{Josh Rendek}

<3 Ruby & Go

Golang Performance Tips

Below is some advice and notes that I wish I had when writing Go to deal with high amounts of requests (20k+/second). Have any extra tips? Leave them in the comments!

Kernel Tuning

Step 1 is making sure your host OS isn’t going to keel over when you start making thousands of requests/second or hammering the CPU.

Update /etc/sysctl.conf to have these lines:

net.ipv4.tcp_tw_reuse = 1
net.ipv4.tcp_tw_recycle = 1
net.ipv4.ip_local_port_range = 50000

ip_local_port_range - at the default of 30,000 and not modifying the tw_reuse and tw_recycle properties, we’re effectively limited to 500 connections/second to a server. If this is still not enough you can configure additional IP’s on the server and cycle between them.

tcp_tw_reuse will re-use an existing connection that is in TIME-WAIT for outgoing connections.

tcp_tw_recycle enables sockets to be recycled faster once they reach the TIME-WAIT state for both incoming and outgoing connections. Make sure you’re not running anything through a NAT or this can cause problems with connections.

Vinent Bernat has a great explanation with state diagrams on his blog.

Next up are file descriptors. I prefer defining these in the init or upstart scripts, so you would call ulimit -n 102400 and then call your go binary in the upstart script that way it is set before running. (Note: this will only work if the user has been properly given permissions to up their limit in /etc/security/limits.d.

Upstart also provides a mechanism to set file limits in the job stanza.

Golang Tuning

Utilizing all CPUs ( < Go 1.5 )

You can use all the go-routines in the world and not use all your CPU cores and threads. In order to let your go program utilize all operating-system level threads, we need to tell the go runtime about them:


This is no longer necessary as of Go 1.5 and is done automatically.

Finish what you start

Make sure you call .Close() on your responses, and make sure you read the entire body. The documentation for net/http/response explicitly says that “it is the caller’s responsibility to close Body” and that “neither ReadResponse nor Response.Write ever closes a connection.” net/http/response.go

Don’t be intimidated

You want to do things fast! But your confused by all the options for concurrency in go. Channels? Goroutines? Libraries to manage them? Stick with a simple worker pattern for best results. I’ve found many libraries that claim to manage concurrency for you (limiting running routines, or providing some interface to queueing jobs) fall short, break, or not utilize all CPU cores.

Here is a simple worker pattern that uses nothing but the standard library:

tasks := make(chan someDataStruct, 40)
var wg sync.WaitGroup

for i := 0; i < 40; i++ {
  go func() {
      for data := range tasks {
          // do some work on data

// Push to it like this:
tasks <- someData

// Finish like this

First, we make a channel containing someDataStruct as the type to be sent/received over it. We give it a buffer size of 40. Since we only have 40 routines spinning up, no more than 40 can be worked on at once.

When a caller is trying to push data to this channel and all slots are full, it will block until a slot is free, so keep this in mind and change accordingly if you need to.

Next we make a WaitGroup which will wait for all of our goroutines to finish. When we loop 40 times and say wg.Add(1) we’re telling the WaitGroup that we’re expecting 40 goroutines, and to wait for them to finish.

Next we iterate over data coming in our tasks channel and do some process on it (this is obviously where your program specific logic or function calls go).

When no more data is available on the channel we call wg.Done() which tells the WaitGroup a routine has finished.

Pushing data is simple by passing an instance of someDataStruct into the tasks channel.

Almost done! We now want to wait for everything to finish before our program exits. close(tasks) marks the channel as closed - and any other callers who try and send to it will get a nice fat error message.

Finally wg.Wait() says to wait until all 40 wg.Done()’s have been called.


One of my favorite things about go is that its fast, real fast. Make sure you test, test, and test some more! Always make sure you fail gracefully (if a HTTP connection failed and you need to re-process a job, for instance) and push jobs back onto their queues when a failure is detected. If you have an unexpected race condition or other errors (run out of file descriptors, etc) go will very quickly churn through your job queue.

But what about…

There are lots of other considerations, like what you’re running this against. On small elasticsearch clusters using these patterns to send data from go daemons to ES, I’ve been able to hit 50k requests/second with still plenty of room to grow.

You may need to pay extra attention to what libraries your using: how many redis connections can you have open? How many do you need?

Are you using keep-alive connections for HTTP? Is your receiver setup properly (nginx configs, etc)?

Is your MySQL or PostgreSQL server tuned to allow this many connections? Make sure you use connection pooling!

Lastly: Monitor all the things!

Send your data somewhere. I prefer StatsD, InfluxDB and Grafana for my monitoring stack. There is a ready-to-use go library quipo/statsd that I haven’t had issues with. One important thing to do is throw any data sends into a goroutine otherwise you might notice a slowdown while it tries to send the data.

Whether you use Grafana or anything else, its important to monitor. Without metrics on how your systems are running (ops/s, latency, etc) you have no insight into whether or not new changes have affected the overall throughput of your system.

Have any extra tips? Leave them in the comments below!