DSE Graph configuration

Configure DSE Graph.

Adjusting DSE Graph configuration can create an environment easier to use for development, while protecting and improving the performance for a production environment. Some configurations affect the interaction of applications with the graph database, while others affect internal processing within DSE. In addition, securing DSE Graph has important consequences, and a number of configuration settings can secure cluster operation. Whether doing development or implementing production, a thorough knowledge of the configuration is vital.

General DSE Graph settings

Settings that affect DSE Graph core functionality.

dse.yaml

The location of the dse.yaml file depends on the type of installation:
Package installations /etc/dse/dse.yaml
Tarball installations installation_location/resources/dse/conf/dse.yaml

dse.yaml Graph options

DSE Graph stores cluster-wide options for DSE Graph in dse.yaml under the graph: and gremlin-server: keys. Most of the options that are common to modify have been discussed in the sections below. Of particular note, the Graph sandbox is configured in the Gremlin Server options of the dse.yaml file. This feature is enabled by default and provides protection from malicious attacks within the JVM.

To modify dse.yaml settings, modify the file on each node in the cluster and restart each node. Settings in the dse.yaml are node system level in scope. The dse.yaml files can also be modified using OpsCenter. Another alternative is to set options per graph, described in the Schema API configuration.

remote.yaml Gremlin console options

The remote.yaml file is the primary configuration file for DSE Graph Gremlin console connections to the Gremlin Server. Most options are self-explanatory. In particular, be aware that if you are using analytic OLAP queries with DSE Graph, changes are required in this file.

Replication factor

The replication factor (RF) and system replication factor (system RF) for a graph can affect the performance of reads and writes in DSE. Just as for the DSE database, these factors control the number of replicas of data that the distributed graph database will store across multiple nodes.

Two keyspaces are created for each graph; the graph keyspace stores the data, while the graph_system keyspace stores information vital to DSE Graph operation. The default values set for the replication factor and system replication factor depend on the number of nodes in each datacenter when the graph is created:
Number of nodes in each datacenter Graph replication factor Graph System replication factor
1 1 1
2 2 2
3 3 3
4 3 4
5 or greater 3 5
For more information, see the Graph System API: replication factor and system replication factor.

Consistency_mode, datacenter_id, read_consistency, and write_consistency

Consistency level in DSE Graph is controlled for both graph operation and DSE database operations. The consistency_mode setting configures graph operations, and read_consistency and write_consistency settings configure the consistency level of DSE database read and write operations within a graph transaction.

The consistency_mode (default: GLOBAL) is appropriate for user-defined vertex ids. If auto-generated vertex ids are used, this setting can be changed to DC_LOCAL, with a concurrent change made to the datacenter_id setting. Both consistency_mode and datacenter_id must be configured on every node in the cluster. The datacenter_id setting is ignored if consistency_mode is set to GLOBAL.
Warning: These options must be set to the same value in the dse.yaml file on every node in a cluster, and will not be effective if set while the cluster is running.

Gremlin queries execute CQL commands to insert, read, and update graph data via traversals, and so the DSE database consistency level settings can affect the execution of graph operations. The consistency level for reads or writes can generally be set per graph with the read_consistency (default: ONE) and write_consistency (default: LOCAL_QUORUM) settings for user-defined vertex ids. If a search index is used in a graph traversal, the read_consistency will be set to LOCAL_ONE in a multiple datacenter cluster. The options are set with the Schema API .

schema_mode

To access data, two configuration items are important: schema_mode and allow_scan.

The schema_mode setting has two choices that identify whether automatic schema creation is allowed or not:
  • Development: allows loading graph data before explicitly specifying a graph schema through the Graph Schema API
  • Production (default): required explicit graph schema prior to loading graph data
The schema_mode setting has a hard-coded default value of Production, that can be overridden by either:
  • including an option in the dse.yaml file: schema_mode: Development
  • using a graph-level command: schema.config().option('schema_mode').set('Development')
When exploring data to design your graph application, setting schema_mode: Development can be beneficial in helping you to discover the graph schema that you may want to use. However, setting schema_mode: Production is important once development is complete, to prevent random schema creation.
Note: The default settings for schema_mode and allow_scan are set for production, not development, to ensure out-of-the-box operation conforms to the more restrictive environment.
Three useful commands are available for discovering the current value of these two settings:
  • schema.getEffectiveSchemaMode(): Checks the hard-coded value, dse.yaml value (if specified), and graph-level setting that may have been set.
  • schema.getEffectiveAllowScan(): Checks the hard-coded value, dse.yaml value (if specified), and graph-level setting that may have been set.
  • graph.getEffectiveAllowScan(): Checks the hard-coded value, dse.yaml value (if specified), graph-level setting that may have been set, and transaction-level setting that may have been set.

DSE Graph security settings

Settings that affect DSE Graph security.

dse.yaml

The location of the dse.yaml file depends on the type of installation:
Package installations /etc/dse/dse.yaml
Tarball installations installation_location/resources/dse/conf/dse.yaml

Graph sandbox and whitelisted/blacklisted code

The DSE Graph sandbox, configured in the dse.yaml file under the gremlin-server: key, is enabled by default. This security feature prevents malicious code execution in the JVM that could harm a DSE instance. Sandbox rules are defined to both blacklist (disallow execution) and whitelist (allow execution) packages, superclasses and types. For Java/Groovy code entered in the Gremlin console, only the specified allowed operations will execute. The default sandbox rules may be overriden in the dse.yaml file. The sandbox rules are applied in the following order:
  1. blacklist_supers, including all classes that implement or extend the listed items
  2. blacklist_packages, including all sub-packages
  3. whitelist_packages, including all sub-packages
  4. whitelist_types, not including sub-classes, but only the specified type
  5. whitelist_supers, including all classes that implement or extend the listed items
Any types not specified in the whitelist are blocked by default. If an item is blacklisted, it cannot be placed in the whitelist unless it is removed from the blacklist; otherwise, an error occurs and the item is blocked.
Important: Two classes are hard-coded as blacklisted and cannot be whitelisted:
  • java.lang.System: All methods other than currentTimeMillis and nanoTime are blocked (blacklisted).
  • java.lang.Thread: currentThread().isInterrupted is an allowed method that can return a wrapped thread with toString, and sleep is another allowed method, and all other methods are disallowed.
An example of possible whitelisted and blacklisted items in the gremlin_server section of the dse.yaml file:
gremlin_server:
     port: 8182
     threadPoolWorker: 2
     gremlinPool: 0
        scriptEngines:
            gremlin-groovy:
                config:
 #                  sandbox_enabled: false
                       sandbox_rules:
                            whitelist_packages:
                            - org.apache.tinkerpop.gremlin.process
                            - java.nio
                        whitelist_types:
                            - java.lang.String
                            - java.lang.Boolean
                            - com.datastax.bdp.graph.spark.SparkSnapshotBuilderImpl
                            - com.datastax.dse.graph.api.predicates.Search
                        whitelist_supers:
                            - groovy.lang.Script
                            - java.lang.Number
                            - java.util.Map
                            - org.apache.tinkerpop.gremlin.process.computer.GraphComputer
                        blacklist_packages:
                            - java.io
                            - org.apache.tinkerpop.gremlin.structure.io
                            - org.apache.tinkerpop.gremlin.groovy.jsr223
                            - java.nio.channels

The Fluent API restricts the allowable operations to secure execution, but uses the sandbox to enable lambda functions.

Authentication, authorization, and encryption

DSE can authenticate or authorize access by users, secure the stored data with encryption, or secure Gremlin console with SSL, based on Graph vertex labels or graphs, as applicable.

DSE Graph security is managed by DSE security. DSE Graph security does require some unique configuration, such as changing the configuration to use the Gremlin console securely or modifying the Graph Sandbox in the gremlin-server: key of the dse.yaml file.

DSE Graph also supports auditing using DSE auditing, see Setting up database auditing.

Restrict lambda

Lambda restriction is enabled by default to block arbitrary code execution in Gremlin traversals. Most applications should not require user-defined lambda functions. If lambda functions are required, disable lambda restrictions using the Schema API to change the restrict_lambda (default: true) option.
Tip: See Apache TinkerPop documentation for more information on lambda functions.

DSE Graph traversal performance settings

Settings that affect DSE Graph traversal performance.

dse.yaml

The location of the dse.yaml file depends on the type of installation:
Package installations /etc/dse/dse.yaml
Tarball installations installation_location/resources/dse/conf/dse.yaml

allow_scan

To access data, two configuration items are important: schema_mode and allow_scan.

The allow_scan setting is a Boolean setting that identifies whether full scans of the entire cluster are allowed or not:
  • TRUE: allows any graph query to do full scans of the cluster, similar to ALLOW FILTERING in CQL queries. Although useful during development, allowing full scan can result in queries that do costly linear scans over one or more tables.
  • FALSE (default): will not execute a query if restrictions to a subset of the entire cluster’s data are not included
The allow_scan setting has a hard-coded default value of FALSE, that can be overridden to a value of TRUE by doing one of the following actions:
When exploring data to design your graph application, setting allow_scan: true allows you to fully explore and visualize ther relationships in small test datasets with very broad queries like g.V(). Be aware, however, that traversals depending on full scans will take too long to execute with large production-size datasets, and that once development is complete, allow_scan: false is the appropriate setting.
Note: The default settings for schema_mode and allow_scan are set for production, not development, to ensure out-of-the-box operation conforms to the more restrictive environment.
Three useful commands are available for discovering the current value of these two settings:
  • schema.getEffectiveSchemaMode(): Checks the hard-coded value, dse.yaml value (if specified), and graph-level setting that may have been set.
  • schema.getEffectiveAllowScan(): Checks the hard-coded value, dse.yaml value (if specified), and graph-level setting that may have been set.
  • graph.getEffectiveAllowScan(): Checks the hard-coded value, dse.yaml value (if specified), graph-level setting that may have been set, and transaction-level setting that may have been set.

cache

Caching can use additional memory to store intermediary results, and improve the performance of DSE Graph by shortening the time to complete queries. DSE Graph has two caches:
  • adjacency cache: store the properties of vertices and the properties of those vertices' incident edges
  • index cache: stores the results of graph traversals that include a global index, such as a hasLabel() or has() step
Caching is enabled by default; the Schema API setting cache (default: true) can be used to disable caching. In addition, both adjacency cache and index cache have settings that can be modified:
Table 1. DSE Graph cache
Cache setting Default Location Description
vertex_cache_size 10000l Set with Schema API. Maximum size of transaction-level cache of recently-used vertices.
adjacency_cache_clean_rate 1024 dse.yaml Number of stale rows per second to clean from each graph's adjacency cache.
adjacency_cache_max_entry_size_in_mb 0 dse.yaml Maximum entry size in each graph's adjacency cache.
adjacency_cache_size_in_mb 128 dse.yaml Amount of ram to allocate to each graph's adjacency (edge and property) cache.
index_cache_clean_rate 1024 dse.yaml Number of stale entries per second to clean from the index adjacency cache.
index_cache_max_entry_size_in_mb 0 dse.yaml Maximum entry size in the index adjacency cache. When set to zero, the default is calculated based on the cache size and the number of CPUs.

Timeouts

Timeout settings can cause failure of DSE Graph in a variety of ways, both client-side and server-side. On the client-side, commands from the Gremlin console can time out before reaching the Gremlin server. Issuing the command :remote config timeout none in the Gremlin console allows the default maximum timeout of 3 minutes to be overridden with no time limit. Any request typed into the Gremlin console is sent to the Gremlin Server, and the console waits for a response before it aborts the request and returns control to the user. If the timeout is changed to none, the request will never timeout. This can be useful if the time to send a request to the server and get a return is taking longer than the default timeout, for complex traversals or large datasets.

On the server-side, the cluster-wide timeout settings, realtime_evaluation_timeout_in_seconds (default: 30 seconds) or analytic_evaluation_timeout_in_minutes (default: 1008 minutes), are the maximum time to wait for a traversal to evaluate for OLTP or OLAP traversals, respectively. These settings are found in the dse.yaml file. If the timeout behavior for traversal evaluation needs to be overridden for a particular graph, evaluation_timeout can be set on a graph-by-graph basis, to override either the OLTP or OLAP traversal evaluation timeout. If complex traversals are timing out during execution, changing an appropriate timeout setting should fix the error.

An additional server-side setting that can be adjusted in the dse.yaml file is schema_agreement_timeout_in_ms (30 seconds), the maximum time to wait for schema versions to agree across a cluster when making schema changes. If a large schema is submitted to a cluster, especially with indexes defined, this setting may need adjustment before data is submitted to the graph.

Finally, in the dse.yaml file, system_evaluation_timeout_in_seconds (default: 180 seconds) is defined as the maximum time to wait for a graph system request to evaluate. Creating or dropping a graph is a system request affected by this setting, which does not interact with the other timeout options.

Table 2. DSE Graph Timeouts
Timeout Default Impact
:remote config timeout none 3 minutes Lengthen if command transit from Gremlin console to Gremlin Server is timing out.
realtime_evaluation_timeout_in_seconds 30 seconds Lengthen if the OLTP traversal evaluation is timing out.
analytic_evaluation_timeout_in_minutes 1008 minutes Lengthen if the OLAP traversal evaluation is timing out.
evaluation_timeout N/A Set per-graph to override OLTP or OLAP traversal evaluation timeout.
schema_agreement_timeout_in_ms 30 seconds Lengthen if a large schema is submitted, especially with indexes.
system_evaluation_timeout_in_seconds 180 seconds Lengthen if graph system requests are not completing.

external_vertex_verify and internal_vertex_verify

These settings allow a tradeoff between correctness verification and better load performance. For example, when loading large datasets that have user-defined vertex ids external_vertex_verify (default: true) or auto-generated vertex ids internal_vertex_verify (default: false), these options are important. If you have a fresh clean graph with no data yet, and don’t want to check if vertex ids found in your data already exist in the graph, then set the appropriate option to false and speed up data loading with DSE Graph Loader. Of course, if you do have data already and don’t want to overwrite it with the newly loading dataset, you should use a true value for the appropriate option.

tx_autostart and max_query_queue

If you are loading large GraphSON files, tx_autostart can enable a query to automatically start a new transaction once 10,000 elements are reached during loading. Another useful method of avoiding restrictions when loading large files is to configure max_query_queue in the dse.yaml file to remove restrictions at the node system-level.