For peer-to-peer communication, you can manage socket use at the system member level and at the thread level.

The conserve-sockets setting indicates whether application threads share sockets with other threads or use their own sockets for member communication. This setting has no effect on communication between a server and its clients, but it does control the server’s communication with its peers or a gateway sender's communication with a gateway receiver. In client/server settings in particular, where there can be a large number of clients for each server, controlling peer-to-peer socket use is an important part of tuning server performance.

You configure conserve-sockets for the member as a whole in gemfire.properties. Additionally, you can change the sockets conservation policy for the individual thread through the API.

By default, conserve-sockets is set to false: each application thread uses a dedicated thread to send to each of its peers and a dedicated thread to receive from each peer. This default setting optimizes system performance, but does incur significant overhead in terms of sockets, socket buffers, and related system resources.

Keeping conserve-sockets set to false:

  • alleviates socket contention between threads
  • optimizes distributed ACK operations
  • for distributed regions, optimizes the put operation
  • for distributed regions, optimizes destroy and invalidate operations for regions and entries
  • for partitioned regions, enhances general throughput

Setting conserve-sockets set to true:

  • reduces demands on system resources
  • slows system performance
  • increases risk of distributed deadlocks

Note: When you have transactions operating on EMPTY, NORMAL or PARTITION regions, make sure that conserve-sockets is set to false to avoid distributed deadlocks.

You can override the conserve-sockets setting for individual threads. These methods are in org.apache.geode.distributed.DistributedSystem:

  • setThreadsSocketPolicy. Sets the calling thread’s individual socket policy, overriding the policy set for the application as a whole. If false, the calling thread has its own sockets. If true, the calling thread shares socket connections with other threads.
  • releaseThreadsSockets. Frees any sockets held by the calling thread. Threads hold their own sockets only when conserve-sockets is false. Threads holding their own sockets can call this method to avoid holding the sockets until the socket-lease-time has expired.

The example below shows an implementation of the two API calls in a thread that performs benchmark tests. The example assumes the class implements Runnable. Note that the invocation setThreadsSocketPolicy(false) is meaningful only if conserve-sockets is set to true at the application level.

public void run() {
    DistributedSystem.setThreadsSocketPolicy(false);
    try {
        // do your benchmark work
    } finally {
        DistributedSystem.releaseThreadsSockets();
    }
}
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