maximum number of linked processes

Hal Snyder hal@REDACTED
Mon May 17 18:09:51 CEST 2004

How many processes may be linked to a given process?

Here's why I'm interested:

It seems natural to associate Erlang processes with session-like
things like phone calls and web sessions. These processes can keep
state and accumulate data for the call/session, and then spool out
a detail record to the enterprise database when closing.

It is sometimes useful to link instance processes to manager processes
for such things as mapping (finding the process for a given session),
monitoring, resource management, and cleanup.

One issue when looking at scaling this idea is, how many session-
tracking processes could be linked to a single managing process?
Concerns are numeric limits as well as performance issues dealing
with say 200000 links rapidly coming and going.

Section 7.2 of the R9C Efficiency Guide,

mentions several important limits, including total number of processes
(32768 default, settable to 16-262144 via erl +P); but, it does not
mention a limit, absolute or practical, on how many links there may be.

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