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Multiple Queues for Movers in each Pool

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Client requests to a dCache system may have rather diverse behaviour. Sometimes it is possible to classify them into several typical usage patterns. An example are the following two concurrent usage patterns:


Data is copied with a high transfer rate to the dCache system from an external source. This is done via the GridFTP protocol. At the same time batch jobs on a local farm process data. Since they only need a small part of each file, they use the dCap protocol via the dCap library and seek to the position in the file they are interested in, read a few bytes, do a few hours of calculations, and finally read some more data.

As long as the number of active requests does not exceed the maximum number of allowed active requests, the two types of requests are processed concurrently. The GridFTP transfers complete at a high rate while the processing jobs take hours to finish. This maximum number of allowed requests is set with mover set max active and should be tuned according to capabilities of the pool host.

However, if requests are queued, the slow processing jobs might clog up the queue and not let the fast GridFTP request through, even though the pool just sits there waiting for the processing jobs to request more data. While this could be temporarily remedied by setting the maximum active requests to a higher value, then in turn GridFTP request would put a very high load on the pool host.

The above example is pretty realistic: As a rule of thumb, GridFTP requests are fastest, dCap requests with the dccp program are a little slower and dCap requests with the dCap library are very slow. However, the usage patterns might be different at other sites and also might change over time.

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Use separate queues for the movers, depending on the door initiating them. This easily allows for a separation of requests of separate protocols. (Transfers from and to a tape backend and pool-to-pool transfers are handled by separate queues, one for each of these transfers.)

A finer grained queue selection mechanism based on, e.g. the IP address of the client or the file which has been requested, is not possible with this mechanism. However, the pool selection unit (PSU) may provide a separation onto separate pools using those criteria.

In the above example, two separate queues for fast GridFTP transfers and slow dCap library access would solve the problem. The maximum number of active movers for the GridFTP queue should be set to a lower value compared to the dCap queue since the fast GridFTP transfers will put a high load on the system while the dCap requests will be mostly idle.

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For a multi mover queue setup, the pools have to be told to start several queues and the doors have to be configured to use one of these. It makes sense to create the same queues on all pools. This is done by the following change to the file /etc/dcache/dcache.conf:


Each door may be configured to use a particular mover queue. The pool, selected for this request, does not depend on the selected mover queue. So a request may go to a pool which does not have the particular mover queue configured and will consequently end up in the default mover queue of that pool.


All requests send from this kind of door will ask to be scheduled to the given mover queue. The selection of the pool is not affected.

The doors are configured to use a particular mover queue as in the following example:


Create the queues queueA and queueB, where queueA shall be the queue for the GridFTP transfers and queueB for dCap.


If the pools should not all have the same queues you can define queues for pools in the layout file. Here you might as well define that a specific door is using a specific queue.


In this example queueCis defined for pool1 and queueD is defined for pool2. The GridFTP door running in the domain myDoors is using the queue queueB.


ftp.authn.protocol = gsi

There is always a default queue called regular. Transfers not requesting a particular mover queue or requesting a mover queue not existing on the selected pool, are handled by the regular queue.

The pool cell commands mover ls and mover set max active have a -queue option to select the mover queue to operate on. Without this option, mover set max active will act on the default queue while mover ls will list all active and waiting client transfer requests.

For the dCap protocol, it is possible to allow the client to choose another queue name than the one defined in the file dcache.conf. To achieve this the property dcap.authz.mover-queue-overwrite needs to be set to allowed.


Create the queues queueA and queue_dccp, where queueA shall be the queue for dCap.


With the dccp command the queue can now be specified as follows:

[user] $ dccp -X-io-queue=queue_dccp <source> <destination>

Since dccp requests may be quite different from other requests with the dCap protocol, this feature may be used to use separate queues for dccp requests and other dCap library requests. Therefore, the dccp command may be changed in future releases to request a special dccp-queue by default.

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Tunable Properties for Multiple Queues

PropertyDefault ValueDescription
pool.queuesNot set I/O queue name
dcap.mover.queueNot setInsecure dCap I/O queue name
dcap.mover.queueNot setGSIdCap I/O queue name
dcap.authz.mover-queue-overwritedeniedControls whether an application is allowed to overwrite a queue name
dcap.authz.mover-queue-overwritedeniedControls whether an application is allowed to overwrite a queue name
dcap.authz.mover-queue-overwritedeniedControls whether an application is allowed to overwrite a queue name
ftp.mover.queueNot setGSI-FTP I/O queue name
nfs.mover.queueNot setNFS I/O queue name
transfermanagers.mover.queueNot setqueue used for SRM third-party transfers (i.e. the srmCopy command)
webdav.mover.queueNot setWebDAV and HTTP I/O queue name
xrootd.mover.queueNot setxrootd I/O queue name