Run multiple Sidekiq processes

GitLab allows you to start multiple Sidekiq processes. These processes can be used to consume a dedicated set of queues. This can be used to ensure certain queues always have dedicated workers, no matter the number of jobs to be processed.

note
The information in this page applies only to Omnibus GitLab.

Available Sidekiq queues

For a list of the existing Sidekiq queues, check the following files:

Each entry in the above files represents a queue on which Sidekiq processes can be started.

Start multiple processes

Version history

When starting multiple processes, the number of processes should equal (and not exceed) the number of CPU cores you want to dedicate to Sidekiq. Each Sidekiq process can use only 1 CPU core, subject to the available workload and concurrency settings.

To start multiple processes:

  1. Using the sidekiq['queue_groups'] array setting, specify how many processes to create using sidekiq-cluster and which queue they should handle. Each item in the array equates to one additional Sidekiq process, and values in each item determine the queues it works on.

    For example, the following setting creates three Sidekiq processes, one to run on elastic_commit_indexer, one to run on mailers, and one process running on all queues:

    sidekiq['queue_groups'] = [
      "elastic_commit_indexer",
      "mailers",
      "*"
    ]
    

    To have an additional Sidekiq process handle multiple queues, add multiple queue names to its item delimited by commas. For example:

    sidekiq['queue_groups'] = [
      "elastic_commit_indexer, elastic_association_indexer",
      "mailers",
      "*"
    ]
    

    In GitLab 12.9 and later, the special queue name * means all queues. This starts two processes, each handling all queues:

    sidekiq['queue_groups'] = [
      "*",
      "*"
    ]
    

    * cannot be combined with concrete queue names - *, mailers just handles the mailers queue.

    When sidekiq-cluster is only running on a single node, make sure that at least one process is running on all queues using *. This ensures a process automatically picks up jobs in queues created in the future, including queues that have dedicated processes.

    If sidekiq-cluster is running on more than one node, you can also use --negate and list all the queues that are already being processed.

  2. Save the file and reconfigure GitLab for the changes to take effect:

    sudo gitlab-ctl reconfigure
    

To view the Sidekiq processes in GitLab:

  1. On the top bar, select Main menu > Admin.
  2. On the left sidebar, select Monitoring > Background Jobs.

Negate settings

To have the Sidekiq process work on every queue except the ones you list. In this example, we exclude all import-related jobs from a Sidekiq node:

  1. Edit /etc/gitlab/gitlab.rb and add:

    sidekiq['negate'] = true
    sidekiq['queue_selector'] = true
    sidekiq['queue_groups'] = [
       "feature_category=importers"
    ]
    
  2. Save the file and reconfigure GitLab for the changes to take effect:

    sudo gitlab-ctl reconfigure
    

Queue selector

In addition to selecting queues by name, as above, the queue_selector option allows queue groups to be selected in a more general way using a worker matching query. After queue_selector is set, all queue_groups must follow the aforementioned syntax.

In /etc/gitlab/gitlab.rb:

sidekiq['enable'] = true
sidekiq['queue_selector'] = true
sidekiq['queue_groups'] = [
  # Run all non-CPU-bound queues that are high urgency
  'resource_boundary!=cpu&urgency=high',
  # Run all continuous integration and pages queues that are not high urgency
  'feature_category=continuous_integration,pages&urgency!=high',
  # Run all queues
  '*'
]

Ignore all import queues

When importing from GitHub or other sources, Sidekiq might use all of its resources to perform those operations. To set up two separate sidekiq-cluster processes, where one only processes imports and the other processes all other queues:

  1. Edit /etc/gitlab/gitlab.rb and add:

    sidekiq['enable'] = true
    sidekiq['queue_selector'] = true
    sidekiq['queue_groups'] = [
      "feature_category=importers",
      "feature_category!=importers"
    ]
    
  2. Save the file and reconfigure GitLab for the changes to take effect:

    sudo gitlab-ctl reconfigure
    

Number of threads

By default each process defined under sidekiq starts with a number of threads that equals the number of queues, plus one spare thread. For example, a process that handles the process_commit and post_receive queues uses three threads in total.

These thread run inside a single Ruby process, and each process can only use a single CPU core. The usefulness of threading depends on the work having some external dependencies to wait on, like database queries or HTTP requests. Most Sidekiq deployments benefit from this threading, and when running fewer queues in a process, increasing the thread count might be even more desirable to make the most effective use of CPU resources.

Manage thread counts explicitly

The correct maximum thread count (also called concurrency) depends on the workload. Typical values range from 1 for highly CPU-bound tasks to 15 or higher for mixed low-priority work. A reasonable starting range is 15 to 25 for a non-specialized deployment.

You can find example values used by GitLab.com by searching for concurrency: in the Helm charts. The values vary according to the work each specific deployment of Sidekiq does. Any other specialized deployments with processes dedicated to specific queues should have the concurrency tuned according to: have the concurrency tuned according to:

  • The CPU usage of each type of process.
  • The throughput achieved.

Each thread requires a Redis connection, so adding threads may increase Redis latency and potentially cause client timeouts. See the Sidekiq documentation about Redis for more details.

When running Sidekiq cluster (default)

Running Sidekiq cluster is the default in GitLab 13.0 and later.

  1. Edit /etc/gitlab/gitlab.rb and add:

    sidekiq['min_concurrency'] = 15
    sidekiq['max_concurrency'] = 25
    
  2. Save the file and reconfigure GitLab for the changes to take effect:

    sudo gitlab-ctl reconfigure
    

min_concurrency and max_concurrency are independent; one can be set without the other. Setting min_concurrency to 0 disables the limit.

For each queue group, let N be one more than the number of queues. The concurrency is set to:

  1. N, if it’s between min_concurrency and max_concurrency.
  2. max_concurrency, if N exceeds this value.
  3. min_concurrency, if N is less than this value.

If min_concurrency is equal to max_concurrency, then this value is used regardless of the number of queues.

When min_concurrency is greater than max_concurrency, it is treated as being equal to max_concurrency.

When running a single Sidekiq process

Running a single Sidekiq process is the default in GitLab 12.10 and earlier.

caution
Running Sidekiq directly was removed in GitLab 14.0.
  1. Edit /etc/gitlab/gitlab.rb and add:

    sidekiq['cluster'] = false
    sidekiq['concurrency'] = 25
    
  2. Save the file and reconfigure GitLab for the changes to take effect:

    sudo gitlab-ctl reconfigure
    

This sets the concurrency (number of threads) for the Sidekiq process.

Modify the check interval

To modify sidekiq-cluster’s health check interval for the additional Sidekiq processes:

  1. Edit /etc/gitlab/gitlab.rb and add (the value can be any integer number of seconds):

    sidekiq['interval'] = 5
    
  2. Save the file and reconfigure GitLab for the changes to take effect.

Troubleshoot using the CLI

caution
It’s recommended to use /etc/gitlab/gitlab.rb to configure the Sidekiq processes. If you experience a problem, you should contact GitLab support. Use the command line at your own risk.

For debugging purposes, you can start extra Sidekiq processes by using the command /opt/gitlab/embedded/service/gitlab-rails/bin/sidekiq-cluster. This command takes arguments using the following syntax:

/opt/gitlab/embedded/service/gitlab-rails/bin/sidekiq-cluster [QUEUE,QUEUE,...] [QUEUE, ...]

Each separate argument denotes a group of queues that have to be processed by a Sidekiq process. Multiple queues can be processed by the same process by separating them with a comma instead of a space.

Instead of a queue, a queue namespace can also be provided, to have the process automatically listen on all queues in that namespace without needing to explicitly list all the queue names. For more information about queue namespaces, see the relevant section in the Sidekiq development documentation.

For example, say you want to start 2 extra processes: one to process the process_commit queue, and one to process the post_receive queue. This can be done as follows:

/opt/gitlab/embedded/service/gitlab-rails/bin/sidekiq-cluster process_commit post_receive

If you instead want to start one process processing both queues, you’d use the following syntax:

/opt/gitlab/embedded/service/gitlab-rails/bin/sidekiq-cluster process_commit,post_receive

If you want to have one Sidekiq process dealing with the process_commit and post_receive queues, and one process to process the gitlab_shell queue, you’d use the following:

/opt/gitlab/embedded/service/gitlab-rails/bin/sidekiq-cluster process_commit,post_receive gitlab_shell

Monitor the sidekiq-cluster command

The sidekiq-cluster command does not terminate once it has started the desired amount of Sidekiq processes. Instead, the process continues running and forwards any signals to the child processes. This allows you to stop all Sidekiq processes as you send a signal to the sidekiq-cluster process, instead of having to send it to the individual processes.

If the sidekiq-cluster process crashes or receives a SIGKILL, the child processes terminate themselves after a few seconds. This ensures you don’t end up with zombie Sidekiq processes.

This allows you to monitor the processes by hooking up sidekiq-cluster to your supervisor of choice (for example, runit).

If a child process died the sidekiq-cluster command signals all remaining process to terminate, then terminate itself. This removes the need for sidekiq-cluster to re-implement complex process monitoring/restarting code. Instead you should make sure your supervisor restarts the sidekiq-cluster process whenever necessary.

PID files

The sidekiq-cluster command can store its PID in a file. By default no PID file is written, but this can be changed by passing the --pidfile option to sidekiq-cluster. For example:

/opt/gitlab/embedded/service/gitlab-rails/bin/sidekiq-cluster --pidfile /var/run/gitlab/sidekiq_cluster.pid process_commit

Keep in mind that the PID file contains the PID of the sidekiq-cluster command and not the PIDs of the started Sidekiq processes.

Environment

The Rails environment can be set by passing the --environment flag to the sidekiq-cluster command, or by setting RAILS_ENV to a non-empty value. The default value can be found in /opt/gitlab/etc/gitlab-rails/env/RAILS_ENV.