[zeromq-dev] Publish / Subscribe vs Multicast

gonzalo diethelm gdiethelm at dcv.cl
Thu Feb 11 18:43:46 CET 2010

First post, maybe dumb, apologies in advance.


I am trying to design a pipelined load distribution system, where I have
one process (let's call it the distributor) receiving many requests to
execute the same task for different parameter combinations; this one
process will pass on those tasks to one of N processes (called the
workers), which will take care of executing the particular task.
Optionally, the worker processes will notify a final process (could be
the same as the initial distributor) that this particular task is
finished, and wait for more work to do.


I would like to hear opinions on several design issues:

1.	What would be the practical differences between using a PubSub
approach and using Multicast to pass the requests from distributor to
2.	By going with PubSub or Multicast, all the workers will receive
all task requests and will have to decide whether they are the worker
which should process it. What are practical ways of making this
decision? It looks like this approach requires the workers to know in
advance the total number of workers in the pool, right?
3.	How to handle crashed workers? How about workers that are not
responding? What if I want to add workers?
4.	Maybe I should have the distributor handle the load
distribution, not using PubSub or Multicast, but choosing a specific
worker and sending the task request directly to it. Same questions
apply, right?


Any 0mq-specific documentation or examples that might help me answer
these questions? Thanks in advance.

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