Thursday, 6 December 2012

Delayed job, a real pain in production

There are so many ways to handle background jobs in Ruby on Rails. But the most simplest one is delayed job (DJ) as I showed you in the following post Handling delayed jobs. Simple in the sense that it requires very less effort to set up and in uses single table to handle the jobs.

It's a very good solution for development environment, but in production people starts complaining of problems such as:
  • DJ is eating up my server resources.
  • DJ is firing new daemon processes every now and then.
  • Many DJ instances are running at a time.
And many more similar kind of issues.
To run delayed job daemon along with rails server, people often end up creating config/initializers/start_worker.rb, and put codes something like do
  system("rake jobs:work")

I don't encourage this process.
Better solution will be to start delayed job using cron jobs.
There's a gem available for this purpose: whenever.

  • Add this line to your gemfile: gem "whenever", :require => false
  • $ bundle install
  • $ wheneverize .
  • This will create config/schedule.rb.
  • Open up that file and put the following codes in it:
       set :output, "/path_to_your_project/log/cron_log.log"
       every :reboot do
         command "cd /path_to_your_project && RAILS_ENV=production script/delayed_job start"
  • This will start delayed job on every server boot. You may also write 
       every 10.hours do
         command "cd /path_to_your_project && RAILS_ENV=production script/delayed_job restart"
          This will restart delayed job after every 10 hours. Although point number 6 is not a very feasible    
          solution, but it surely helps in some cases.
  • whenever --update-crontab your_project_name.
  • $ crontab -l
          To check whether the jobs you just made are listed.


  1. Open source technology has always been the first choice for web service providers as well as clients. Ruby on Rails framework is one such tool which has given high productivity with least development time and gained much popularity.

    1. i totaly agree benslin. cool framework backed by a great language ruby.

  2. wow! thanks for sharing Souvik. I too was needing the exact functionality.
    Any thoughts for creating a failover for the delayed job if it fails?

    1. If you are looking for a cool web interface to check what's going on and which jobs has failed, check out resque

  3. we can also do rake "jobs:workoff"
    This will "do the queued jobs and exit" as per delayed_jobs documentation.

    every 5.minutes do
    rake "jobs:workoff"

  4. Good Job ! I enjoyed enough reading your latest article to read it again and again! It was so helpful. Waiting for your next entry .
    Ruby on Rails Developers

  5. Thanks! I will soon be back with new blogs.

  6. Unique blog having such a valuable content!!!. Good Job ! I enjoyed enough reading your latest article to read it again and again.

  7. I totally agree with your points that you have mentioned here. There are many problems which a developers are facing. We are ROR developer in India and we came across a situation where we stuck means its a deadlock, but there are always an alternate solutions to reslove the problem.