Managing App Resources

App Engine generates usage reports about your application's performance and resources utilization. Listed below are potential strategies for managing your resources more efficiently. For more information, see the pricing page.

Viewing usage reports

When evaluating application performance, you should check the number of instances the application is running, and how the application consumes resources.

View the dashboard usage reports

View the Instances page

The following sections suggest some strategies for managing resources.

Managing dynamic instance scaling

Decreasing latency

Application latency impacts the number of instances that are required to handle your traffic. By decreasing latency, you can reduce the number of instances used to serve your application. Stackdriver Trace is a useful tool to view data about latency and understand potential changes to decrease it.

After using Stackdriver Trace to view your latency, try some of the following strategies to reduce latency:

  • Increase caching of frequently accessed shared data - That’s another way of saying - use App Engine Memcache. Also, setting your application’s cache-control headers can have a significant impact on how efficiently your data is cached by servers and browsers. Even caching things for a few seconds can have an impact on how efficiently your application serves traffic.
  • Use App Engine Memcache more efficiently - Use batch calls for get, set, delete, etc instead of a series of individual calls.
  • Use tasks for non-request bound functionality- If your application performs work that can be done beyond the scope of a user-facing request, put it in a task! Sending this work to [Task Queue]((/appengine/docs/standard/php/taskqueue) instead of waiting for it to complete before returning a response can significantly reduce user-facing latency. Task Queue can then give you much more control over execution rates and help smooth out your load.
  • Use Cloud Datastore more efficiently - See below for more detail.
  • Execute multiple URL Fetch calls in parallel:
    • Batch together multiple URL Fetch calls instead of handling them individually inside individual user-facing requests, and handle them in an offline task in parallel via async URL Fetch.
  • For HTTP sessions, write asynchronously.

Change auto-scaling performance settings

The module configuration file contains two settings you can use to adjust the tradeoff between performance and resource load:

  • Max Idle Instances - Setting Max Idle Instances allows App Engine to shut down idle instances above the specified limit so they won't consume additional quota or create charges. However, fewer idle instances also means that the App Engine scheduler may have to spin up new instances if you experience a spike in traffic -- potentially increasing user-visible latency for your app.
  • Min Pending Latency - Raising Min Pending Latency instructs App Engine’s scheduler to not start a new instance unless a request has been pending for more than the specified time. If all instances are busy, user-facing requests may have to wait in the pending queue until this threshold is reached. Setting a high value for this setting will require fewer instances to be started, but may result in high user-visible latency during increased load.

Configuring Task Queue settings

The default settings for Task Queue are tuned for performance. With these defaults, when you put several tasks into a queue simultaneously, they will likely cause new Frontend Instances to spin up. Here are some suggestions for how to tune Task Queue to conserve Instance Hours:

  • Set the X-AppEngine-FailFast header on tasks that are not latency sensitive. This header instructs the scheduler to immediately fail the request if an existing instance is not available. Task Queue will retry and back-off until an existing instance becomes available to service the request. However, it is important to note that when requests with X-AppEngine-FailFast set occupy existing instances, requests without that header set may still cause new instances to be started.

Serve static content where possible

Static content serving is handled by specialized App Engine infrastructure, which does not consume Instance Hours.

Managing application storage

App Engine calculates storage costs based on the size of entities in the Cloud Datastore, the size of Cloud Datastore indexes, the size of tasks in the task queue, and the amount of data stored in Blobstore. Here are some things you can do to make sure you don't store more data than necessary:

  • Delete any entities or blobs your application no longer needs.
  • Remove any unnecessary indexes, as discussed in the Managing Datastore Usage section below, to reduce index storage costs.

Managing Cloud Datastore usage

App Engine accounts for the number of operations performed in Cloud Datastore. Here are a few strategies that can result in reduced Cloud Datastore resource consumption, as well as lower latency for requests to Cloud Datastore:

  • The GCP Console dataviewer displays the number of write ops that were required to create every entity in your local Cloud Datastore. You can use this information to understand the cost of writing each entity. See Understanding Write Costs for information on how to interpret this data.
  • Remove any unnecessary indexes, which will reduce storage and entity write costs. You can see what indexes are currently serving for your application in the GCP Console Search page.
  • When designing your data model, you might be able to write your queries in such a way so as to avoid custom indexes altogether. Read Queries and Indexes documentation for more information on how App Engine generates indexes.
  • Whenever possible, replace indexed properties (which are the default) with unindexed properties (), which reduces the number of Cloud Datastore write operations when you put an entity. Caution, if you later decide that you do need to be able to query on the unindexed property, you will need to not only modify your code to again use indexed properties, but you will have to run a map reduce over all entities to reput them.
  • Due to Cloud Datastore query planner improvements in App Engine 1.5.2 and 1.5.3 releases, your queries may now require fewer indexes than they did previously. While you may still choose to keep certain custom indexes for performance reasons, you may be able to delete others, reducing storage and entity write costs.
  • Use keys-only queries instead of entity queries when possible.
  • To decrease latency, replace multiple entity get()s with a batch get().
  • Use Cloud Datastore cursors for pagination rather than offset.

Note: Small Cloud Datastore operations include calls to allocate Cloud Datastore ids or keys-only queries. See the pricing page for more information on costs.

Managing other resources

It's always a good idea to make sure you are checking your error rates and looking out for any invalid calls you might be making. In some cases it might be possible to catch those calls early.

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App Engine standard environment for PHP