Admission Control Sample Scenario

You can learn about the factors you must consider when allocating Impala’s resources and the process you need to follow to set up admission control for the selected workload.

Anne Chang is administrator for an enterprise data hub that runs a number of workloads, including Impala.

Anne has a 20-node cluster that uses Cloudera Manager static partitioning. Because of the heavy Impala workload, Anne needs to make sure Impala gets enough resources. While the best configuration values might not be known in advance, she decides to start by allocating 50% of resources to Impala. Each node has 128 GiB dedicated to each impalad. Impala has 2560 GiB in aggregate that can be shared across the resource pools she creates.

Next, Anne studies the workload in more detail. After some research, she might choose to revisit these initial values for static partitioning.

To figure out how to further allocate Impala’s resources, Anne needs to consider the workloads and users, and determine their requirements. There are a few main sources of Impala queries:
  • Large reporting queries executed by an external process/tool. These are critical business intelligence queries that are important for business decisions. It is important that they get the resources they need to run. There typically are not many of these queries at a given time.
  • Frequent, small queries generated by a web UI. These queries scan a limited amount of data and do not require expensive joins or aggregations. These queries are important, but not as critical, perhaps the client tries resending the query or the end user refreshes the page.
  • Occasionally, expert users might run ad-hoc queries. The queries can vary significantly in their resource requirements. While Anne wants a good experience for these users, it is hard to control what they do (for example, submitting inefficient or incorrect queries by mistake). Anne restricts these queries by default and tells users to reach out to her if they need more resources.

To set up admission control for this workload, Anne first runs the workloads independently, so that she can observe the workload’s resource usage in Cloudera Manager. If they could not easily be run manually, but had been run in the past, Anne uses the history information from Cloudera Manager. It can be helpful to use other search criteria (for example, user) to isolate queries by workload. Anne uses the Cloudera Manager chart for Per-Node Peak Memory usage to identify the maximum memory requirements for the queries.

From this data, Anne observes the following about the queries in the groups above:
  • Large reporting queries use up to 32 GiB per node. There are typically 1 or 2 queries running at a time. On one occasion, she observed that 3 of these queries were running concurrently. Queries can take 3 minutes to complete.
  • Web UI-generated queries use between 100 MiB per node to usually less than 4 GiB per node of memory, but occasionally as much as 10 GiB per node. Queries take, on average, 5 seconds, and there can be as many as 140 incoming queries per minute.
  • Anne has little data on ad hoc queries, but some are trivial (approximately 100 MiB per node), others join several tables (requiring a few GiB per node), and one user submitted a huge cross join of all tables that used all system resources (that was likely a mistake).

Based on these observations, Anne creates the admission control configuration with the following pools:


Property Value
Max Memory 1280 GiB
Maximum Query Memory Limit 32 GiB
Minimum Query Memory Limit 32 GiB
Max Running Queries 2
Queue Timeout 5 minutes

This pool is for large reporting queries. To support running 2 queries at a time, the pool memory resources are set to 1280 GiB (aggregate cluster memory). This is for 2 queries, each with 32 GiB per node, across 20 nodes. Anne sets the pool’s Maximum Query Memory Limit to 32 GiB so that no query uses more than 32 GiB on any given node. She sets Max Running Queries to 2 (though it is not necessary she do so). She increases the pool’s queue timeout to 5 minutes in case a third query comes in and has to wait. She does not expect more than 3 concurrent queries, and she does not want them to wait that long anyway, so she does not increase the queue timeout. If the workload increases in the future, she might choose to adjust the configuration or buy more hardware.


Property Value
Max Memory 960 GiB (inferred)
Maximum Query Memory Limit 4 GiB
Minimum Query Memory Limit 2 GiB
Max Running Queries 12
Queue Timeout 5 minutes

This pool is used for the small, high throughput queries generated by the web tool. Anne sets the Maximum Query Memory Limit to 4 GiB per node, and sets Max Running Queries to 12. This implies a maximum amount of memory per node used by the queries in this pool: 48 GiB per node (12 queries * 4 GiB per node memory limit).

Notice that Anne does not set the pool memory resources, but does set the pool’s Maximum Query Memory Limit. This is intentional: admission control processes queries faster when a pool uses the Max Running Queries limit instead of the peak memory resources.

This should be enough memory for most queries, since only a few go over 4 GiB per node. For those that do require more memory, they can probably still complete with less memory (spilling if necessary). If, on occasion, a query cannot run with this much memory and it fails, Anne might reconsider this configuration later, or perhaps she does not need to worry about a few rare failures from this web UI.

With regard to throughput, since these queries take around 5 seconds and she is allowing 12 concurrent queries, the pool should be able to handle approximately 144 queries per minute, which is enough for the peak maximum expected of 140 queries per minute. In case there is a large burst of queries, Anne wants them to queue. The default maximum size of the queue is already 200, which should be more than large enough. Anne does not need to change it.


Property Value
Max Memory 320 GiB
Maximum Query Memory Limit 4 GiB
Minimum Query Memory Limit 2 GiB
Max Running Queries Unlimited
Queue Timeout 60 Seconds

The default pool (which already exists) is a catch all for ad-hoc queries. Anne wants to use the remaining memory not used by the first two pools, 16 GiB per node (XL_Reporting uses 64 GiB per node, High_Throughput_UI uses 48 GiB per node). For the other pools to get the resources they expect, she must still set the Max Memory resources and the Maximum Query Memory Limit. She sets the Max Memory resources to 320 GiB (16 * 20). She sets the Maximum Query Memory Limit to 4 GiB per node for now. That is somewhat arbitrary, but satisfies some of the ad hoc queries she observed. If someone writes a bad query by mistake, she does not actually want it using all the system resources. If a user has a large query to submit, an expert user can override the Maximum Query Memory Limit (up to 16 GiB per node, since that is bound by the pool Max Memory resources). If that is still insufficient for this user’s workload, the user should work with Anne to adjust the settings and perhaps create a dedicated pool for the workload.