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From André Warnier>
Subject Re: Using tomcat to hold many open connections.
Date Tue, 07 Oct 2008 07:54:49 GMT
Original post :
I'm looking for a server that has to hold many (web services) remote clients
for controlling them.
I want to do things like sending power off command to a bunch of machines
The clients are usually windows machines behind firewalls  NAT or web
proxies that only allow HTTP (this is why I thought of webservices)

The regular request-response fashion that servlet follows  is not suitable
here since the initiator of the operation is the server.
What can I do in order to solve this and still use web services?

I'm not really competent to opinionate on whether Tomcat can do this or 
not, but going back to the original description of the problem, apart 
from the fact (maybe) that the "clients" are only accessible via port 
80, I must say that I don't really see what this has to do with Tomcat, 
or any standard HTTP server for that matter.

On the "client" side (the machines to stop), it looks like you would 
need some process listening on port 80, able to interpret a limited set 
of commands and do something local (stop/start a motor ?).
On the "server" side, you probably want some easy interface allowing you 
to send such commands to the many "clients", efficiently and fast.
(I quote the "client" and "server" terms because I'm not quite sure 
which is which here).

So I guess yes, to stop yourself from re-inventing the wheel, you could 
use webservers on both sides as "containers" for this application, and 
you could implement some kind of Web Service to do this, but isn't this 
a bit heavy ?  I mean that if you have a Tomcat on the client side, most 
of the time sitting idle and just wating for the occasional request for 
doing something, it is going to take quite a while for it to "wake up" 
when it receives this single request, and to process it if it comes in a 
SOAP envelope.  And if your "server" each time has to wait for each 
client to acknowledge the request before going on to the next one, it 
will take it a while to loop through all clients.

But then, maybe speed is not the issue here.  It's just that you were 
talking about powering off a bunch of machines.  I hope this has nothing 
to do with preventing a nuclear war or so.

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