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Benefits of active, idle, and concurrent HTTP connections

Contributors netapp-madkat ssantho3 netapp-lhalbert

How you configure HTTP connections can impact the performance of the StorageGRID system. Configurations differ depending on whether the HTTP connection is active or idle or you have concurrent multiple connections.

You can identify the performance benefits for the following types of HTTP connections:

  • Idle HTTP connections

  • Active HTTP connections

  • Concurrent HTTP connections

Benefits of keeping idle HTTP connections open

You should keep HTTP connections open even when client applications are idle to allow client applications to perform subsequent transactions over the open connection. Based on system measurements and integration experience, you should keep an idle HTTP connection open for a maximum of 10 minutes. StorageGRID might automatically close an HTTP connection that is kept open and idle for longer than 10 minutes.

Open and idle HTTP connections provide the following benefits:

  • Reduced latency from the time that the StorageGRID system determines it has to perform an HTTP transaction to the time that the StorageGRID system can perform the transaction

    Reduced latency is the main advantage, especially for the amount of time required to establish TCP/IP and TLS connections.

  • Increased data transfer rate by priming the TCP/IP slow-start algorithm with previously performed transfers

  • Instantaneous notification of several classes of fault conditions that interrupt connectivity between the client application and the StorageGRID system

Determining how long to keep an idle connection open is a trade‐off between the benefits of slow start that is associated with the existing connection and the ideal allocation of the connection to internal system resources.

Benefits of active HTTP connections

For connections directly to Storage Nodes, you should limit the duration of an active HTTP connection to a maximum of 10 minutes, even if the HTTP connection continuously performs transactions.

Determining the maximum duration that a connection should be held open is a trade‐off between the benefits of connection persistence and the ideal allocation of the connection to internal system resources.

For client connections to Storage Nodes, limiting active HTTP connections provides the following benefits:

  • Enables optimal load balancing across the StorageGRID system.

    Over time, an HTTP connection might no longer be optimal as load balancing requirements change. The system performs its best load balancing when client applications establish a separate HTTP connection for each transaction, but this negates the much more valuable gains associated with persistent connections.

  • Allows client applications to direct HTTP transactions to LDR services that have available space.

  • Allows maintenance procedures to start.

    Some maintenance procedures start only after all the in-progress HTTP connections are complete.

For client connections to the Load Balancer service, limiting the duration of open connections can be useful for allowing some maintenance procedures to start promptly. If the duration of client connections is not limited, it might take several minutes for active connections to be automatically terminated.

Benefits of concurrent HTTP connections

You should keep multiple TCP/IP connections to the StorageGRID system open to allow parallelism, which increases performance. The optimal number of parallel connections depends on a variety of factors.

Concurrent HTTP connections provide the following benefits:

  • Reduced latency

    Transactions can start immediately instead of waiting for other transactions to be completed.

  • Increased throughput

    The StorageGRID system can perform parallel transactions and increase aggregate transaction throughput.

Client applications should establish multiple HTTP connections. When a client application has to perform a transaction, it can select and immediately use any established connection that is not currently processing a transaction.

Each StorageGRID system's topology has different peak throughput for concurrent transactions and connections before performance begins to degrade. Peak throughput depends on factors such as computing resources, network resources, storage resources, and WAN links. The number of servers and services and the number of applications that the StorageGRID system supports are also factors.

StorageGRID systems often support multiple client applications. You should keep this in mind when you determine the maximum number of concurrent connections used by a client application. If the client application consists of multiple software entities that each establish connections to the StorageGRID system, you should add up all the connections across the entities. You might have to adjust the maximum number of concurrent connections in the following situations:

  • The StorageGRID system's topology affects the maximum number of concurrent transactions and connections that the system can support.

  • Client applications that interact with the StorageGRID system over a network with limited bandwidth might have to reduce the degree of concurrency to ensure that individual transactions are completed in a reasonable time.

  • When many client applications share the StorageGRID system, you might have to reduce the degree of concurrency to avoid exceeding the limits of the system.

Separation of HTTP connection pools for read and write operations

You can use separate pools of HTTP connections for read and write operations and control how much of a pool to use for each. Separate pools of HTTP connections enable you to better control transactions and balance loads.

Client applications can create loads that are retrieve-dominant (read) or store-dominant (write). With separate pools of HTTP connections for read and write transactions, you can adjust how much of each pool to dedicate for read or write transactions.