[Backgroundrb-devel] extending bdrb / running multiple servers

Stephen Weiss sweiss at stylesight.com
Tue Mar 25 13:17:56 EDT 2008


Thanks for the help getting the new backgroundrb working, things are  
working fabulously now.

I have two questions:

1)  I have a few basic methods I need available on all my workers in  
order to communicate properly with my application... it seems to make  
the most sense right now to subclass BackgrounDRb::MetaWorker, or make  
a mixin module, because I'm actually extending some of the base  
methods as well (like the exit method, which I have extended to update  
status information in a central queue monitor).  Is there a proper  
place to put in custom code that extends BackgrounDrb, so that it is  
automatically loaded by the server before the workers are instantiated  
(sort of like an environment.rb)?

2)  I have one application server that runs Rails and does all the  
user interface, but several (10+) servers running backgroundrb to do  
all the heavy lifting (we do a lot of hi-res image processing,  
requires many CPU's).  I have a central monitor that monitors what  
servers are available to run which tasks, and load balances the tasks  
across all the available backgroundrb servers, instantiating a  
MiddleMan for the correct server and then sending the job request to  
that server.  Needless to say, this process is going a lot easier with  
the new version, except for one catch.  With the old backgroundrb, I  
was able to connect to an arbitrary server like this:

thisMiddleMan = DRbObject.new(nil, "druby://#{server_name}:22223");

Now this doesn't work.  So, I took a look at  
BackgrounDRb::WorkerProxy, and it seems like it can only connect to  
the server listed in the config file.  Is there supposed to be a way  
to manage multiple backgroundrb servers?  I've read the manual, it's  
not in there.  My solution so far is to subclass WorkerProxy, with a  
new init method that takes the host and port as parameters:

class BackgrounDRb::CustomProxy < BackgrounDRb::WorkerProxy
   def self.init(ip, port)
     @@config = BackgrounDRb::Config.read_config("#{BACKGROUNDRB_ROOT}/ 
     @@server_ip = ip
     @@server_port = port

But this doesn't seem very elegant to me, I worry about future  
software updates...  Is there a clean method for doing this or is this  
just not supported (yet)?

Thanks for any insight, really appreciate it!


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