1-to-1 connections & possibly hidden nodes

Roberto Ostinelli ostinelli@REDACTED
Mon Jul 12 20:24:38 CEST 2021

Is it possible to have a 1-to-1 connection from a node in a cluster to a
single Erlang node which does _not_ connect to the mesh, but only to a very
specific Erlang node?

I've go a very CPU-heavy application and am trying to find ways to offload
the CPU computations to Erlang nodes (tha don't need to be in a cluster,
except for a single box they refer to).

Basically something like this:

<NODE A in cluster> --------- <NODE B in cluster>
        \                     /
         \                   /
          \                 /
          <NODE B in cluster>
           *       *       *
          *        *        *
         *         *         *
      <NODE B1> <NODE B2> <NODE B>

The distributed cluster is composed of nodes A, B and C, but nodes B1, B2
and B3 can communicate directly with node B and that node only. Node B can
offload CPU computations to B1, B2, B3 by sending erlang messages to them
and receive results back.

Every node in the cluster needs ~50x the CPU power, therefore I'm trying to
avoid having the standard cluster grow so big that it would be generating
way too much noise in a full mesh network (especially since it really isn't

I can of course use a simple custom TCP binary channel, but was wandering
if something already exists that I could leverage. I've seen that hidden
nodes "Hidden nodes always establish hidden connections to all other nodes
except for nodes in the same global group" [1] so if I understand this
correctly nodes B1-3 would still connect to A and B, even though the
cluster wouldn't know about them.

Thank you for any considerations you might have,

 [1] http://erlang.org/doc/man/erl.html
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