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Tuning operating system

As Centrifugo/Centrifuge deals with lots of persistent connections your operating system must be ready for it.

open files limit

First of all you should increase a max number of open files your processes can open.

To get you current open files limit run:

ulimit -n

The result shows approximately how many clients your server can handle.

See this document to get more info on how to increase this number.

If you install Centrifugo using RPM from repo then it automatically sets max open files limit to 32768.

You may also need to increase max open files for Nginx.

lots of sockets in TIME_WAIT state.

Look how many socket descriptors in TIME_WAIT state.

netstat -an |grep TIME_WAIT | grep CENTRIFUGO_PID | wc -l

Under load when lots of connections and disconnection happen lots of used socket descriptors can stay in TIME_WAIT state. Those descriptors can not be reused for a while. So you can get various errors when using Centrifugo. For example something like (99: Cannot assign requested address) while connecting to upstream in Nginx error log and 502 on client side. In this case there are several advices that can help.

Nice article about TIME_WAIT sockets: http://vincent.bernat.im/en/blog/2014-tcp-time-wait-state-linux.html

There is a perfect article about operating system tuning for lots of connections: https://engineering.gosquared.com/optimising-nginx-node-js-and-networking-for-heavy-workloads.

To summarize:

  1. Increase ip_local_port_range
  2. If you are using Nginx set keepalive directive in upstream.
upstream centrifugo {
    #sticky;
    ip_hash;
    server 127.0.0.1:8000;
    keepalive 512;
}
  1. And finally if the problem is not gone away consider trying to enable net.ipv4.tcp_tw_reuse