Redis driver timeout issues


If a burst of traffic reaches the application while no free threads are available, the Timeout Exception is thrown as a result of the Redis driver design. The Redis driver blocks the request thread until a response from the Redis Server has been received and data is fully parsed by the callback. A lack of free threads to invoke the callback for parsing the received data in a timely manner (one second by default) leads to a timeout exception.

Technical background

A thread pool is allowed to create new worker threads to process incoming load under certain conditions. Adding more threads is beneficial only if free CPU resources are available. A thread pool injects new threads when the CPU usage is below 80%.

Because the CPU performance counter shows the system state for the previous second, the load produced by the newly-created threads is reflected only in a second. This results in a creation constraint of no more than 2 threads per second to prevent overloading the CPU.

Note: The CLR thread pool size management is an implementation detail that is subject to change at any time by the technology vendor.

The current implementation is described in Redis FAQ: Important details about ThreadPool growth.


If the thread pool has fewer free threads than the number of incoming requests, all of the threads are taken by ASP.NET for incoming request processing, and a few more are created. The remaining ones are in the work queue.

No free worker threads are left to parse the Redis response because all are blocked while waiting for the parsing results.

Due to the lack of logic to acknowledge that response parsing has a higher priority, a priority inversion takes place:

The circular wait deadlock condition is resolved when the ASP.NET thread is unblocked by a timeout and throws an exception, leading to a thread being released.

The released thread might be assigned for pending callback processing depending on the current work queue.

Further reading


  1. Tune the Redis provider settings as described in the Tuning Redis configuration settings section.
  2. Tune the .NET ThreadPool parameters to avoid thread starvation and throttling by following the instructions from KB1003030.
  3. For Sitecore XP 9.1.0 and Sitecore XP 9.1.1 specifically, download and install the hotfix compatible with the affected product version:
    Be aware that the hotfixes were built for the specific Sitecore XP versions and must not be installed on other Sitecore XP versions or in combination with other hotfixes. In case any other hotfixes have already been installed on a certain Sitecore XP instance, send a request for a compatibility check to Sitecore Support. Note that the ZIP file contents must be extracted to locate installation instructions and related files inside. The hotfix must be installed on a CM instance and then synced with other instances using standard development practices.

Tuning Redis Configuration Settings

To overcome possible Redis timeout issues, tune the Redis provider settings:

The following values can be added as a starting point in Redis provider configuration section in the web.config file:

The final values must be tuned per-solution as a result of load testing.

For more information about the Redis provider settings, see Redis provider settings reference.