[dnsdist] backend drops metrics for TCP

Remi Gacogne remi.gacogne at powerdns.com
Tue Sep 12 15:08:40 UTC 2023


On 11/09/2023 22:34, Christoph via dnsdist wrote:
> when playing around with things to reduce the drop rate I noticed
> that TCP based backends always have 0 drops in showServers() output and 
> these metrics:
> dnsdist_server_drops
> dnsdist_downstream_timeouts
> Is that always the case and that counter has no meaning for TCP based 
> backends or can this counter be non-zero for TCP backends as well?

This counter will always be 0 for TCP backends indeed, it is only 
incremented when we give up waiting on a UDP response.

> dnsdist's CPU usage doubled after switching to TCP via tcpOnly=true
> and the DNS timeout rate as measured by the application generating the 
> queries running on the same host as dnsdist actually increased after 
> switching dnsdist to use TCP instead of UDP. So switching to TCP 
> eliminated the drops problem when measured by dnsdist but it made things 
> worse for the application.

The default timeout for TCP backends is set at 30s, while for UDP 
responses it is at 2s. So it is very possible that dnsdist no longer 
considers the response a timeout but the application now does. You might 
try to tune the 'tcpRecvTimeout' on `newServer`. Note that this suggests 
that the backend is slow to answer, so tuning dnsdist might not help at 
all and investigating why the backend struggles with these queries might 
be needed.

> All of these values are also at 0:
> dnsdist_server_tcpdiedsendingquery{address=""} 0
> dnsdist_server_tcpdiedreadingresponse{address=""} 0
> dnsdist_server_tcpgaveup{address=""} 0
> dnsdist_server_tcpreadtimeouts{address=""} 0
> dnsdist_server_tcpwritetimeouts{address=""} 0
> dnsdist_server_tcpconnecttimeouts{address=""} 0

These are indeed the ones that would indicate a problem between dnsdist 
and a TCP backend, as seen by dnsdist.

> Since sockets=NUM in newServer() is only for UDP and
> dnsdist_server_tcpcurrentconnections{address=""} 10
> suggests it uses only 10 TCP sockets. How can this be configured?
> sockets was set to 32, so this implicit change when sitching from UDP to 
> TCP might also have an effect here.

dnsdist will create as many outgoing TCP connections as needed by 
default, unless instructed otherwise via 'maxConcurrentTCPConnections' 
on `newServer`. So from dnsdist's point of view there was no need for 
more TCP connections, apparently. Do you enable out-of-order processing, 
via 'maxInFlight' on `newServer`? If so, are you sure that the backend 
actually supports it?

Best regards,
Remi Gacogne
PowerDNS.COM BV - https://www.powerdns.com/

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