Expiring Object SupportΒΆ

The swift-object-expirer offers scheduled deletion of objects. The Swift client would use the X-Delete-At or X-Delete-After headers during an object PUT or POST and the cluster would automatically quit serving that object at the specified time and would shortly thereafter remove the object from the system.

The X-Delete-At header takes a Unix Epoch timestamp, in integer form; for example: 1317070737 represents Mon Sep 26 20:58:57 2011 UTC.

The X-Delete-After header takes an integer number of seconds. The proxy server that receives the request will convert this header into an X-Delete-At header using its current time plus the value given.

As expiring objects are added to the system, the object servers will record the expirations in a hidden .expiring_objects account for the swift-object-expirer to handle later.

Usually, just one instance of the swift-object-expirer daemon needs to run for a cluster. This isn’t exactly automatic failover high availability, but if this daemon doesn’t run for a few hours it should not be any real issue. The expired-but-not-yet-deleted objects will still 404 Not Found if someone tries to GET or HEAD them and they’ll just be deleted a bit later when the daemon is restarted.

By default, the swift-object-expirer daemon will run with a concurrency of 1. Increase this value to get more concurrency. A concurrency of 1 may not be enough to delete expiring objects in a timely fashion for a particular Swift cluster.

It is possible to run multiple daemons to do different parts of the work if a single process with a concurrency of more than 1 is not enough (see the sample config file for details).

To run the swift-object-expirer as multiple processes, set processes to the number of processes (either in the config file or on the command line). Then run one process for each part. Use process to specify the part of the work to be done by a process using the command line or the config. So, for example, if you’d like to run three processes, set processes to 3 and run three processes with process set to 0, 1, and 2 for the three processes. If multiple processes are used, it’s necessary to run one for each part of the work or that part of the work will not be done.

The daemon uses the /etc/swift/object-expirer.conf by default, and here is a quick sample conf file:

# swift_dir = /etc/swift
# user = swift
# You can specify default log routing here if you want:
# log_name = swift
# log_facility = LOG_LOCAL0
# log_level = INFO

interval = 300

pipeline = catch_errors cache proxy-server

use = egg:swift#proxy
# See proxy-server.conf-sample for options

use = egg:swift#memcache
# See proxy-server.conf-sample for options

use = egg:swift#catch_errors
# See proxy-server.conf-sample for options

The daemon needs to run on a machine with access to all the backend servers in the cluster, but does not need proxy server or public access. The daemon will use its own internal proxy code instance to access the backend servers.

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