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Alessandro Pio Ardizio
Alessandro Pio Ardizio

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How to build high available/fault-tolerant services in node.js

How to build high available/fault-tolerant services in node.js

During my job for an important client , I was thinking about high availability and recovery NFRs , our tech stack included cassandra and kafka , two distributed systems of which I studied internal behavior.
Kafka used Zookeeper to keep track of assigned partitions to each consumer , Cassandra had a gossip algorithm between nodes and divides data in partition ranges .
So I was starting to think if there was any library ( not an external service like zookeeper ) that had an algorithm with gossip implemented so that people could build some new distributed systems more easily.
That library does not exist , and then I created ring-election .

You can integrate ring-election into your node process and you will have some important NFRs already constructed !!!

What the ring-election driver offers you ?

  • A default partitioner that for an object returns the partition to which it is assigned.
  • Mechanism of leader election
  • Failure detection between nodes.
  • Assignment and rebalancing of partitions between nodes
  • Automatic re-election of the leader
  • Listen for new assigned/revoked partitions

What problems can you solve with this driver ?

  • Scalability
  • High availability
  • Concurrency between nodes in a cluster
  • Automatic failover

How it works under the hood


  • Leader , the node that will handle the cluster and will not have assigned partitions
  • Follower , a node that will have assigned partitions and will work on them
  • Heartbeat , a message sent periodically from the followers to leader node to keep track that is alive.
  • Heartcheck , a process that run on the leader and go to check the last heartbeat received by each follower
  • Priority , is assigned to each follower based on the time that they joined the cluster , when a node die the priority is decreased by one . If the leader die the node with lower priority will become the leader
  • Node id , each follower node has an assigned id that is unique into the cluster

Start up phase described


Detect follower failures ( Heartbeat/Heartcheck )

Detect Failures

Leader Failure

Leader Failure

How to integrate it ?

Join to have more info .
If you want to suggest new features or you want help to integrate ring-election open an issue on github and I will be happy to help you.

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