[4.1] 5c24e1f Fix issue #1799 for keep

PÃ¥l Hermunn Johansen hermunn at varnish-software.com
Wed Feb 21 15:27:08 UTC 2018

commit 5c24e1f884b87c630afb39556286c19dbfdb3ef4
Author: Pål Hermunn Johansen <hermunn at varnish-software.com>
Date:   Wed Dec 13 14:06:05 2017 +0100

    Fix issue #1799 for keep
    This fixes the long-standing #1799 for "keep" objects, and this commit
    message suggests a way of working around #1799 in the remaining
    cases. The following is a (long) explanation on how grace and keep
    works at the moment, how this relates to #1799, and how this commit
    changes things.
    1. How does it work now, before this commit?
    Objects in cache can outlive their TTL, and the typical reason for
    this is grace. Objects in cache can also linger because of obj.keep or
    in the (rare but observed) case where the expiry thread have not yet
    evicted an object. Grace and keep are here to minimize backend load,
    but #1799 shows that we are not successful in doing this in some
    important cases.
    Whenever sub vcl_recv has ended with return (lookup) (which is the
    default action), we arrive at HSH_Lookup, where varnish sometimes only
    finds an expired object (that match Vary logic, is not banned,
    etc). When this happens, we will initiate a background fetch (by
    adding a "busy object") if and only if there is no busy object on the
    oh already. Then the expired object is returned with HSH_EXP or
    HSH_EXPBUSY, depending on whether a busy object was inserted.
    2. What makes us run into #1799?
    When we have gotten an expired object, we generally hope that it is in
    grace, and that sub vcl_hit will return(deliver). However, if grace
    has expired, then the default action (ie the action from builtin.vcl)
    is return (miss). It is also possible that the user vcl, for some
    reason, decides that the stale object should not be delivered, and
    does return (miss) explicitly. In these cases it is common that the
    current request is not the one to insert a busy object, and then we
    run into the issue with a message "vcl_hit{} returns miss without busy
    object. Doing pass.".
    Note that normally, if a resource is very popular and has a positive
    grace, it is unlikely that #1799 will happen. Then a new version will
    always be available before the grace has run out, and everybody get
    the latest fetched version with no #1799 problems.
    However, if a resource is very popular (like a manifest file in a live
    streaming setup) and has 0s grace, and the expiry thread lags a little
    bit behind, then vcl_hit can get an expired object even when obj.keep
    is zero. In these circumstances we can get a surge of requests to the
    backend, and this is especially bad on a very busy server.
    Another real world example is where grace is initially set high (48h
    or similar) and vcl_hit considers the health of the backend, and, if
    the backend is healthy, explicitly does a return(miss) ensure that the
    client gets a fresh object. This has been a recommended use of
    vcl_hit, but, because of #1799, can cause considerable load on the
    Similarly, we can get #1799 if we use "keep" to facilitate IMS
    requests to the backend, and we have a stale object for which several
    requests arrive before the first completes.
    3. How do we fix this?
    The main idea is to teach varnish to consider grace during lookup.
    To be specific, the following changes with this commit: If an expired
    object is found, the ttl+grace has expired and there already is an
    ongoing request for the object (ie. there exists a busy object), then
    the request is put on the waiting list instead of simply returning the
    object ("without a busy object") to vcl_hit. This choice is made
    because we anticipate that vcl_hit will do (the default) return (miss)
    and that it is better to wait for the ongoing request than to initiate
    a new one with "pass" behavior.
    The result is that when the ongoing request finishes, we will either
    be able to go to vcl_hit, start a new request (can happen if there was
    a Vary mismatch) by inserting a new "busy object", or we lose the race
    and have to go back to the waiting list (typically unlikely).
    When grace is in effect we go to vcl_hit even when we did not insert a
    busy object, anticipating that vcl_hit will return (deliver).
    This will will fix the cases where the user does not explicitly do a
    return(miss) in vcl_hit for object where ttl+grace has not
    expired. However, since this is not an uncommon practice, we also have
    to change our recommendation on how to use grace and keep. The new
    recommendation will be:
    * Set grace to the "normal value" for a working varnish+backend.
    * Set keep to a high value if the backend is not 100% reliable and you
      want to use stale objects as a fallback.
    * Do not explicitly return(miss) in sub vcl_hit{}. The exception is
      when this only can happen now and then and you are really sure that
      this is the right thing to do.
    * In vcl_hit, check if the backend is sick, and then explicitly
      return(deliver) when appropriate (ie you want an stale object
      delivered instead of an error message).
    A test case is included.

diff --git a/bin/varnishd/cache/cache_expire.c b/bin/varnishd/cache/cache_expire.c
index 8a7c46b..4172cea 100644
--- a/bin/varnishd/cache/cache_expire.c
+++ b/bin/varnishd/cache/cache_expire.c
@@ -101,7 +101,7 @@ EXP_Clr(struct exp *e)
- * Calculate an objects effective ttl time, taking req.ttl into account
+ * Calculate an object's effective ttl time, taking req.ttl into account
  * if it is available.
diff --git a/bin/varnishd/cache/cache_hash.c b/bin/varnishd/cache/cache_hash.c
index 88f50a7..5f657f9 100644
--- a/bin/varnishd/cache/cache_hash.c
+++ b/bin/varnishd/cache/cache_hash.c
@@ -452,22 +452,33 @@ HSH_Lookup(struct req *req, struct objcore **ocp, struct objcore **bocp,
 	if (exp_oc != NULL) {
 		assert(oh->refcnt > 1);
 		assert(exp_oc->objhead == oh);
-		exp_oc->refcnt++;
 		if (!busy_found) {
 			*bocp = hsh_insert_busyobj(wrk, oh);
 			retval = HSH_EXPBUSY;
 		} else {
-			retval = HSH_EXP;
+			/*
+			 * here we have a busy object, but if the stale object
+			 * is not under grace we go to the waiting list
+			 * instead of returning the stale object
+			 */
+			if (EXP_Ttl(req, &exp_oc->exp) + exp_oc->exp.grace < req->t_req)
+				retval = HSH_BUSY;
+			else
+				retval = HSH_EXP;
+		}
+		if (retval != HSH_BUSY) {
+			exp_oc->refcnt++;
+			if (exp_oc->hits < LONG_MAX)
+				exp_oc->hits++;
+			Lck_Unlock(&oh->mtx);
+			if (retval == HSH_EXP)
+				assert(HSH_DerefObjHead(wrk, &oh));
+			*ocp = exp_oc;
+			return (retval);
-		if (exp_oc->hits < LONG_MAX)
-			exp_oc->hits++;
-		Lck_Unlock(&oh->mtx);
-		if (retval == HSH_EXP)
-			assert(HSH_DerefObjHead(wrk, &oh));
-		*ocp = exp_oc;
-		return (retval);
 	if (!busy_found) {
diff --git a/bin/varnishtest/tests/b00098.vtc b/bin/varnishtest/tests/b00098.vtc
new file mode 100644
index 0000000..511a4b4
--- /dev/null
+++ b/bin/varnishtest/tests/b00098.vtc
@@ -0,0 +1,69 @@
+varnishtest "Test that we properly wait for certain 304 cases"
+server s1 {
+	rxreq
+	txresp -hdr "Last-Modified: Wed, 11 Sep 2013 13:36:55 GMT" -body "Geoff Still Rules"
+	# The IMS request we will spend some time to process for the sake of
+	# this test.
+	rxreq
+	expect req.http.if-modified-since == "Wed, 11 Sep 2013 13:36:55 GMT"
+	delay 1
+	txresp -status 304
+	# Last request, to a different URL to catch it if varnish asks for "/" too many times
+	rxreq
+	expect req.url == "/2"
+	txresp -body "x"
+} -start
+varnish v1 -vcl+backend {
+	sub vcl_backend_response {
+		set beresp.ttl = 1s;
+		set beresp.grace = 1s;
+		set beresp.keep = 1m;
+		set beresp.http.was-304 = beresp.was_304;
+	}
+} -start
+client c1 {
+	txreq
+	rxresp
+	expect resp.status == 200
+	expect resp.body == "Geoff Still Rules"
+} -run
+# let the object's ttl and grace expire
+delay 2.1
+# first client to ask for kept object - this should start the second request
+client c2 {
+	txreq
+	rxresp
+	# we did not disable grace in the request, so we should get the graced object here
+	expect resp.status == 200
+	expect resp.body == "Geoff Still Rules"
+} -start
+delay .1
+# second client to ask for the kept object. Here we want to wait until the backend fetch completes, not do a pass.
+client c3 {
+	txreq
+	rxresp
+	expect resp.status == 200
+	expect resp.body == "Geoff Still Rules"
+} -start
+client c2 -wait
+client c3 -wait
+# Finally the request to "/2". The expect in the server block makes sure that
+# there were no extra requests to "/" from varnish.
+client c4 {
+	txreq -url "/2"
+	rxresp
+	expect resp.status == 200
+	expect resp.body == "x"
+} -run

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