FAQ / Indexing / Is there a rate limit?
Aug. 27, 2019

Is there a rate limit?

Whenever a server starts being overloaded, Algolia first delays, then rejects indexing operations if necessary. These proactive measures are taken to avoid downtime. We call this action the rate limit.

The introduced delay (or throttling) is supposed ensure that you never reach the rejection limit. The throttling or rejection of operations continues until the server gets to a more manageable state.


More detail

Algolia servers are designed to contain large amounts of data, and to perform fast indexing and searching operations. It is therefore difficult - but not impossible - to reach the natural limits of a server.

To avoid downtime or delay, every Algolia server has an internal “rate limit” mechanism that is designed to stop the server from being overloaded with too many costly indexing operations.

Overloading is reached when the server can no longer handle indexing operations within a reasonable time-frame. We monitor our servers avoid the following scenarios:

  • A client’s overall application size (the sum total of all index sizes) becomes too large
  • Old requests remain unprocessed, indicating a backlog of indexing requests
  • The indexing queue has too many unprocessed requests, or the total size of all queued requests is too big

If any of these scenarios occur, we will start to slow down incoming indexing operations. We do this so the client will have to wait before sending new requests. This delay will be mostly transparent. However, if the server continues to be overloaded, the server will start to reject indexing requests as they come in, returning the above mentioned 429 error.

Throttling of operations varies depending on their types. Index operations (clearIndex, moveIndex, copyIndex, setSettings, deleteBy) are subject to stricter rules than record operations (saveObjects, partialUpdateObjects, saveRule, saveSynonym).

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