30/PIPELINE

ZeroMQ Pipeline

stable

This document specifies the semantics of the ZeroMQ pipeline pattern, which covers the PUSH and PULL socket types. This specification is intended to guide implementations of these socket types so that users can depend on reliable semantics.

Preamble

Copyright (c) 2013 iMatix Corporation.

This Specification is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version. This Specification is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details. You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program; if not, see http://www.gnu.org/licenses.

This Specification is a free and open standard and is governed by the Digital Standards Organization"s Consensus-Oriented Specification System.

The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT", "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119.

Goals

This specification is intended to formally document the names and expected behaviour of the PUSH and PULL socket types, which together form the ZeroMQ pipeline pattern. Conforming implementations of these sockets SHOULD respect this specification, thus ensuring that applications can depend on predictable behavior. This specification is not transport specific, but not all behaviour will be reproducible on all transports.

Overall Goals of this Pattern

The pattern is intended for task distribution, typically in a multi-stage pipeline where one or a few nodes push work to many workers, and they in turn push results to one or a few collectors. The pattern is mostly reliable insofar as it will not discard messages unless a node disconnects unexpectedly. It is scalable in that nodes can join at any time.

The PUSH Socket Type

The PUSH socket type talks to a set of anonymous PULL peers, sending messages using a round-robin algorithm.

General behavior:

  • MAY be connected to any number of PULL peers, and SHALL only send messages.
  • SHALL not filter or modify outgoing messages in any way.
  • SHALL maintain an outgoing message queue for each connected peer.
  • SHALL create this queue when initiating an outgoing connection to a peer, and SHALL maintain the queue whether or not the connection is established.
  • SHALL create this queue when a peer connects to it. If this peer disconnects, the PUSH socket SHALL destroy its queue and SHALL discard any messages it contains.
  • SHOULD constrain queue sizes to a runtime-configurable limit.

For processing outgoing messages:

  • SHALL consider a peer as available only when it has a outgoing queue that is not full.
  • SHALL route outgoing messages to available peers using a round-robin strategy.
  • SHALL block on sending, or return a suitable error, when it has no available peers.
  • SHALL not accept further messages when it has no available peers.
  • SHALL NOT discard messages that it cannot queue.

The PULL Socket Type

The PULL socket type talks to a set of anonymous PUSH peers, receiving messages using a fair-queuing algorithm.

General behavior:

  • MAY be connected to any number of PUSH peers, and SHALL only receive messages.
  • SHALL not filter or modify incoming messages in any way.
  • SHALL maintain an incoming queue for each connected peer.
  • SHALL create this queue when initiating an outgoing connection to a peer, and SHALL maintain the queue whether or not the connection is established.
  • SHALL create this queue when a peer connects to it. If this peer disconnects, the PULL socket SHALL destroy its queue and SHALL discard any messages it contains.
  • SHOULD constrain incoming queue sizes to a runtime-configurable limit.

For processing incoming messages:

  • SHALL receive incoming messages from its peers using a fair-queuing strategy.
  • SHALL deliver these to its calling application.

Security Aspects

This specification has no security aspects.

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