RATE_LIMIT and Oracle RAC 11gR2?

Oracle SQLNet/TNS connections rate limiting is an awesome way of increasing stability of Oracle databases by allowing controlling insane behavior of starting up Applicaton Servers or Middleware components that push hundredths connections to the databases and thus killing CPU on the database/server side (and impacting other critical work). The way it works is also very important, it is not just refusing connections, but accept()-ing socket, but not starting processing (just queuing the work). For more detail you can look official Oracle whitepaper, especially www.oracle.com/technetwork/database/enterprise-edition/oraclenetservices-connectionratelim-133050.pdf.

The way its working is important , because rejecting the TCP connections (via TCP FIN or TCP RST) would cause application to get “Unable to get connection” type errors, which is in most cases not something you want to achieve for various reasons. If that feature doesn’t work you won’t be able to re-implement it in different way – let’s say using Linux’s NetFilter – because you are able to rate limit TCP connections there primarily by dropping them.

You may be surprised after reading official Oracle documentation http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E11882_01/network.112/e10835/listener.htm#NETRF008 regarding rate limiting Oracle SQLNet/TNS connections is NOT supported on RAC installations. The official documentation itself is silent on this topic, but this has been confirmed via Oracle SR to support. The probable primary reason for this is that CRS in 11gR2 manages normal and SCAN listeners so you have no choice of altering Oracle managed listner.ora and endpoints_listener.ora files because they are overwritten by… but still documentation asks you to them. Clearly a conflcit here.

On RAC/CRS the listeners are supposed to be altered only via “srvctl” command. srvctl actually is just frontend because oraagent.bin daemon takes care since 11gR2 for monitoring and housekeeping listeners. The problem is that srvctl does NOT have a way to enable RATE_LIMIT, but also there is no option to alter more advanced parameters like QUEUESIZE (fortunately on Linux 2.6.x backlog depth for listen() seems to be SOMAXCONN=/proc/sys/net/core/somaxconn=128 by default), SDU, etc (those are actually being mentioned in Bug 11782958: “SRVCTL DOES NOT SUPPORT LISTENER CONFIGURATION LIKE MODIFYING QUEUESIZE, SEND/RE”, also in DocID 1292915.1 “Setting Parameters for Scan and Node Listeners on RAC, Queuesize, SDU, Ports, etc”)

Sample srvctl options for 11gR2:

[oracle@racnode1 ~]$ aso srvctl config listener -a
Name: LISTENER
Network: 1, Owner: oracle
Home: <CRS home>
  /u01/app/11.2.0/grid11203 on node(s) racnode1, racnode2
End points: TCP:1521
[oracle@racnode1 ~]$ aso srvctl modify listener -h

Modifies the configuration for the listener.

Usage: srvctl modify listener [-l <lsnr_name>] [-o <oracle_home>] [-p "[TCP:]<port>[, ...][/IPC:<key>][/NMP:<pipe_name>][/TCPS:<s_port>] [/SDP:<port>]"] [-u <oracle_user>] [-k <net_num>]
    -l <lsnr_name>           Listener name (default name is LISTENER)
    -o <oracle_home>         ORACLE_HOME path
    -p "[TCP:]<port>[, ...][/IPC:<key>][/NMP:<pipe_name>][/TCPS:<s_port>] [/SDP:<port>]"       Comma separated tcp ports or listener endpoints
    -u <oracle_user>         Oracle user
    -k <net_num>             network number (default number is 1)
    -h                       Print usage
[oracle@racnode1 ~]$

Additionally in Doc Id 1568591.1 “11gR2 Listener With RATE_LIMIT Set: Slow Connect Time and Tnsping Response Time High with TNS-1158 Error” BUG:16409926 “LISTENER MEMORY LEAK IF RATE_LIMIT IS USED AND ENFORCED FREQUENTLY” is being mentioned (still not present in 11.2.0.2.x and 11.2.0.3.x PSUs, but fixed in 12.1.0.1 and included from start in 11.2.0.4.0). Overall this feature doesn’t seem to be widely used and/or tested and doesn’t make good feelings…

2 Responses to “RATE_LIMIT and Oracle RAC 11gR2?”

  1. admin says:

    Improvements to this functionality can be tracked under ER17661636 for people who are interested

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