This document provides a summary of the incidents that occurred on May 19 and May 28, 2020. This document describes the nature of the incidents, then provides information about steps being taken to reduce the likelihood of similar outages in the future.

Incidents Summary

Red Hat's container registry service experienced two periods of degraded performance and availability in May 2020. The first incident occurred from approximately 7 a.m. May 19, 2020, to 1 a.m. May 20, 2020, UTC. The second incident occurred from approximately 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 28, 2020, UTC.

During these periods, users experienced a range of outcomes, including slow container image access times and inability to retrieve container images. These issues affected several other Red Hat services, including OpenShift Cluster Manager, which is used to deploy and manage OpenShift clusters.

Red Hat Site Reliability Engineering teams concluded several factors combined to form the root cause of these incidents. These factors include:

  • non-optimal tuning in the areas of process parallelization and database access
  • traffic surges from simultaneous OpenShift platform upgrades

Following these two incidents, several actions have been defined to improve availability, reliability, and continuity. Some of these items are already complete, others are being actively worked on, and some are being researched. They are described in the sections below.

Completed Actions

A number of actions have already been completed to address these two incidents. These actions include:

  • Redeploying on a 4.3.18 OpenShift Dedicated cluster.
  • Indefinitely disabling garbage collection to reduce database load.
  • Optimizing several aspects of in the areas of process parallelization and database access. These optimizations will prevent the database from being driven to the point of lockup.
  • Doubling the underlying database size/capacity to handle more traffic.
  • Suspending certain OpenShift Dedicated z-stream updates to prevent potential traffic spikes during OpenShift Dedicated upgrades.

In addition to these completed actions, many others are pending, and are described below.

Short-term Actions

The following actions are in progress and are targeted for completion by June 11, 2020:

  • Creating database “read-replicas” that will distribute database load and prevent database lockups
  • Appreciably accelerating the redeployment process for faster incident response
  • Creating a hot standby in a separate region
  • Adding pod caching for faster restart time
  • Improving monitoring for more visibility into health and the ability to detect potential problems

Long-term Actions

The following actions have been proposed and are under consideration:

  • Investigating potential exacerbating networking issues
  • Conducting substantial load and performance analysis to identify additional parallelization/database optimizations
  • Reducing logging verbosity
  • Investigating additional caching methods
  • Investigating per-account rate-limiting
  • Upgrading/replacing various database components and sub-systems
  • Implementing numerous process and documentation improvements