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From Mario Emmenlauer <>
Subject Re: how to handle network downtime gracefully?
Date Mon, 03 Jul 2017 20:55:02 GMT

Dear Randy,

thanks a lot for the many hints and insights, its very much appreciated!

I will certainly think about the chunked up- and download. Actually as a
first step, it seems already a reasonable improvement to implement a small
protocol for chunked data transfer on top of thrift RPC :-)

About the network disconnect and reconnect, I will do as you suggest! What
parts of the connection can be re-used? Basically my code currently boils
down to:
 - create a socket
 - create a transport on top of the socket
 - create a protocol on top of the transport
 - create the client interface on top of the protocol

I don't know if its always like this, but I gathered this from examples.
After a disconnect, when I want to reconnect, which objects would be
sensible to re-create, and which ones can e just re-used?

Thanks and all the best,


On 03.07.2017 18:13, Randy Abernethy wrote:
> Hi Mario,
> The simplest form of error recovery (though not necessarily always the most
> efficient) in RPC is to disconnect and reconnect. A reasonable starting
> place is to write call code that operates within a protected block (e.g. a
> "try" block) then when a non application error is thrown, the catch block
> optionally disconnects (you may already be disconnected) and attempts to
> reconnect and/or retry the call. This is a simple but reliable approach and
> once working you can optimize as needed.
> It is worth pointing out that RPC (of any kind) is not perfect for large
> file transfer. RPC - Remote Procedure Call, is designed to let you invoke
> remote functions and retrieve their results. The function call is an atomic
> thing, it either completely succeeds or completely fails. "Procedure Call"
> also infers some manageable size block of arguments and return values in
> most world views. This means that all of the many small and large
> architectural decisions made when creating Thrift were predicated on
> reasonable sized inputs and outputs (< 1MB ish).
> If you try to transfer a file by passing its data as an argument to a
> server and the operation fails you make no progress. It may make sense to
> use RPC directly as a file transfer scheme for small files where retrying
> the entire transfer might be reasonable. For large files though it is
> better to create an application level protocol where you pass modest sized
> chunks of the file (in the 1MB handle say). This way if a chunk fails you
> only re-transmit the chunk rather than the entire file. Also transferring
> really large files (1GB+) in one go can overflow (or overtax) buffers on
> the client but particularly on the server. Using chunks avoids this issue.
> You can easily write a library wrapper for your chunked transfer that
> allows clients to make a single call to transfer a large file with many RPC
> transfers happening behind the scenes.
> There are lots of ways to skin a cat of course. just some thoughts.
> Very best,
> Randy
> On Mon, Jul 3, 2017 at 7:51 AM, Mario Emmenlauer <>
> wrote:
>> How can I gracefully handle network problems? In grpc, I used to
>> create the full interface even if the network was down, and later
>> when I try to call RPC methods, grpc would hang until it could
>> connect. That was quite simple, when the network came back the RPC
>> succeeded eventually.
>> What is the most graceful way to handle an unreliable network
>> connection in thrift?
>> Background:
>> I'm building a cross platform API with Java server and C++ client
>> in thrift. I use the binary protocol to send large files. I use two
>> transport channels, one that uses SSL to send the login credentials,
>> and a second one that may later be used to send large datasets (after
>> the login succeeded).
>> Currently I create the full interface. But if the network is down,
>> I get an exception somewhere after creating the secure socket, with
>> error "No more data to read".
>> All the best,
>>     Mario Emmenlauer

Viele Gruesse,

    Mario Emmenlauer

BioDataAnalysis GmbH, Mario Emmenlauer      Tel. Buero: +49-89-74677203
Balanstr. 43                   mailto: memmenlauer *
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