By default, a Ringbuffer is configured with a capacity of 10000 items. This creates an array with a size of 10000. If a time-to-live is configured, then an array of longs is also created that stores the expiration time for every item. In a lot of cases you may want to change this capacity number to something that better fits your needs.

Below is a declarative configuration example of a Ringbuffer with a capacity of 2000 items.

<ringbuffer name="rb">

Currently, Hazelcast Ringbuffer is not a partitioned data structure; its data is stored in a single partition and the replicas are stored in another partition. Therefore, create a Ringbuffer that can safely fit in a single cluster member.

Back Up

Hazelcast Ringbuffer has a single synchronous backup by default. You can control the Ringbuffer backup just like most of the other Hazelcast distributed data structures by setting the synchronous and asynchronous backups: backup-count and async-backup-count. In the example below, a Ringbuffer is configured with no synchronous backups and one asynchronous backup:

<ringbuffer name="rb">

An asynchronous backup will probably give you better performance. However, there is a chance that the item added will be lost when the member owning the primary crashes before the backup could complete. You may want to consider batching methods if you need high performance but do not want to give up on consistency.

Time To Live

You can configure Hazelcast Ringbuffer with a time to live in seconds. Using this setting, you can control how long the items remain in the Ringbuffer before they are expired. By default, the time to live is set to 0, meaning that unless the item is overwritten, it will remain in the Ringbuffer indefinitely. If you set a time to live and an item is added, then, depending on the Overflow Policy, either the oldest item is overwritten, or the call is rejected.

In the example below, a Ringbuffer is configured with a time to live of 180 seconds.

<ringbuffer name="rb">

Overflow Policy

Using the overflow policy, you can determine what to do if the oldest item in the Ringbuffer is not old enough to expire when more items than the configured Ringbuffer capacity are being added. The below options are currently available.

  • OverflowPolicy.OVERWRITE: The oldest item is overwritten.
  • OverflowPolicy.FAIL: The call is aborted. The methods that make use of the OverflowPolicy return -1 to indicate that adding the item has failed.

Overflow policy gives you fine control on what to do if the Ringbuffer is full. You can also use the overflow policy to apply a back pressure mechanism. The following example code shows the usage of an exponential backoff.

long sleepMs = 100;
for (; ; ) {
    long result = ringbuffer.addAsync(item, OverflowPolicy.FAIL).get();
    if (result != -1) {
    sleepMs = min(5000, sleepMs * 2);

In-Memory Format

You can configure Hazelcast Ringbuffer with an in-memory format that controls the format of the Ringbuffer's stored items. By default, BINARY in-memory format is used, meaning that the object is stored in a serialized form. You can select the OBJECT in-memory format, which is useful when filtering is applied or when the OBJECT in-memory format has a smaller memory footprint than BINARY.

In the declarative configuration example below, a Ringbuffer is configured with the OBJECT in-memory format:

<ringbuffer name="rb">

Configuration Examples

The following shows the declarative configuration of a Ringbuffer called rb. The configuration is modeled after the Ringbuffer defaults.

<ringbuffer name="rb">

You can also configure a Ringbuffer programmatically. The following is a programmatic version of the above declarative configuration.

RingbufferConfig rbConfig = new RingbufferConfig("rb")
Config config = new Config();