a Resque plugin that allows you to automatically scale up the number of workers running on Heroku and then automatically scale them down once no work is left to do. To use, extend the module from your job:

class MyJob
  extend Resque::Plugins::ScalingCanary
  def self.minimum_workers_needed

  def self.perform

Defining minimum_workers_needed like we did above is optional, but if you don't define it, it defaults to 1. ScalingCanary makes sure that when your job is enqueued there are at least this many workers working to service it.

Next, define the environment variables HEROKU_USER, HEROKU_PASSWORD, and HEROKU_APP with your heroku credentials and app name:

$ heroku config:add HEROKU_USER=aaron@art.sy
$ heroku config:add HEROKU_PASSWORD=5u93r53cr37
$ heroku config:add HEROKU_APP=awesome-app

When you enqueue your job, you'll see a new queue called "~scaling-canary" created with a single job in it. This job is the canary - its queue name is lexicographically after any other queue names you have, so it'll get processed last. When it runs, it looks around to see if any other jobs are being worked on or are awaiting workers on any queues. If any are, it requeues itself, but if everything's finished, it shuts down all workers.

There are a few other gems that allow you to automatically scale up the Heroku workers you use in response to your Resque load and then kill those workers automatically when the work is done: resque-heroku-autoscaler and hirefire are two notable examples. This gem is takes a dumber but more easily auditable approach than either of the above alternatives that's better suited to systems running a largish set of batch jobs that might spawn other Resque jobs. In particular, this gem is meant to work well with jobs using resque-multi-step, which enqueues finalization jobs from within Resque tasks in a way that sometimes confuses other auto-scaling gems.

This plugin works with Resque version 1.9 and above.


gem install resque_heroku_scaling_canary


You can configure the following parameters:

  • heroku_user: defaults to the value of the environment variable HEROKU_USER
  • heroku_password: defaults to the value of the environment variable HEROKU_PASSWORD
  • heroku_app: defaults to the value of the environment variable HEROKU_APP
  • polling_interval: the polling interval, in seconds, that the canary should wait between checking the outstanding Resque jobs and working Resque workers. To be safe, the canary checks these values twice, waiting for polling_interval seconds in between, before shutting all workers down.
  • disable_scaling_if: called with a block, will evaluate the block and disable scaling entirely if it evaluates to true.

These values are easiest to configure in an initializer, for example, create the file config/initializers/resque_heroku_scaling_canary.rb and put something like the following in the file:

require 'resque_heroku_scaling_canary'

Resque::Plugins::ScalingCanary.config do |config|
  config.heroku_app = "myapp"
  config.polling_interval = 3
  config.disable_scaling_if{ Rails.env == 'development' }