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Status Future consideration
Workspace Instana
Categories Agent
Created by Guest
Created on Apr 6, 2022

Self-recovery in case of OOM error to improve reliability of the instana agent service

Background

Instana agent has default JAVA heap as follows:

JAVA_MIN_MEM=64m
export JAVA_MIN_MEM
JAVA_MAX_MEM=160m
export JAVA_MAX_MEM


Despite setting more than 3 times the heap size for JAVA_MAX_MEM (eg. 512m) over the nominal memory usage (eg. average below 140m) as observed in a production environment, it can happen under peak loads or several circumstances that the agent gets into OOM. To recover from such issue, a manual systemctl restart of the service yield to restoration of the service to "normal" resource consumption usage.


It is worth noting that automatic restart depends on the how the agent got started. An agent running via kubernetes could be restarted based on the configuration. But when the agent is extracted and/or installed via package them the agent is not able to recover from a hard crash like OOM.


Proposal

The proposal is to for the agent to detect OOM status to self-recover from OOM crash. The systemctl service has auto-restart service unit but the agent does not seem to return correct failure code under OOM situation. It would be desired to have auto-recovery means for the agent.


The benefit of doing so would be:

  • prevent manual restart operation (toil)

  • prevent "out-of-the-band" automation script to recover (ie clean self recovery)

  • improve reliability of the service

Idea priority High