Shared memory between workers

Iñaki Baz Castillo ibc at
Mon Apr 26 04:18:19 EDT 2010

Hi, I plan to build a SIP TCP server (no UDP) based on
Unicorn/Rainbows! HTTP server. The main different between a SIP server
and HTTP server are:

- SIP uses persistent TCP connections, so I should use Rainbows!.
- For a SIP server it's not valid a simple request-response model.
Different workers could handle SIP messages (requests and responses)
belonging to the same SIP session so I need a shared memory between
all the workers.

Another option is using EventMachine, perhaps more suitable for this
purpose by design as it uses a single Ruby process so sharing memory
is not a problem. In the other side using a single process in a
multicore server is a pain.
I would like to use Unicorn/Rainbows as I love its design: by far it's
the more reliable and efficient Ruby HTTP server and it takes
advantages of Unix's features.

I don't want to use a DB server neither MemCache as "shared memory" as
it would be too slow. Is there any way to share RAM memory between
different Unicorn/Rainbows! workers in a *safe* way? I could create a
Hash or Array of SIP sessions into the master process so all the
workers reuse it, but I don't think it would be safe to access/write
into it from different Ruby processes. For that I would also need a
semaphore system (perhaps again a shared variable between all workers
in order to lock the shared Array/Hash when a worker writes into it).

Any tip about it? suggstions?
Thanks a lot.

Iñaki Baz Castillo
<ibc at>

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