DataStax OpsCenter Documentation

Pending task metrics

Pending task metrics track requests that have been received by a node, but are waiting to be processed. An accumulation of pending tasks on a node can indicate a potential bottleneck in performance and should be investigated.

Cassandra maintains distinct thread pools for different stages of execution. Each of these thread pools provide granular statistics on the number of pending tasks for that particular process. If you see pending tasks accumulating, it is indicative of a cluster that is not keeping up with the workload. Essentially, pending tasks mean that things are backing up, which is usually caused by a lack of (or failure of) cluster resources such as disk bandwidth, network bandwidth or memory.

Pending Task Metrics for Writes

Pending tasks for the following metrics indicate that write requests are arriving faster than they can be handled.

Flushes Pending

The flush process flushes memtables to disk as SSTables. This metric shows the number of memtables queued for the flush process. The optimal number of pending flushes is 0 (or at most a very small number). A value greater than 0 indicates either I/O contention or degrading disk performance (see disk metrics such as disk latency, disk throughput, and disk utilization for indications of disk health).

Flush Sorter Tasks Pending

The flush sorter process performs the first step in the overall process of flushing memtables to disk as SSTables.

Memtable Post Flushers Pending

The memtable post flush process performs the final step in the overall process of flushing memtables to disk as SSTables.

Write Requests Pending

The number of write requests that have arrived into the cluster but are waiting to be handled. During low or moderate write load, you should see 0 pending write operations (or at most a very low number). A continuous high number of pending writes signals a need for more capacity in your cluster or to investigate disk I/O contention.

Replicate on Write Tasks Pending

When an insert or update to a row is written, the affected row is replicated to all other nodes that manage a replica for that row. This is called the ReplicateOnWriteStage. This metric tracks the pending tasks related to this stage of the write process. During low or moderate write load, you should see 0 pending replicate on write tasks (or at most a very low number). A continuous high number signals a need to investigate disk I/O or network contention problems.

Pending Task Metrics for Reads

Pending tasks for the following metrics indicate I/O contention, and can manifest in degrading read performance.

Read Requests Pending

The number of read requests that have arrived into the cluster but are waiting to be handled. During low or moderate read load, you should see 0 pending read operations (or at most a very low number). A continuous high number of pending reads signals a need for more capacity in your cluster or to investigate disk I/O contention. Pending reads can also indicate an application design that is not accessing data in the most efficient way possible.

Read Repair Tasks Pending

The number of read repair operations that are queued and waiting for system resources in order to run. The optimal number of pending read repairs is 0 (or at most a very small number). A value greater than 0 indicates that read repair operations are in I/O contention with other operations. If this graph shows high values for pending tasks, this may suggest the need to run a node repair to make nodes consistent. Or, for column families where your requirements can tolerate a certain degree of stale data, you can lower the value of the column family parameter read_repair_chance.

Compactions Pending

An upper bound of the number of compactions that are queued and waiting for system resources in order to run. This is a worst-case estimate. The compactions pending metric is often misleading. An unrealistic, high reading often occurs. The optimal number of pending compactions is 0 (or at most a very small number). A value greater than 0 indicates that read operations are in I/O contention with compaction operations, which usually manifests itself as declining read performance. This is usually caused by applications that perform frequent small writes in combination with a steady stream of reads. If a node or cluster frequently displays pending compactions, that is an indicator that you may need to increase I/O capacity by adding nodes to the cluster. You can also try to reduce I/O contention by reducing the number of insert/update requests (have your application batch writes for example), or reduce the number of SSTables created by increasing the memtable size and flush frequency on your column families.

Pending Task Metrics for Cluster Operations

Pending tasks for the following metrics indicate a backup of cluster operational processes such as those maintaining node consistency, system schemas, fault detection, and inter-node communications. Pending tasks for resource-intensive operations (such as repair, bootstrap or decommission) are normal and expected while that operation is in progress, but should continue decreasing at a steady rate in a healthy cluster.

Manual Repair Tasks Pending

The number of operations still to be completed when you run anti-entropy repair on a node. It will only show values greater than 0 when a repair is in progress. Repair is a resource-intensive operation that is executed in stages: comparing data between replicas, sending changed rows to the replicas that need to be made consistent, deleting expired tombstones, and rebuilding row indexes and bloom filters. Tracking the state of this metric can help you determine the progress of a repair operation. It is not unusual to see a large number of pending tasks when a repair is running, but you should see the number of tasks progressively decreasing.

Gossip Tasks Pending

Cassandra uses a protocol called gossip to discover location and state information about the other nodes participating in a Cassandra cluster. In Cassandra, the gossip process runs once per second on each node and exchanges state messages with up to three other nodes in the cluster. Gossip tasks pending shows the number of gossip messages and acknowledgments queued and waiting to be sent or received. The optimal number of pending gossip tasks is 0 (or at most a very small number). A value greater than 0 indicates possible network problems (see network traffic for indications of network health).

Hinted Handoff Pending

While a node is offline, other nodes in the cluster will save hints about rows that were updated during the time the node was unavailable. When a node comes back online, its corresponding replicas will begin streaming the missed writes to the node to catch it up. The hinted handoff pending metric tracks the number of hints that are queued and waiting to be delivered once a failed node is back online again. High numbers of pending hints are commonly seen when a node is brought back online after some down time. Viewing this metric can help you determine when the recovering node has been made consistent again. Hinted handoff is an optional feature of Cassandra. Hints are saved for a configurable period of time (an hour by default) before they are dropped. This prevents a large accumulation of hints caused by extended node outages.

Internal Responses Pending

The number of pending tasks from various internal tasks such as nodes joining and leaving the cluster.

Migrations Pending

The number of pending tasks from system methods that have modified the schema. Schema updates have to be propagated to all nodes, so pending tasks for this metric can manifest in schema disagreement errors.

Misc. Tasks Pending

The number of pending tasks from other miscellaneous operations that are not ran frequently.

Request Responses Pending

The progress of rows of data being streamed from the receiving node. Streaming of data between nodes happens during operations such as bootstrap and decommission when one node sends large numbers of rows to another node.

Streams Pending

The progress of rows of data being streamed from the sending node. Streaming of data between nodes happens during operations such as bootstrap and decommission when one node sends large numbers of rows to another node.