[erlang-questions] Load balancing/multiplexing rpc calls amongst Erlang Nodes

Joshua Muzaaya <>
Tue Oct 23 07:22:25 CEST 2012

Yes,i tries using the random method, but because requests are so frequently
many, you find the erlang random generator skewing results making around
50/60 requests hitting one Node while others are waiting. Another thing is
that, i am not using gen_servers at the Web Server layer. I am using yaws
web server and for each connection, yaws spawns a process, this process
communicates with Mnesia Nodes to query for data. But the connections are
so many and i wanted to scale the application horizontally, adding more web
servers and more mnesia Nodes. I came to think of a load balancing middle
ware, abstracting my processes from knowing where the call has hit ( i.e on
what mnesia node the call has hit). This middle ware ensures that requests
are load balanced across my Mnesia DBs.

That is the background of the problem. Its a real-time Web Notification
system, plugged into a major intranet Management System. However, clients
are many, and yaws is sustaining 30,000 concurrent connections at low
peaks. I am a software engineer in one of the telecommunications companies
in Africa. I keep running into a few memory problems on single node yaws
server, so i need ti add more web servers to assist. Also, mnesia sometime
will get *** Too many DB Tables ** when requests are too many and too
frequent. I changed everything to use dirty operations and when i by-passed
the transaction manager, things improved a bit.

I need fellow erlangers to think of a load balancing algorithm in such a
situation. Do you think a process dictionary like GPROC would be so useful
? i was kinda thinking about it last night, but i wonder how i would apply
it in this case.

Having one gen_server to decide where the request may go, might alos slow
down the application as all requests will have to go through that

Designed with WiseStamp -

On Tue, Oct 23, 2012 at 2:53 AM, Yogish Baliga <> wrote:

> One option is to run proxy gen_server on each Mnesia box and register
> these gen_server pids with pg2. Now you can do load balancing on pg2
> processes based on message queue length as described here
> http://dev.lethain.com/load-balancing-across-erlang-process-groups/
> When I used this method in my last project in Erlang, it gave better
> result than normal round robin. Under very low load, all requests were
> redirected to single Mnesia instance.
> http://dev.lethain.com/load-balancing-across-erlang-process-groups/
> -- baliga
> On Mon, Oct 22, 2012 at 2:22 PM, Paul Peregud <>wrote:
>> May you specify why load balancing should be based on time and can not
>> be random? Have you implemented random load balancing? Has it proved
>> to be insufficient?
>> On Mon, Oct 22, 2012 at 9:51 AM, muzaaya_joshua <>
>> wrote:
>> > Building from this question (
>> http://stackoverflow.com/q/5339329/431620 ),
>> > imagine an application with N Erlang Web Servers, and N/2 Mnesia
>> Database
>> > Nodes. The set up is such that the Web Servers, each, runs on its own
>> > hardware server (say HP DL385), and each Mnesia Instance, runs on its
>> own
>> > hardware Server as well.
>> >
>> > Web Servers make rpc:call/4 calls to the back end (the Mnesia DB
>> Servers).
>> > The Data is all replicated across all the Mnesia instances. Now, you
>> want to
>> > have the calls being made to the Database servers, MULTIPLEXED, more
>> > precisely ( by TIME), on each Web Server, so that some kind of LOAD
>> > BALANCING is attained.
>> >
>> > If Web Server A makes a connection to Mnesia Instance 3, it cannot make
>> the
>> > next connection to the same Instance. All Database Nodes need to be kept
>> > busy and not having any one of them idle while the others are working.
>> The
>> > Load balancing Algorithm should not be random, but should be aimed at
>> > balancing the load on the Database Servers.
>> >
>> > Qn 1: Come up with your load balancing strategy, in such a situation.
>> Also,
>> > please show with some sample illustrative code, how you would implement
>> this
>> > strategy.
>> >
>> > Qn 2: If a Mnesia Instance goes down, how would your load balance
>> Algorithm
>> > adapt to the changes in the cluster ?
>> >
>> > Qn 3: Is there any Erlang library aimed at load balancing of Erlang
>> Servers
>> > working within the same system, and calling each other via rpc:call/4 ?
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > --
>> > View this message in context:
>> http://erlang.2086793.n4.nabble.com/Load-balancing-multiplexing-rpc-calls-amongst-Erlang-Nodes-tp4655158.html
>> > Sent from the Erlang Questions mailing list archive at Nabble.com.
>> > _______________________________________________
>> > erlang-questions mailing list
>> > 
>> > http://erlang.org/mailman/listinfo/erlang-questions
>> --
>> Best regards,
>> Paul Peregud
>> +48602112091
>> _______________________________________________
>> erlang-questions mailing list
>> http://erlang.org/mailman/listinfo/erlang-questions

*Muzaaya Joshua
Systems Engineer
*"Through it all, i have learned to trust in Jesus. To depend upon His Word"
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