[erlang-questions] Sending a large Erlang content to a set of remote nodes

Joe Armstrong erlang@REDACTED
Thu Mar 28 18:44:08 CET 2013

On Wed, Mar 27, 2013 at 5:48 PM, Olivier BOUDEVILLE <
olivier.boudeville@REDACTED> wrote:

> Hi,
> I would have a potentially large number of Erlang terms to send to a set
> of remote VMs. Currently it is a matter of a few megabytes, but it could be
> up to a few gigabytes in the future; and the exact same content may have to
> be sent to typically a dozen of other nodes.

How big is the set of remote VMs (how many dozens?) -
Is the communication bandwidth between machines symmetric.

Once two machines have got a copy they could *both* send the data to a
Machine one sends the first half, machine two the second. Now three
machines have a copy

Now three machines can send a copy to a fourth, the first can send the
first third, ...
and so on.

Lookup epidemic gossip protocols.

This is a very nice exercise in parallel programming.



> I was searching for a solution that would be reliable/simple/efficient to
> do so (preferably in that order), knowing that these terms could be either
> be kept in the RAM of the sender or, maybe preferably (the size of the data
> being probably roughly on par with the local RAM), as a compressed file on
> disk.
> Currently I send a binary, compressed archive thanks to a basic Erlang
> message, but I think it is not a good practice (ex: maybe the kernel ticks
> are not sent "out of band" and their delaying by larger archives could
> trigger spurious time-outs). I imagine sendfile with enough async threads
> could be a good candidate, however I am unsure that the same content
> (either as a whole or by chunks) could be read once, yet be sent to
> multiple recipients.
> Any idea?
> Thanks in advance for any hint!
> Best regards,
> Olivier.
> ---------------------------
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