[Bro] Multiple masters to ease the workload

Mark Buchanan mabuchan at gmail.com
Fri Jun 5 09:09:02 PDT 2015

I too have noticed memory complete memory exhaustion in Bro 2.3.2 (not sure
what version Jason is running).  If the workers are not restarted every few
days or at least once a week, I run out of usable memory on a few sensors
I'm testing.

I have found that just doing a restart within broctl will free the memory
consumed up - but I regularly have to perform restarts to keep the sensors
I am testing running smoothly.


On Fri, Jun 5, 2015 at 7:08 AM, Close, Jason M. <close at ou.edu> wrote:

>  Thanks.
>  I went ahead and rebooted the cluster, and that cleared things up (as
> well as sent out a LOT of emails…).
>  Has anyone else noticed a memory leak in the sensors?  We slowly see
> memory usage grow, maybe by about 10GB a month, even when our total traffic
> has gone down.  I attached an image from our Zabbix monitor.  You can see
> that once we reboot the box, memory drops down, and then slowly creeps up.
> And traffic isn’t increasing (in fact, it decreases by half over the
> summer).
>   *Jason Close*
> *Information Security Analyst*
> OU Information Technology
> Office: 405.325.8661  Cell: 405.421.1096
>   From: Dave Crawford <dave at pingtrip.com>
> Date: Thursday, June 4, 2015 at 8:35 PM
> To: Jason Close <close at ou.edu>
> Cc: "bro at bro.org" <bro at bro.org>
> Subject: Re: [Bro] Multiple masters to ease the workload
>   Is it actually 100% RAM usage by applications? Since the manager can be
> performing a significant amount of disk writes the kernel will allocate
> ‘free’ memory as ‘cached’ to increase file performance. The cached memory
> is released when applications demand more memory.
>  Below is the current memory usage on one of my mangers that is handling
> 25 workers and 2 proxies. At first glance it appears that all the memory
> has been consumed, but notice how 122G is cached.
>               total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
> Mem:          126G       125G       384M         0B       329M       122G
> -/+ buffers/cache:       2.6G       123G
> Swap:          33G         0B        33G
>  -Dave
>  On Jun 2, 2015, at 10:29 AM, Close, Jason M. <close at ou.edu> wrote:
>    Our current configuration is showing a lot of heavy use by the master
> node.  We currently run around 6 worker nodes that feed data to the master,
> and while the master is keeping up in terms of CPU, it is consistently
> teetering on using all available RAM we can throw at it (128GB at the
> moment).  There are plans in place to increase our available bandwidth
> 10-fold, so the traffic coming to Bro will ramp up as well.
>  We could piece apart the subnets and create multiple Bro clusters.  But
> it would be nice to have a single cluster, and be able to continue to throw
> more workers and managers at it.  But I have not seen any documentation
> about configurations using multiple managers.  If that does exist, can
> someone point me in the right direction?
>  And if that doesn’t exist, can I get some suggestions about mitigations
> to this problem?  I know there are a lot of cool things being done with
> Bro, especially using scripts and APIs where Bro can help reduce traffic
> being thrown to it.  But due to the taps we have in place, and the manpower
> availability, right now, spinning up a little more hardware would be a much
> easier and more economical investment of our time.
>  Thanks.
>  Jason
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Mark Buchanan
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