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RESTBase is an API proxy serving the REST API at /api/rest_v1/. It uses Cassandra as a storage backend.

It is currently running on hosts with the profile::restbase class.

Deployment and config changes

RESTBase is deployed by Scap.

What to check after a deploy

Deploys to do not always go according to plan, and regressions are not always obvious. Here is a list of things you should check after each deploy:

Other considerations

Be sure to log all actions ahead of time in #wikimedia-operations. Don't be shy about including details.


Adding a new RESTBase host


Once a server is in the right state to be deployed to, first ensure that the correct DNS setup has been completed. RESTBase hosts have three additional addresses added as aliases for the system's main interface. These are usually created along with the host's base DNS record (restbaseNNNN) but you should make sure that restbaseNNNN-a, restbaseNNNN-b and restbaseNNNN-c have all been created in DNS. Ideally these addresses are sequential from the base address but this is not required. These addresses should be specified in DNS and Netbox.

Once the host is configured correctly:

  • Add host definitions in hiera - look at the existing hosts in the chosen datacentre to determine which rack the hosts should go into. Generally distribution between racks should be as even in number as possible. The jbod_devices parameter is dependent on the disk layout of the hosts in question. If you're not changing the layout elsewhere, it's generally okay to reuse the layout of previous hosts - verify this on the new host before reprovisioning it.
  • Add the host definitions to the restbase hierdata
  • Add the hosts to the datacentre hierdata - these are used only for configuring the rate limiting service and its firewall in puppet and in Scap3.
  • Add certificates for the host on the main puppetmaster's /srv/private repo. Search the commit history for previous restbase host additions for examples. Generate the new certificates from the cassandra certs directory by running cassandra-ca-manager restbase.yaml.
  • Change the hosts' roles - by default hosts will be using insetup.

Example links for historical changes shown for context.

Generally it's a good idea to do the above one host at a time. Adding new RESTBase hosts to the Cassandra cluster can take a long time and so it's best to just proceed slowly one by one if you have many hosts to add at once rather than have to worry about juggling downtimes.

Cassandra setup

Once the host is fully provisioned, it can be added instance by instance (restbaseNNNN-a, then restbaseNNNN-b, then restbaseNNNN-c) to the Cassandra cluster. Topology changes are costly events in Cassandra and for this reason only ever add one node to the cluster at a time. To start bootstrapping the "a" instance, simply run sudo touch /etc/cassandra-a/service-enabled and sudo run-puppet-agent. This will start the respective cassandra instance and in time it will start bootstrapping itself. To monitor the progress of node a's updates, run cassandra-streams -nt nodetool-a from the bootstrapping host or c-any-nt status -r| grep restbaseNNNN from another host in the cluster. A host can be considered fully bootstrapped when the instance when c-any-nt status -r | grep restbaseNNNN shows the node in status "UN". Hosts still in the process of joining will show status "UJ".

The process of adding a single node can take a long time - even beginning the bootstrap process can take upwards of an hour, and the process itself can take around 5-6 hours. For this reason, it is imperative that you manage your downtimes appropriately to prevent disruption (in short, use the sre.hosts.downtime cookbook).

When waiting for the bootstrapping process to start, it is perfectly normal to see the message "Migration task failed to complete" in the system logs for the instance in question. This can be ignored.

Service deployment and pooling

Renewing expired certificates

Every now and again Cassandra certificates will come close to expiry (for example: SSL WARNING - Certificate restbase2016-a valid until 2020-11-29 09:26:14 +0000 (expires in 53 days)). Certificates need to be deleted and recreated in the Puppet secrets directory - See the Cassandra documentation for details.


To temporarily switch to local logging for debugging, you can change the config.yaml log stanza like this:

  name: restbase
    # level can be trace, debug, info, warn, error
    - level: info 
      path: /tmp/debug.log

Alternatively, you can log to stdout by commenting out the streams sub-object. This is useful for debugging startup failures like this:

cd /srv/deployment/restbase/deploy/
sudo -u restbase node restbase/server.js -c /etc/restbase/config.yaml -n 0

The -n 0 parameter avoids forking off any workers, which reduces log noise. Instead, a single worker is started up right in the master process.

Analytics and metrics

Hive query for action API & rest API traffic:

use wmf;

  SUM(IF (uri_path LIKE '/api/rest_v1/%', 1, 0)) as count_rest,
  SUM(IF (uri_path LIKE '/w/api.php%', 1, 0)) as count_action
FROM wmf.webrequest
WHERE webrequest_source = 'text'
  AND year = 2017
  AND month = 9
  AND (uri_path LIKE '/api/rest_v1/%' OR uri_path LIKE '/w/api.php%');