OMERO throttling

Throttling consists of reducing the total number of resources that one user or group can consume at a given time. The throttling service is a new component of OMERO.blitz which should ensure a more fair usage.

For example, each blitz server has a pre-defined maximum number of server threads. Any calls beyond this number must wait on a currently executing call to finish. Before throttling, a single user could consume all the available threads and all other users would have to wait.

With throttling, all invocations are placed on configurable on a queue which is worked on my any number of configurable slots. Each site can configure the number and type of slots based on which throttling strategy has been chosen.


Planned for milestone:3.0-Beta4, the infrastructure for throttling was committed to milestone with the in-thread strategy, which uses the calling thread for execution. This provides the same semantics as the current blitz server.

Other strategies include:

  • a per-session strategy

  • a per-user strategy

  • a per-group strategy

each of which allows the session, user, or group a fair slice of execution, but no more. Within each strategy, the order of operation is guaranteed not to change once the execution reaches the server. However, there is nothing the server can do to prevent re-ordering if two calls are made by the client simultaneously.

More advanced strategies are possible based on total consumed resources over some window, or even a service-level agreement (SLA) or Quality of Service (QoS)-style planning. All strategies must guarantee a proper method ordering.

It is also intended that the throttling service provide limits to memory usage, database hits within a single transaction, and total execution time.


  • Slots - are the number of available executions that a single session, user, or group can perform simultaneously on a single machine. (If the server is clustered, there will be the given number of slots per hosts)

  • Hard and soft limits - hard limits throw an OverUsageException and require some form of compensation on the clients. Soft limits, on the other hand, simply slow down, or throttle, execution to give other operations a chance to succeed.

  • Strictness - when a strategy is configured as strict, then once a session, user, or group has reached its limits, the hard or soft limit will be enforced even if no one else is using the server. A non-strict policy will “borrow” someone else’s slot for the duration of one execution.

See also

Scaling Omero