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For running large workflows, you'll typically need to scale the controller to match.

Horizontally Scaling

You cannot horizontally scale the controller.


As of v3.0, the controller supports having a hot-standby for High Availability.

Vertically Scaling

You can scale the controller vertically in these ways:

Container Resource Requests

If you observe the Controller using its total CPU or memory requests, you should increase those.

Adding Goroutines to Increase Concurrency

If you have sufficient CPU cores, you can take advantage of them with more goroutines:

  • If you have many Workflows and you notice they're not being reconciled fast enough, increase --workflow-workers.
  • If you're using TTLStrategy in your Workflows and you notice they're not being deleted fast enough, increase --workflow-ttl-workers.
  • If you're using PodGC in your Workflows and you notice the Pods aren't being deleted fast enough, increase --pod-cleanup-workers.

v3.5 and after

  • If you're using a lot of CronWorkflows and they don't seem to be firing on time, increase --cron-workflow-workers.

K8S API Client Side Rate Limiting

The K8S client library rate limits the messages that can go out.

If you frequently see messages similar to this in the Controller log (issued by the library):

Waited for 7.090296384s due to client-side throttling, not priority and fairness, request: GET:

Or, in >= v3.5, if you see warnings similar to this (could be any CR, not just WorkflowTemplate):

Waited for 7.090296384s, request:GET:

Then, if your K8S API Server can handle more requests:

  • Increase both --qps and --burst arguments for the Controller. The qps value indicates the average number of queries per second allowed by the K8S Client. The burst value is the number of queries/sec the Client receives before it starts enforcing qps, so typically burst > qps. If not set, the default values are qps=20 and burst=30 (as of v3.5 (refer to cmd/workflow-controller/main.go in case the values change)).


One Install Per Namespace

Rather than running a single installation in your cluster, run one per namespace using the --namespaced flag.

Instance ID

Within a cluster can use instance ID to run N Argo instances within a cluster.

Create one namespace for each Argo, e.g. argo-i1, argo-i2:.

Edit workflow-controller-configmap.yaml for each namespace to set an instance ID.

apiVersion: v1
kind: ConfigMap
  name: workflow-controller-configmap
    instanceID: i1

v2.9 and after

You may need to pass the instance ID to the CLI:

argo --instanceid i1 submit my-wf.yaml

You do not need to have one instance ID per namespace, you could have many or few.

Maximum Recursion Depth

In order to protect users against infinite recursion, the controller has a default maximum recursion depth of 100 calls to templates.

This protection can be disabled with the environment variable DISABLE_MAX_RECURSION=true


See also Running At Massive Scale.


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