Slow s3cmd ls queries + HAProxy 504 timeouts

Alex Millar alex at
Mon Aug 18 13:22:55 EDT 2014

Hey Kelly,

Thanks for reaching out! We’re using the following versions for RiakCS & Riak

# Download RiakCS 
# Version: 1.4.5
# OS: Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise) AMD 64
curl -O

# Download Riak
# Version: 1.4.8
# OS: Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise) AMD 64
curl -O

The intent of being able to have performant ls operations was to that we could connection via Transmit to view and navigate the contents of the bucket, similar to how you can access the contents of your S3 buckets in their webUI. That being said our keys are akin to a folder structure, for example...


S3 must be doing some sort of secondary indexing to allow for fast lookups here, because the bucket in question that has the performance issues only has 2 “folders” under s3://bonfirehub-resources-can-east-doc-conversion yet it takes the longest to s3cmd ls since Riak is clearly traversing all the keys to fulfill this request.

Short story, this is not a requirement for us in order to use RiakCS however, going forward it would be desirable if RiakCS could maintain this form of secondary indices (and potentially have a WebUI) to better match some use cases that exist for clients who are used to using S3.

             	 Alex Millar, CTO  
Office: 1-800-354-8010 ext. 704  
Mobile: 519-729-2539

From: Kelly McLaughlin <kelly at>
Reply: Kelly McLaughlin <kelly at>>
Date: August 15, 2014 at 7:03:47 PM
To: Alex Millar <alex at>>, riak-users at <riak-users at>>
Subject:  Re: Slow s3cmd ls queries + HAProxy 504 timeouts  

Hello Alex. Would you mind sharing what version of Riak and Riak CS you are using? Also if you can post the the contents of your Riak CS app.config file
it might help give a better idea of what might be going on.

Generally listing the contents of a bucket is more expensive than a normal download or upload request, but there have been performance improvements in recent
versions of Riak CS and there are settings that can be adjusted depending on the version you are using. The time required to list the contents of the entire bucket
is definitely related to the number of objects in that bucket so the time will continue to increase as the number of objects increases, but we do continue to work to
make the process as efficient as possible.

Depending on why you need to list the contents of the bucket the max-keys query parameter available with the bucket listing operation may be useful. By default this
limit is 1000 keys, but s3cmd does not expose this that I'm aware of and instead buffers all the results until the end of the contents is reached. But if you need
to list the contents for the purpose of some processing step, it may work better for you to break up this process into smaller chunks using max-keys.


On 08/15/2014 06:39 AM, Alex Millar wrote:
So the issue we’re having is only with bucket listing.

alxndrmlr at alxndrmlr-mbp $ time s3cmd -c .s3cfg-riakcs-admin ls s3://bonfirehub-resources-can-east-doc-conversion
                       DIR   s3://bonfirehub-resources-can-east-doc-conversion/organizations/

real 2m0.747s
user 0m0.076s
sys 0m0.030s

where as…

alxndrmlr at alxndrmlr-mbp $ time s3cmd -c .s3cfg-riakcs-admin ls s3://bonfirehub-resources-can-east-doc-conversion/organizations/OrganizationID-1/documents/proposals
                       DIR   s3://bonfirehub-resources-can-east-doc-conversion/organizations/OrganizationID-1/documents/proposals/

real 0m10.262s
user 0m0.075s
sys 0m0.028s

The contents of this bucket contains a lot of very small files (basically for each PDF we receive I split it to .JPG foreach page and store them here. Based on the my latest counts it looks like we have around 170,000 .JPG files in that bucket.

Now I’ve had a hunch this is just a fundamentally expensive operation which exceeds the 5000ms response time threshold set in our HAProxy config (which I raised during the video to illustrate what’s going on). After reading and I’m feeling like this is just a fundamental issue with the data structure in Riak. 

Based on this I’m thinking that cost of this type of query is only going to get worse over time as we add more keys to this bucket (unless secondary indexes can be added). Or am I totally out to lunch here and there’s some other underlying problem?

	Alex Millar, CTO
Office: 1-800-354-8010 ext. 704
Mobile: 519-729-2539

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