[erlang-questions] Wondering on active TCP socket

Kaiduan Xie <>
Fri Aug 13 15:34:55 CEST 2010


Thanks everyone. As Joe pointed out we can introduce traffic control
using {active, once}.
My point here is to understand how Erlang gen_tcp interacts with the
underlying OS TCP stack.
More pointers on this are welcome.

Kaiduan

On Fri, Aug 13, 2010 at 8:49 AM, Tony Rogvall <> wrote:
> {active, once}
>
> /Tony
>
> On 13 aug 2010, at 12.12, Kresten Krab Thorup wrote:
>
>> Hi,
>>
>> In "active" mode, a socket acts like an infinite loop that simply forwards incoming data to the designated target process.  Incoming data is repackaged according to the socket's current packet mode.
>>
>> There is no flow control, unlike normal message sends where the sender is punished with reductions proportional to the size of the message queue.  The port driver does not have a concept of reductions that will slow it down, and most of it's operations run in the asynch threads that are independent of the normal scheduling of Erlang processes; so driver's are at liberty to run infinitely.
>>
>> So perhaps you can insert something like this in your consume loop to do your own pseudo flow control - this will  switch active on/off according to some high/low watermark for the consuming process queue length.  But since the port runs independently, there is no guarantee that the queue does not overrun.
>>
>> Kresten
>>
>>
>> init() ->
>>   Socket = inets:accept(...);
>>   ControlState = set_controlled_active(Socket, 100, 200),
>>   main_loop(ControlState).
>>
>> main_loop(CS) ->
>>     CS2 = control_active(true, CS),
>>     receive
>>        {data, DataPkt} -> ...
>>            main_loop(CS2)
>>        ...
>>
>>
>> %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
>> %% pseudo flow control for active sockets %%
>>
>> -record(flow_control,{socket,is_active,low,high}).
>>
>>
>> set_controlled_active(Socket, LowWaterMark, HighWaterMark) ->
>>    [{active, IsActive}] = inet:getopts(Socket, [active]),
>>    control_active(true,
>>                  #flow_control { socket=Socket,
>>                                  is_active=IsActive,
>>                                  low=LowWaterMark,
>>                                  high=HighWaterMark}).
>>
>>
>>
>> %% you want it to be active, and it is currently set to active; test
>> %% if our queue size is above the high watermark
>> control_active(true, #flow_control{is_active=true, high=HW}=State) ->
>>    {message_queue_len, QLen} = erlang:process_info(message_queue_len),
>>    case QLen > HW of
>>       true ->
>>           ok = inet:setopts(State#flow_control.socket, [{active, false}]),
>>           State#flow_control{is_active=false};
>>       false ->
>>           State
>>    end;
>>
>> %% you want it to be active, but it is currently set to non-active; test
>> %% if our queue size is below the LowWatermark
>> control_active(true, #flow_control{is_active=false, low=LW}=State) ->
>>    {message_queue_len, QLen} = erlang:process_info(message_queue_len),
>>    case QLen < LW of
>>       true ->
>>           ok = inet:setopts(State#flow_control.socket, [{active, true}]),
>>           State#flow_control{is_active=true};
>>       false ->
>>           State
>>    end;
>>
>> %% setting active to false
>> control_active(false, #flow_control{socket=Socket}=State ) ->
>>    ok = inet:setopts(Socket,[{active, false}]),
>>    State#flow_control{is_active=false}.
>>
>>
>>
>> On Aug 12, 2010, at 15:51 , Kaiduan Xie wrote:
>>
>>> Hi, all,
>>>
>>> From Joe's book,
>>>
>>> "Once an active socket has been created, the controlling process will
>>> be sent {tcp, Socket, Data} messages as data is received. There
>>> is no way the controlling process can control the flow of these
>>> messages. A rogue client could send thousands of messages to
>>> the system, and these would all be sent to the controlling process.
>>> The controlling process cannot stop this flow of messages."
>>>
>>> "This process cannot control the flow of messages to the server loop.
>>> If the client produces data faster than the server can consume this
>>> data,
>>> then the system can be flooded with messages—the message buffers will
>>> fill up, and the system might crash or behave strangely."
>>>
>>> For this case, I think that the flow control of underlying OS TCP
>>> stack will kick in, and the sender can not send more packets. How the
>>> system can be flooded with messages in erlang?
>>>
>>> Can someone elaborate more on this point?
>>>
>>> Thanks,
>>>
>>> Kaiduan
>>>
>>> ________________________________________________________________
>>> erlang-questions (at) erlang.org mailing list.
>>> See http://www.erlang.org/faq.html
>>> To unsubscribe; mailto:
>>>
>>
>> Kresten Krab Thorup, CTO, Trifork
>>
>>
>> ________________________________________________________________
>> erlang-questions (at) erlang.org mailing list.
>> See http://www.erlang.org/faq.html
>> To unsubscribe; mailto:
>>
>
>


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