Welcome!

Related Topics: Open Source Cloud, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Linux Containers

Open Source Cloud: Article

Memory Monitoring and Limiting with LXC

Building a Metrics Infrastructure

Original article can be found here: Memory Monitoring with LXC

Memory Monitoring And Limiting With LXC

For a long time we didn't limit the amount of memory that you can use during your build on Codeship. There was the possibility of a bad build eating up all of our memory.

A few weeks ago that bad build happened, using up so much memory that it decreased performance and eventually killed the test server. Even though we measure the memory usage of the whole test server, we didn't have the data to figure out exactly which build caused the trouble.

Combined maximum and minimum memory usage of Amazon EC2 Instances.

Combined maximum and minimum memory usage of Amazon EC2 Instances.

How to avoid builds eating up all of your memory
We couldn't risk that this problem happened again and be a threat to other builds on that test server. We didn't have enough data about the memory limits at this point so we had to take an educated guess. My first assumption was the most conservative one. Each test server has 60G of memory and we run 22 builds on each instance, so each build can get a maximum of 2,5G memory. As LXC manages memory with cgroups, it is simple to set a memory limit for each container.

Setting lxc.cgroup.memory.limit_in_bytes in container config:

lxc.cgroup.memory.limit_in_bytes = 2560M

This worked, the bad build wasn't a threat anymore.

We got a few support request where people were asking about their builds being stuck. While the 2,5G are enough for 95% of the builds, the other 5% were hitting the limit. We needed to increase the memory limit to ensure that all builds are running fine. After 2 incremental steps The Codeship is sailing smooth with a 10GB memory limit for each build.

Codeship - A hosted Continuous Deployment platform for web applications

Monitoring in the Future
We wanted to have more data to improve the memory limit in the future. We started measuring the maximum memory usage for each build. We export it to Librato Metrics and save it as metadata of the build in our database. This allows to inspect the memory usage easily. We plan to show the memory usage to our users in the future.

LXC tracks the memory usage for each container and exposes that and many other values in the cgroup. Right before we shutdown the build, we read the memory usage from the cgroup. You can read the memory usage from the cgroup on the LXC Host.

/sys/fs/cgroup/memory/lxc/name_of_running_container/memory.max_usage_in_bytes

and send the data to Librato Metrics.

Metriks.timer('build.memory_usage) .update(metrics[:max_memory])

Building a Metrics Infrastructure
It is important to back your actions with data. Data is your best argument. In case you don't have any useful data to solve the problem, it is important that you can easily add more metrics to your infrastructure. Sit back with your Coworkers and think about good metricsfor your product. Sometimes it's not easy to spot them on the first glimpse. We often talk about our metrics.

We discuss new metrics but also talk about removing redundant metrics. It is very exciting to talk about data and what your Coworkers conclude from that data. We are able to add new metrics to our infrastructure in minutes. By building this metrics infrastructure you can handle any new challenges by quickly adding mesurements that help you decide on the next steps. This infrastructure can be the difference between life and death of your service, so make sure you have it in place.

Do you monitor? Which tools and services do you use for it? Let us know in the comments!

Further Information on Linux Containers


Download Efficiency in Development Workflows: A free eBook for Software Developers. This book will save you a lot of time and make you and your development team happy.

Go ahead and try Codeship for Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment! Set up for your GitHub and BitBucket projects only takes 3 minutes. It's free!

More Stories By Manuel Weiss

I am the cofounder of Codeship – a hosted Continuous Integration and Deployment platform for web applications. On the Codeship blog we love to write about Software Testing, Continuos Integration and Deployment. Also check out our weekly screencast series 'Testing Tuesday'!

Latest Stories
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of the 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to gre...
DevOps is under attack because developers don’t want to mess with infrastructure. They will happily own their code into production, but want to use platforms instead of raw automation. That’s changing the landscape that we understand as DevOps with both architecture concepts (CloudNative) and process redefinition (SRE). Rob Hirschfeld’s recent work in Kubernetes operations has led to the conclusion that containers and related platforms have changed the way we should be thinking about DevOps and...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develop...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
The next XaaS is CICDaaS. Why? Because CICD saves developers a huge amount of time. CD is an especially great option for projects that require multiple and frequent contributions to be integrated. But… securing CICD best practices is an emerging, essential, yet little understood practice for DevOps teams and their Cloud Service Providers. The only way to get CICD to work in a highly secure environment takes collaboration, patience and persistence. Building CICD in the cloud requires rigorous ar...
Companies are harnessing data in ways we once associated with science fiction. Analysts have access to a plethora of visualization and reporting tools, but considering the vast amount of data businesses collect and limitations of CPUs, end users are forced to design their structures and systems with limitations. Until now. As the cloud toolkit to analyze data has evolved, GPUs have stepped in to massively parallel SQL, visualization and machine learning.
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
"ZeroStack is a startup in Silicon Valley. We're solving a very interesting problem around bringing public cloud convenience with private cloud control for enterprises and mid-size companies," explained Kamesh Pemmaraju, VP of Product Management at ZeroStack, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Enterprises are adopting Kubernetes to accelerate the development and the delivery of cloud-native applications. However, sharing a Kubernetes cluster between members of the same team can be challenging. And, sharing clusters across multiple teams is even harder. Kubernetes offers several constructs to help implement segmentation and isolation. However, these primitives can be complex to understand and apply. As a result, it’s becoming common for enterprises to end up with several clusters. Thi...