[Spread-users] consequences of making a large group

Paul Rubel prubel at bbn.com
Wed Jul 26 14:53:19 EDT 2006

 Thanks for your help, this is exactly what I was hoping for.

John Lane Schultz writes:
 > Paul Rubel wrote:
 > > I'm considering adding some functionality to my system that would
 > > entail adding every spread-using application in my system into a
 > > single group. This group would be used to occasionally disseminate
 > > name-service like information.
 > This is actually a fairly common practice.
 > > Does the size of a group
 > > really matter or is the number of daemons and the network topology the
 > > real limiter? Thinking about the ring topology it seems the total size
 > > could be more important than the size of any group.
 > In Spread the more limiting factor tends to be the number of daemons and the 
 > network topology.

That's more or less what I was hoping for. 

 > Spread can support groups of up to about 2000 members out of the box.  The 
 > limiting factor is that membership view changes have to fit into a single Spread 
 > message and (in the worst case) each member (32 bytes) can be listed twice.  If 
 > you increase the size of the max message, then you (I believe) increase the 
 > limit on the number of group members as well.
 > The main effect of having groups with very many members is that the group 
 > membership list for each group gets large (obviously).  Therefore, if your 
 > clients track membership, then the Spread daemon has to push large messages (e.g 
 > - 32-64KB for 1000 members) to each of the members every time there is a 
 > membership.  Furthermore, often the more clients you have in a group, the more 
 > often group memberships occur.  If you have a lot of clients connecting to the 
 > same daemon, then you can begin to see quadratic performance degradation in 
 > membership changes because the group list grows linearly w/ the size of the 
 > group and if you have (a fraction of) linear clients connecting to a single 
 > daemon that causes it to generate linear number of membership messages; so the 
 > effects multiply to become quadratic.

Good point, I will keep that in mind. 

 > > Does the group structure have any effect on recovery time when a host
 > > is lost? I'm guessing that it doesn't as the underlying structure
 > > needs to be repaired regardless of any group membership.
 > The only effect would be on in memory data structure operations would should be 
 > very fast (i.e. - not noticeable) relative to the network protocol.  Of course, 
 > the load from the operations discussed above (delivering membership messages to 
 > clients) could affect performance noticeably.
 > > Currently we have 9 hosts with 10s of groups. Would 30 hosts 100
 > > groups change the answer?
 > It shouldn't.  The more important questions are how many clients are going to be 
 > in your system, what is the maximum number of clients connecting through a 
 > single daemon and how many clients are going to sit in that one mega group?

The clients should be fairly evenly distributed and only have a few
per host so things look pretty good.

    thanks again for your help,

More information about the Spread-users mailing list