Monday, September 23, 2013

Visualizing Performance Issues with MMS


“LMS is down.” The dreaded phrase came back again, meaning the office is twiddling its thumbs as the sales lead system becomes unresponsive. I open my SSH connection, run the MongoDB startup script and say “It’s back up, Brad.”

I get alert emails on IO usage on the servers nightly; the swap file is killing the disk. For some reason, our single MongoDB instance shuts down a few times a day. Logs pointed to the DB running out of memory, which was supported by my slowing database calls and huge IO overhead.

The obvious short-term answer to our out-of-memory errors was to upgrade to a bigger server instance for more swap space, however I knew this wouldn’t improve database performance of any one operation.

There is nothing more painful when trying to debug a hard problem as realizing that you can’t see anything - you are entirely blind. Mongotop and mongostat tools are a bit arcane and don’t give the big picture view. Ultimately my research for MongoDB monitoring led me to try MMS - MongoDB Management Service.

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