Python Memcached Stats Slabs (Detailed Guide w/ Code Examples)

Use Case(s)

The stats slabs command in Memcached, accessed through Python, is often used for two main purposes:

  1. To monitor the memory usage of each slab within Memcached, which can help in optimizing cache settings and understanding how well the cache is functioning.
  2. Debugging and troubleshooting issues related to specific slabs. By understanding the performance metrics of each slab, you can isolate problems and resolve them.

Code Examples

Python's pymemcache library gives access to Memcached commands. To fetch stats of slabs:

from pymemcache.client import base client = base.Client(('localhost', 11211)) stats_slabs = client.stats('slabs') for slab_id, slab_stats in stats_slabs.items(): print(f"Slab ID: {slab_id}") for stat, value in slab_stats.items(): print(f"{stat}: {value}")

Here, we establish a connection with the Memcached server (assuming that it runs on 'localhost' and port 11211). We then use the stats method with 'slabs' as an argument, which returns the statistics of slabs. Each slab's stats are then printed out.

Best Practices

  1. Regular Monitoring: Keep a regular check on your 'stats slabs' data. It helps in identifying any potential issues before they become significant problems.
  2. Comprehension: Understanding what each statistic represents can be incredibly beneficial for maintaining the health of your cached system.

Common Mistakes

  1. Ignoring Memory Waste: Seeing a high number under 'free_chunks' and ignoring it could lead to waste of memory. These chunks are allocated to a slab, can't be used by others but are sitting idle.
  2. Misunderstanding 'chunk_size': This is the size of items that this slab can store. Not the size of the slab itself.


  1. What does 'total_pages' represent in slab stats?

    • 'total_pages' shows the total number of memory pages allocated to that particular slab class.
  2. What is meant by 'free_chunks'?

    • 'free_chunks' refers to chunks which are not currently being used to store an item but cannot be allocated to other slabs.

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