Linux Admin - Resource Mgmt with crgoups

cgroups or Control Groups are a feature of the Linux kernel that allows an administrator to allocate or cap the system resources for services and also group.

To list active control groups running, we can use the following ps command −

[root@localhost]# ps xawf -eo pid,user,cgroup,args 
8362 root     -                            \_ [kworker/1:2] 
1 root        -                           /usr/lib/systemd/systemd --switched-
   root --system --    deserialize 21 
507 root     7:cpuacct,cpu:/system.slice  /usr/lib/systemd/systemd-journald 
527 root     7:cpuacct,cpu:/system.slice  /usr/sbin/lvmetad -f 
540 root     7:cpuacct,cpu:/system.slice  /usr/lib/systemd/systemd-udevd 
715 root     7:cpuacct,cpu:/system.slice  /sbin/auditd -n 
731 root     7:cpuacct,cpu:/system.slice   \_ /sbin/audispd 
734 root     7:cpuacct,cpu:/system.slice       \_ /usr/sbin/sedispatch 
737 polkitd  7:cpuacct,cpu:/system.slice  /usr/lib/polkit-1/polkitd --no-debug 
738 rtkit    6:memory:/system.slice/rtki  /usr/libexec/rtkit-daemon 
740 dbus     7:cpuacct,cpu:/system.slice  /bin/dbus-daemon --system --
   address=systemd: --nofork --nopidfile --systemd-activation

Resource Management, as of CentOS 6.X, has been redefined with the systemd init implementation. When thinking Resource Management for services, the main thing to focus on are cgroups. cgroups have advanced with systemd in both functionality and simplicity.

The goal of cgroups in resource management is -no one service can take the system, as a whole, down. Or no single service process (perhaps a poorly written PHP script) will cripple the server functionality by consuming too many resources.

cgroups allow resource control of units for the following resources −

  • CPU − Limit cpu intensive tasks that are not critical as other, less intensive tasks

  • Memory − Limit how much memory a service can consume

  • Disks − Limit disk i/o

**CPU Time: **

Tasks needing less CPU priority can have custom configured CPU Slices.

Let's take a look at the following two services for example.

Polite CPU Service 1

[root@localhost]# systemctl cat polite.service 
# /etc/systemd/system/polite.service 
Description = Polite service limits CPU Slice and Memory

MemoryLimit = 1M 
ExecStart = /usr/bin/sha1sum /dev/zero 
ExecStop = /bin/kill -WINCH ${MAINPID}

# /etc/systemd/system/polite.service.d/50-CPUShares.conf 
CPUShares = 1024 

Evil CPU Service 2

[root@localhost]# systemctl cat evil.service 
# /etc/systemd/system/evil.service 
Description = I Eat You CPU

ExecStart = /usr/bin/md5sum /dev/zero 
ExecStop = /bin/kill -WINCH ${MAINPID}

# /etc/systemd/system/evil.service.d/50-CPUShares.conf 
CPUShares = 1024 

Let's set Polite Service using a lesser CPU priority −

systemctl set-property polite.service CPUShares = 20  
1   70.5   124.0K        -        -  

1   99.5   304.0K        -        -

As we can see, over a period of normal system idle time, both rogue processes are still using CPU cycles. However, the one set to have less time-slices is using less CPU time. With this in mind, we can see how using a lesser time time-slice would allow essential tasks better access the system resources.

To set services for each resource, the set-property method defines the following parameters −

systemctl set-property name parameter=value

CPU Slices CPUShares
Memory Limit MemoryLimit
Soft Memory Limit MemorySoftLimit
Block IO Weight BlockIOWeight
Block Device Limit (specified in /volume/path) ) BlockIODeviceWeight
Read IO BlockIOReadBandwidth
Disk Write IO BlockIOReadBandwidth

Most often services will be limited by CPU use, Memory limits and Read / Write IO.

After changing each, it is necessary to reload systemd and restart the service −

systemctl set-property foo.service CPUShares = 250 
systemctl daemon-reload 
systemctl restart foo.service

Configure CGroups in CentOS Linux

To make custom cgroups in CentOS Linux, we need to first install services and configure them.

Step 1 − Install libcgroup (if not already installed).

[root@localhost]# yum install libcgroup 
Package libcgroup-0.41-11.el7.x86_64 already installed and latest version 
Nothing to do 

As we can see, by default CentOS 7 has libcgroup installed with the everything installer. Using a minimal installer will require us to install the libcgroup utilities along with any dependencies.

Step 2 − Start and enable the cgconfig service.

[root@localhost]# systemctl enable cgconfig 
Created symlink from /etc/systemd/system/ 
to /usr/lib/systemd/system/cgconfig.service. 
[root@localhost]# systemctl start cgconfig 
[root@localhost]# systemctl status cgconfig 
● cgconfig.service - Control Group configuration service 
Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/cgconfig.service; enabled; vendor 
preset: disabled) 
Active: active (exited) since Mon 2017-01-23 02:51:42 EST; 1min 21s ago 
Main PID: 4692 (code=exited, status = 0/SUCCESS) 
Memory: 0B 
CGroup: /system.slice/cgconfig.service  

Jan 23 02:51:42 localhost.localdomain systemd[1]: Starting Control Group 
configuration service... 
Jan 23 02:51:42 localhost.localdomain systemd[1]: Started Control Group 
configuration service.