[erlang-questions] Resisting "noconnection" / Remote termination of nodes

Kannan <>
Thu Apr 26 12:34:39 CEST 2012

Hi Olivier,

In distributed computing, we see the collective effort of individual -- but
not independent -- nodes. Communicating nodes, at any point in time, need
to be connected and should have the knowledge of the other, including the
availability status. The OAM node, or leader, will have the total picture
of all the nodes.

You have to look at the bigger picture of the whole system, when it comes
to stopping a distributed system. The following steps are generally taken
to tear down a system.

* Signal all the nodes of a forthcoming shutdown request
* Stop accepting new requests
* Finish servicing the accepted requests
* Do the stock taking and clean-up
* Check the readiness of all the nodes for shutdown
* Then call shutdown on all the nodes.

Here, I am looking from top into the system. The shutdown process will be
generally coordinated by a single process.

An ad-hock shutdown is more scary to me in a production environment.

Kind Regards,

On Tue, Apr 24, 2012 at 5:22 PM, Olivier BOUDEVILLE <
> wrote:

> Hi,
> For a more controlled overall termination of a distributed application, I
> try to shutdown synchronously a series of nodes, as properly and as in
> parallel as possible, in a non-OTP program. I imagine that using '[
> rpc:cast( N, erlang, halt, [] ) || N <- MyTargetNodes ]' and then waiting
> for them to be terminated is the best approach for that.
> As I want now these terminations to be synchronous (i.e. I want my
> terminate function to return only when all nodes are down for sure), I used
> to rely on checking their termination using net_adm:ping/1 (waiting for
> pong to become pang), but kept on getting (systematically) 'noconnection'
> errors (exceptions?), which do not seem to be catchable (at least not with
> a 'try .. catch T:E ->.. end' clause). This happens as soon as there is at
> least one node (which happens to be on the same host - of course it is not
> the local node from which that rpc:cast is triggered) to halt.
> I switched to looping on 'lists:member( Nodename, nodes() )' instead of
> ping (in both case with a proper waiting between checks), but I still get
> 'noconnection' errors. It looks like 'noconnection' is VM-level? As
> expected, commenting-out the rpc:cast/3 never leads to 'noconnection'.
> I feel I would need something like net_kernel:unconnect_node/1.
> My question now: how to deal gracefully with such a synchronous node
> shutdown and to resist to the (intended) loss of node(s)?
> Thanks in advance for any hint!
> Best regards,
> Olivier.
> ---------------------------
> Olivier Boudeville
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