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Configuring Proxy Discovery Cache

The Linkerd proxy maintains in-memory state, such as discovery results, requests and connections. This state is cached to allow the proxy to process traffic more efficiently. Cached discovery results also improve resiliency in the face of control plane outages.

To ensure the CPU and memory footprint is low, cached entries are dropped if they go unused for some amount of time. If an entry is not referenced within the timeout, it will be evicted. If it is referenced, the timer resets.

These timeouts are handle via these two config values:

  • proxy.outboundDiscoveryCacheUnusedTimeout: Defines the eviction timeout for cached service discovery results, connections and clients. Defaults to 5s.
  • proxy.inboundDiscoveryCacheUnusedTimeout: Defines the eviction timeout for cached policy discovery results. Defaults to 90s.

These values can be configured globally (affecting all the data plane) via Helm or the CLI at install/upgrade time, or with annotations at a namespace or workload level for affecting only workloads under a given namespace or specific workloads.

Configuring via Helm

When installing/upgrading Linkerd via Helm, you can use the proxy.outboundDiscoveryCacheUnusedTimeout and proxy.inboundDiscoveryCacheUnusedTimeout values. For example:

helm upgrade linkerd-control-plane \
  --set proxy.outboundDiscoveryCacheUnusedTimeout=60s \
  --set proxy.inboundDiscoveryCacheUnusedTimeout=120s \

Configuring via the Linkerd CLI

As with any Helm value, these are available via the --set flag:

linkerd upgrade \
  --set proxy.outboundDiscoveryCacheUnusedTimeout=60s \
  --set proxy.inboundDiscoveryCacheUnusedTimeout=120s \
  | kubectl apply -f -

Configuring via Annotations

You can also use the config.linkerd.io/proxy-outbound-discovery-cache-unused-timeout and config.linkerd.io/proxy-inbound-discovery-cache-unused-timeout annotations at the namespace or pod template level:

kind: Deployment
apiVersion: apps/v1
  name: my-deployment
  # ...
        config.linkerd.io/proxy-outbound-discovery-cache-unused-timeout: '60s'
        config.linkerd.io/proxy-inbound-discovery-cache-unused-timeout: '120s'
  # ...

Note that these values need to be present before having injected your workloads. For applying to existing workloads, you’ll need to roll them out.

When to Change Timeouts

In the vast majority of cases the default values will just work. You should think about experimenting with larger values when using slow clients (5 RPS or less across two or more replicas) where clients would experience unexpected connection closure errors as soon as the control plane comes down. A higher cache idle timeout for discovery results can help mitigating these problems.