[erlang-questions] Choke Point

Tim Watson <>
Fri May 27 19:25:59 CEST 2011

On 27 May 2011 17:02, Mihai Balea <> wrote:
> On May 27, 2011, at 10:25 AM, Henning Diedrich wrote:
> Does the Erlang VM have a choke threshold beyond which performance degrades,
> similar to the 2GB that the Java VM has/had? [1]
> I understand Erlang has per process gc and not this gc issue therefore. I am
> asking not specifically about gc but about any implicit practical limit.
> Not a threshold per se, but you can experience serious performance
> degradation if messages are allowed to accumulate in a process' mailbox.
> Typical of a producer/consumer situation, when the consumer can't keep up.
> Mihai

A number of solutions exist to prevent this, including gen_server2
(part of rabbitmq and mirrored as a standalone OTP library on github).
I believe the draining of a process' message box prior to handing off
to the gen_server callbacks is now (post R13/R14 ?) part of gen_server
proper, so as usual the advice is to stick to battle tested OTP
behaviours and avoid running into many (though not all) of these kinds
of issues.

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