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Traffic shaping in the Apollo Router


The Apollo Router provides various features to improve the performance and reliability of the traffic between the client and router and between the router and subgraphs.

Configuration

To enable traffic shaping, add the traffic_shaping plugin to your YAML config file, like so:

router.yaml
traffic_shaping:
router: # Rules applied to requests from clients to the router
global_rate_limit: # Accept a maximum of 10 requests per 5 secs. Excess requests must be rejected.
capacity: 10
interval: 5s # Must not be greater than 18_446_744_073_709_551_615 milliseconds and not less than 0 milliseconds
timeout: 50s # If a request to the router takes more than 50secs then cancel the request (30 sec by default)
all:
deduplicate_query: true # Enable query deduplication for all subgraphs.
compression: br # Enable brotli compression for all subgraphs.
subgraphs: # Rules applied to requests from the router to individual subgraphs
products:
deduplicate_query: false # Disable query deduplication for the products subgraph.
compression: gzip # Enable gzip compression only for the products subgraph.
global_rate_limit: # Accept a maximum of 10 requests per 5 secs from the router. Excess requests must be rejected.
capacity: 10
interval: 5s # Must not be greater than 18_446_744_073_709_551_615 milliseconds and not less than 0 milliseconds
timeout: 50s # If a request to the subgraph 'products' takes more than 50secs then cancel the request (30 sec by default)
experimental_retry:
min_per_sec: 10 # minimal number of retries per second (`min_per_sec`, default is 10 retries per second)
ttl: 10s # for each successful request, we register a token, that expires according to this option (default: 10s)
retry_percent: 0.2 # defines the proportion of available retries to the current number of tokens
retry_mutations: false # allows retries on mutations. This should only be enabled if mutations are idempotent

Client side traffic shaping

Rate limiting

The Apollo Router can apply rate limiting on client requests, as follows:

router.yaml
traffic_shaping:
router: # Rules applied to requests from clients to the router
global_rate_limit: # Accept a maximum of 10 requests per 5 secs. Excess requests must be rejected.
capacity: 10
interval: 5s # Must not be greater than 18_446_744_073_709_551_615 milliseconds and not less than 0 milliseconds

This rate limiting applies to all requests, there is no filtering per IP or other criteria.

Timeout

The Apollo Router applies a default limit of 30 seconds to receive the entire client request. That limit is configurable:

router.yaml
traffic_shaping:
router:
timeout: 50s # If a request to the router takes more than 50secs then cancel the request (30 sec by default)

Compression

Compression is automatically supported on the client side, depending on the Accept-Encoding header provided by the client.

Subgraph traffic shaping

The Apollo Router supports various options affecting traffic destined for subgraphs, that can either be defined for all subgraphs, or overriden per subgraph:

router.yaml
traffic_shaping:
all:
deduplicate_query: true # Enable query deduplication for all subgraphs.
subgraphs: # Rules applied to requests from the router to individual subgraphs
products:
deduplicate_query: false # Disable query deduplication for the products subgraph.

Compression

The Apollo Router can compress request bodies to subgraphs (along with response bodies to clients). It currently supports these algorithms: gzip, br, and deflate.

router.yaml
traffic_shaping:
all:
compression: br # Enable brotli compression for all subgraphs.

Subgraph response decompression is always supported for these algorithms: gzip, br, and deflate.

Rate limiting

Subgraph request rate limiting uses the same configuration as client rate limiting, and is calculated per subgraph, not per backend host.

router.yaml
traffic_shaping:
all:
global_rate_limit: # Accept a maximum of 10 requests per 5 secs. Excess requests must be rejected.
capacity: 10
interval: 5s # Must not be greater than 18_446_744_073_709_551_615 milliseconds and not less than 0 milliseconds

Experimental request retry

On failure, subgraph requests can be retried automatically. This is deactivated by default for mutations. This uses Finagle's RetryBudget algorithm, in which every successful request adds an expirable token to a bucket, and every retry consumes a number of those tokens. On top of that, a minimal number of retries per second is available, to test regularly when the retry budget was entirely consumed or on startup when very few requests have been sent. The tokens expire so the budget has a large number of available retries if a lot of recent requests were successful but reduces quickly on frequent failures to avoid sending too much traffic to the subgraph.

It is configurable as follows:

router.yaml
traffic_shaping:
all:
experimental_retry:
min_per_sec: 10 # minimal number of retries per second (`min_per_sec`, default is 10 retries per second)
ttl: 10s # for each successful request, we register a token, that expires according to this option (default: 10s)
retry_percent: 0.2 # defines the proportion of available retries to the current number of tokens
retry_mutations: false # allows retries on mutations. This should only be enabled if mutations are idempotent

Variable deduplication

When subgraphs are sent entity requests by the Router using the _entities field, it is often the case that the same entity (identified by a unique @key constraint) is requested multiple times within the execution of a single federated query. For example, an author's name might need to be fetched multiple times when accessing a list of a reviews for a product for which the author has written multiple reviews.

To reduce the size of subgraph requests and the amount of work they might perform, the list of entities sent can be deduplicated. This is always active.

Query deduplication

If the Router is simultaneously processing similar queries, it may result in producing multiple identical requests to a subgraph. With the deduplicate_query functionality enabled, the Router can avoid sending the same query multiple times and instead buffer one or more of the dependent queries pending the result of the first, and reuse that result to fulfill all of the initial queries. This will reduce the overall traffic to the subgraph and the overall client request latency. To meet the criteria for deduplication, the feature must be enabled and the subgraph queries must have have the same HTTP path, headers and body:

router.yaml
traffic_shaping:
all:
deduplicate_query: true # Enable query deduplication for all subgraphs.

Ordering

Traffic shaping always executes these steps in the same order, to ensure a consistent behaviour. Declaration order in the configuration will not affect the runtime order:

  • preparing the subgraph request
  • variable deduplication
  • rate limiting
  • request retry
  • timeout
  • query deduplication
  • compression
  • sending the request to the subgraph
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