Two components of etcd storage consume physical memory. The etcd process allocates an in-memory index to speed key lookup. The process's page cache, managed by the operating system, stores recently-accessed data from disk for quick re-use.
The in-memory index holds all the keys in a B-tree data structure, along with pointers to the on-disk data (the values). Each key in the B-tree may contain multiple pointers, pointing to different versions of its values. The theoretical memory consumption of the in-memory index can hence be approximated with the formula:
N * (c1 + avg_key_size) + N * (avg_versions_of_key) * (c2 + size_of_pointer)
c1 is the key metadata overhead and
c2 is the version metadata overhead.
The graph shows the detailed structure of the in-memory index B-tree.
In mem index +------------+ | key || ... | +--------------+ | || | | | +------------+ | | | v1 || ... | | disk <----------------| || | Tree Node | | +------------+ | | | v2 || ... | | <----------------+ || | | | +------------+ +--------------+ +-----+ | | | | | | | | | +------------+ | | ^ ------+ | ... | | | +-----+ | ... | Tree Node | | +-----+ | ... | | | ------+
Page cache memory is managed by the operating system and is not covered in detail in this document.
GCE n1-standard-2 machine type
In this test, we only benchmark the memory usage of the in-memory index. The goal is to find
c2 mentioned above and to understand the hard limit of memory consumption of the storage.
We calculate the memory usage consumption via the Go runtime.ReadMemStats. We calculate the total allocated bytes difference before creating the index and after creating the index. It cannot perfectly reflect the memory usage of the in-memory index itself but can show the rough consumption pattern.
|N||versions||key size||memory usage|
Based on the result, we can calculate
c2=30bytes. We only need two sets of data to calculate
c2, since they are the only unknown variable in the formula. The
c2=30bytes are the average value of the 4 sets of
c2 we calculated. The key metadata overhead is still relatively nontrivial (50%) for small key-value pairs. However, this is a significant improvement over the old store, which had at least 1000% overhead.
The overall memory usage captures how much RSS etcd consumes with the storage. The value size should have very little impact on the overall memory usage of etcd, since we keep values on disk and only retain hot values in memory, managed by the OS page cache.
|N||versions||key size||value size||memory usage|
Based on the result, we know the value size does not significantly impact the memory consumption. There is some minor increase due to more data held in the OS page cache.