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Elasticsearch Performance in a Nutshell

Elasticsearch Performance in a Nutshell

Presentation held at the Search Meetup Karlsruhe on October 16, 2014.


Patrick Peschlow

October 16, 2014


  1. codecentric AG Patrick Peschlow Elasticsearch Performance in a Nutshell

  2. codecentric AG Segments Segment Segment flush() commit() Synced to Disk

  3. codecentric AG Segments Segment flush() Persisted refresh() Segment flush() Executed

    heuristically Executed regularly commit() Synced to Disk
  4. codecentric AG Merging − Happens in the background ! −

    Is throttled to not affect indexing − But if merging is too slow, Elasticsearch will also throttle indexing ! − Merge throttling − index.store.throttle.type=merge/none − indices.store.throttle.max_bytes_per_sec=<byte_string> − On SSDs consider throttling less, or not throttling at all − On spinning disks set: index.merge.scheduler.max_thread_count=1 ! − It is possible to „optimize“ an index towards some goal − Don’t call „optimize“ on a live index
  5. codecentric AG Refresh/Flush − Controlling refresh − Set refresh rate

    via index.refresh_interval (set to -1 to disable completely) − Dictated by application requirements − Can be explicitly requested via the refresh API or when indexing a document ! − Controlling flush − Some settings, most useful one is index.translog.flush_threshold_size − Disable flush completely via index.translog.disable_flush − Can be explicitly requested via the flush API
  6. codecentric AG Bulk API − Allows for multiple operations within

    a single request − Index, create, update, delete ! − Try to find the optimal bulk size for your application − Consider bulk size in bytes, not only the number of documents − When in doubt, prefer smaller bulks over larger ones ! − Parallel bulk requests might improve throughput even further − Async calls or multiple clients
  7. codecentric AG Optimizing for Indexing Speed − Segments and merging

    − Turn off refresh while indexing (if the index is not used) − Delay flushes (creates fewer but larger segments) − Throttle merging if applicable ! − Increase indices.memory.index_buffer_size (default is 10%) ! − Set number of replicas to zero − Add them when done indexing (and optimizing) − Adding new replicas is cheaper than „live“ replication ! − Use the bulk API ! − Disable warmup
  8. codecentric AG Mapping − Disable the _all field ! −

    Keep the _source field enabled and don’t set any fields to _stored − Only for very large _source, consider disabling it (but: no updates, reindexing, highlighting) ! − Analysis − Need field norms? If not, set norms.enabled=false − Need term frequencies and positions? Set index_options to what you really need ! − Use not_analyzed where you can ! − Enable dynamic mapping only where you need it
  9. codecentric AG Filters and Caching − Use filters instead of

    queries whenever you don’t need scoring − Filter results can be cached ! − Tricky caching behavior − Most simple filters are cached by default, but some not (e.g., geo) − Compound filters (bool/and/or/not) are not cached − You can still explicitly request caching by setting _cache − Bool filters query the cache for their (sub-)filters, but and/or/not filters don’t ! − But: This topic seems to be a moving target ! − Consider the scope of filters − Apply to query, aggregations/facets, or both? − Often „filtered query“ is what you need
  10. codecentric AG Filters and Ordering − Order of execution: First

    query, then filter, then score − „First filter, then query“ is not as simple as one might expect ! − Elements of bool filters are executed sequentially − Place the most selective filter first ! − Consider using „accelerator“ filters − Additional filters which are not strictly needed − But aim to reduce work for uncached heavyweight filters − Place them before their respective counterpart
  11. codecentric AG Queries − Pagination − Don’t load too many

    results with a single query − Avoid deep pagination (consider using scan+scroll API instead) ! − Try to optimize heavyweight queries via additional index-time operations − For example, prefix query vs. edge ngrams − Even if it requires indexing a source field twice − Consider using the „transform“ feature ! − Use warmup ! − Use query templates ! − Multi search API (bulk API for search)
  12. codecentric AG Aggregations/Facets − Tend to be expensive ! −

    Consider loading aggregations/facets as lazily as possible − Do you really need to offer all of them on the UI right away? − Can you hide some less relevant ones by default? ! − Only load once when retrieving paginated results − Consider omitting aggregations/facets when moving to another page − They likely stayed the same
  13. codecentric AG Field Data − Some common operations may require

    the original document field contents − Sorting − Facetting/Aggregation − To some extent, scripting ! − Such field data of all documents is usually loaded into memory (and cached) − Can consume lots of memory − Especially when faceting on analyzed fields with many different values ! − Frequent cause of OutOfMemoryError
  14. codecentric AG Doc Values − Store field data on the

    file system − Let the OS do the caching − Doc values can be enabled on a per-field basis ! − Advantages − Much lower JVM memory requirements − Much fewer garbage collections ! − Disadvantages − Slightly slower searches/aggregations (but not by much) ! − Recommendation − Try enabling them everywhere and see if you notice any bad effects − In any case, consider enabling them for fields used in big „offline“ aggregations
  15. codecentric AG Update API − Lucene does not know updates

    − Update = Delete + Add ! − Elasticsearch update API − Two flavors: „partial document“ and „script“ − Only saves network traffic, internally it is Read, Delete, Add − Do not use the update API to replace a whole document ! − Even small updates might take a while − A single expensive field prevents efficient update of a document
  16. codecentric AG Relations − Lucene documents are flat − Arrays

    of inner objects are flattened, one-to-many relationships not possible − Elasticsearch offers „nested objects“ and „parent/child mapping“ ! − Nested objects − Stored as separate objects alongside the document − Loading/querying them does not cause much overhead − But cannot be updated on their own ! − Parent/child mapping − Child documents are separate documents on the same shard as their parent − Can be updated individually − Querying is more expensive and requires an in-memory join table
  17. codecentric AG UUIDs − Sequential IDs allow for optimizations when

    looking up documents ! − Not possible with random UUIDs − Like those generated by Java’s UUID class by default ! − Internally Elasticsearch now uses Flake IDs ! − If possible, consider using an appropriate UUID type
  18. codecentric AG Sharding and Replication Node 1 Node 2 Primary

    1 Primary 2 Primary 3 Replica 2 Replica 3 Replica 1
  19. codecentric AG Performance Gains − Multiple shards allow for parallel

    writes (index/update/delete) ! − Multiple replicas allow for parallel reads (get/search) − But indexing requests take longer − Unless you trade in safety via „replication=async“ ! − But sharding usually makes each individual search request slower − Accurate scoring may require an initial round-trip to each shard − Then a second round-trip performing the actual search − Reduce the search results of all shards at a single node − A third round-trip to retrieve the final set of documents from the relevant shards − Lots of network calls
  20. codecentric AG The Two Rules of Distributed Search Performance −

    Distributed search is expensive − Look for ways to direct each search request to a single shard only ! − Searching multiple indexes is the same as searching a sharded index − 1 index with 50 shards =~ 50 indexes with 1 shard each − In both cases, 50 Lucene indexes are searched
  21. codecentric AG Scale a Single Index − The number of

    shards needs to be set at index creation time − Choose based on estimation and measurements − A little overallocation is OK, yet shards don’t come for free ! − If it turns out you need to scale higher, there are two options − Think about how to handle this right from the start ! − Migrate to a single new index with more shards − Requires the use of aliases and possibly a zero-downtime migration ! − Create a second index for new documents − Define an alias so that search considers both indexes − But: Requires additional effort for updates and deletes (which index to address?)
  22. codecentric AG Performance Optimization with Routing − Goal: Avoid distributed

    searches ! − Prerequisite: There are isolated „users“ (or tenants, etc.) ! − The „routing“ parameter allows for overriding the shard key − By default, the document ID is used ! − Consider using the user ID as shard key − Directs one user’s documents always to the same shard − Search will only require a single shard − Note: A shard may still contain multiple users’ data ! − Possible drawback: Some shards may become much bigger than others
  23. codecentric AG Performance Optimization with Aliases − Goal: Avoid expensive

    searches cluttered with irrelevant data ! − Prerequisite: There are isolated „users“ (or tenants, etc.) ! − An index alias for each user decouples client-side view from physical storage − In the beginning, all aliases point to the same index − Later, migrate users with many documents into their own indexes − Switch aliases accordingly ! − Possible drawback: Cluster state may become big when there are lots of aliases ! − Consider combining the „routing“ and „aliases“ approaches
  24. codecentric AG Dedicated Master Nodes master Node 1 Other nodes

    master Node 2 master Node 3
  25. codecentric AG Aggregator Nodes Node 1 data Node 2 data

    Search client Node 3 Indexing ?
  26. codecentric AG Clients − Use an existing client library !

    − If Java, choose the NodeClient − Joins the cluster and thus knows which node to address (potentially saves a hop) − Note: It is a client node and thus will participate in searches, too ! − If Java, and NodeClient is not an option, choose the TransportClient ! − HTTP − Use long-lived HTTP connections − Check HTTP chunking
  27. codecentric AG Recovery − Avoid wasting time or resources during

    recovery − Unnecessary work will be done if recovery starts too early − Unnecessary time will pass if recovery doesn’t start when all nodes are already there ! − Configure (at least) these settings according to your requirements − gateway.recover_after_nodes − gateway.recover_after_time − gateway.expected_nodes
  28. codecentric AG APIs and Tools − Elasticsearch Cluster API −

    Nodes stats − Nodes hot threads − Cluster health − Cluster stats − Cluster pending tasks ! − Elasticsearch plugins visualize many relevant metrics ! − Elasticsearch Benchmark API − Experimental, not officially released yet ! − Lucene contrib-benchmark − For pure analysis and query benchmarking
  29. codecentric AG Operating System Configuration − Increase maximum number of

    open file descriptors ! − Increase the maximum number of memory map areas ! − Avoid swapping ! − Details:
  30. codecentric AG JVM Configuration − Set the ES_HEAP_SIZE environment variable

    − Internally sets Xms = Xmx ! − Leave enough memory to the OS − Rule of thumb: Allocate (at most) half of the available memory to Elasticsearch − And: Not more than 32 GB (enables pointer compression) − Note: When using doc values for field data, a few GB might be more than enough ! − Use a concurrent garbage collector − Elasticsearch default is CMS − Try out G1 if you feel GC pressure ! − Make sure you run a supported Java version − Some may cause index corruption (e.g., Java 7 update 40)
  31. codecentric AG Hardware − Think twice about virtualization − Can

    you reliable reserve/isolate memory? − Possible conflicts with other services on the same physical node − Need to take good care even without virtualization ! − Storage − Use SSDs − Consider using RAID 0 for performance − Keep Elasticsearch data directories on local storage (beware NFS, etc.) ! − Memory − The more, the better ! − Prefer medium/large size machines over small ones
  32. codecentric AG The Most Important Advice (Part 1) Measure, don’t

  33. codecentric AG The Most Important Advice (Part 2) One change

    at a time
  34. codecentric AG Questions? Dr. rer. nat. Patrick Peschlow
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