[erlang-questions] pipe messages sent between different nodes to boost speed

Davide Marquês <>
Tue Jun 9 18:03:16 CEST 2009


Hi all,

Roberto: I did read your blog post and tried out the code on a windows
machine with very positive results! :)

I find Roberto's approach really interesting in that in adition to speeding
up message delivery it opens the door for a mailman-like message passing
system!
My take is that Erlang could benefit from such a tool in that it would help
support applications with looser inter-process communication requirements.
Instead of having lots of processes "monitoring" their communication
partners the processes could simply deliver the message to the mailman and
delegate the efective message delivery to that entity. This is turn could
turn the whole software more amenable to handle network
partitions/disconnected operations than the current erlang tool set (which
favours consistency and availability over partition-tolerance).

Thumbs up to Roberto for this great little experience! :)

Cheers,
:Davide

On Tue, Jun 9, 2009 at 1:13 PM, Roberto Ostinelli <>wrote:

> dear all,
>
> two months ago i've started an experiment to increase speed of messages
> sent between different erlang nodes. i seem to have found a way to
> considerably increase this speed up to 3 times the native erlang speed, and
> would love to hear your feedback on this.
>
> the idea is quite simple: queuing all messages sent from a node to another
> node, and sending them by groups. the whole concept is therefore to have a
> gen_server, called 'qr', running on every node where message passing takes
> place. a single process from a node A sends a message to a process of node
> B, being relayed by the two 'qr':
>
> process on node A => 'qr' on node A => 'qr' on node B => process on node B.
>
> this is something that is generally taken care of at lower level of
> implementations (tcp), with algorithms such as nagle, but i've decided to
> try a pipe/queuing mechanism at erlang application level too, to see if i
> could get any improvements.
>
> a detailed explanation of the tests and benchmarks that i've performed are
> available here:
> http://www.ostinelli.net/boost-message-passing-between-erlang-nodes and a
> new updated code is available here:
> http://www.ostinelli.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/erlang_mq_boost_2.zip for
> you to try it out on your machine.
>
> thanks to ulf wiger writing a note on the post above, i've also tried out
> the undocumented dist_nodelay kernel option, which did provide improvements,
> but still far from the ones i'm experimenting with the 'qr' pipe mechanism.
>
> please note that i'm in no way pretending to have found something great and
> new. i'm posting this here just because reactions to my linked post have
> mainly pointed towards telling me to perform additional tcp optimization,
> but i've personally been unable to find a way to reproduce the results of
> the 'qr' pipe mechanism by mere tcp optimization. also, the benchmarking
> test that i've used is quite specific, since it sends 200,000 messages in
> parallel first, which are then processed sequentially on the recipient node.
> this is because this test reflects a real need of an application i'm
> developing, where loads of client threads have to go through a bottleneck of
> a single registered process.
>
> therefore, any opinions on this are warmly welcome, so as to have a better
> understanding on what is going on and hopefully produce better software.
>
> thank you in advance those of you who took the time to read till here,  and
> more to the ones who will [hopefully] give me some feedback.
>
> cheers,
>
> r.
>
>
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>
>


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