[erlang-questions] Caching server

Rapsey <>
Mon Feb 21 15:41:03 CET 2011

Erlang can handle a large number of processes, but I don't really think
having a process for every k/v pair is that good of an idea unless the
amount of k/v pairs is relatively small. Processes are lightweight, but
they're not that lightweight, you're still adding quite a few bytes to every
k/v pair which adds up to quite a lot when you're in the hundreds of
thousands or millions of k/v pairs.

On Mon, Feb 21, 2011 at 3:26 PM, Eric Merritt <>wrote:

> Nicholas,
> The example in the book isn't production capable, and was designed for
> teaching more then to be production. However, this approach should be
> fine in Erlang. Erlang can handle extremely large numbers of processes
> on commodity hardware. The big caveat to this is you need to figure
> out what the number of processes that can live on the hardware you are
> going to be using, then come up with a distribution mechanism if that
> number is exceeded. Fortunately in erlang this isn't a big deal. This
> number is probably very high, at the very least in the hundreds of
> thousands and maybe into the millions depending on your hardware. As
> always, the key is doing some testing and figuring out what your
> limits are.
> Eric
> On Fri, Feb 18, 2011 at 9:19 PM, Nicholas Wieland <> wrote:
> > Hi *, I'm reading the Manning book.
> > My question is very simple: a full chapter of the book is devoted to the
> implementation of a simple caching server. The author, if I got it
> correctly, at one point states that in Erlang, thanks to its lightweight
> processes, it's ok to have a caching server that spawns a process for every
> key/value pair.
> > Of course I don't expect that the example in the book is a production
> ready implementation, but I would like to ask if it would be possible for an
> architecture like this to be production ready (say, something like Redis),
> or if I should take it with a pinch of salt, only as a demonstration.
> > This thing made me curious because there's no language or technology that
> would permit something like this, hence my question :)
> >
> > TIA,
> > --
> > Nicholas Wieland
> > 
> > StyleJam BDFL
> >
> > The only "intuitive" interface is the nipple. After that it's all
> learned. – Bruce Ediger
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
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