Multiple nodes vs multiple servers

Dustin Sallings dustin at
Thu May 10 18:09:38 UTC 2007

  No, I don't wait, but with a single connection to memcached (where "single" may be substituted with a small number), requests naturally stack up and can be merged.  Write buffers can pull from all queued events.  Reducing the number of packets moved around the network for requests would seem like it should increase performance.

  It's interesting that you tried this.  Do you still have the proxy application available?  It may be a good starting point for my experiments, and it may not be as optimal as what I'm thinking.

Dustin mobile.  

-----Original Message-----
From: Steve Grimm <sgrimm at>
Date: Thu, 10 May 2007 10:52:17 
To:Dustin Sallings <dustin at>,Les Mikesell <lesmikesell at>
Cc:<memcached at>
Subject: Re: Multiple nodes vs multiple servers

We tried to go the proxy route at one point and ended up not using it (at least not as a generic “send everything through it” proxy as originally planned) because even without any batching of requests, the added response latency of passing everything through another user process made our application measurably slower. A big percentage of our page generation time is spent waiting for memcached requests to come back, so anything that systematically increases memcached round-trip times is generally a huge no-no for us. We’ve actually selected the operating systems on some of our servers based largely on the latency variance in their network stacks, no joke.
 However, in an environment where you are not so latency-sensitive — and I guess yours qualifies, if I’m correct in thinking your client is doing Nagle-style “wait a little while to see if another request happens so we can batch them together” -- that may not matter so much and a proxy may be a reasonable approach.
 On 5/10/07 10:35 AM, "Dustin Sallings" <dustin at> wrote:
 On May 10, 2007, at 10:19 , Les Mikesell wrote:
 How graceful is the system about making these changes while in production?  If you add servers do you have to stop the clients to reconfigure to use them, and is there any problem other than less than optimal caching while some clients run with the old setup?
 The memcached nodes don't care.  They don't know about each other.
 The clients are where the issue is.  For example, where I'm using my java client, I initialize it at application startup time and inject it where it's needed.  This effectively leaves me with no reconfiguration facility.
 Alternatively, I could more dynamically access my client and a means of pushing a new config into it and the users of the client wouldn't care at all.
 I've mentioned a memcached proxy that I think would be an ideal solution this problem as well as providing a performance benefit from multi-process applications.  I haven't written any of it yet, though.
 Dustin Sallings

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