Throwing Together Distributed Services With Gevent

Presenter: Jeff Lindsay (@progrium)

Track: V


In this talk we learn how to throw together a distributed system using gevent and a simple framework called gservice. We’ll go from nothing to a distributed messaging system ready for production deployment based on experiences building scalable, distributed systems at Twilio.

Jeff works at twilio. twilio uses a service oriented architecture. Twilio as a high level service is made up of many subservices - sms, voice, client. Each made up of other services. Mostly written in tornado, gevent. Going to use a framework called Ginko.

  • services are nested modules than can start, stop and reload
  • going to build a scalable gateway around a self-organizing messaging system.
  • first we’ll build a simple number client
  • next a pubsub service
  • then combine both into a gateway service
  • and finally make it all distributed

Number Server

  • a basic gevent StreamServer
  • for every connection generate a random number, sleep for 60 seconds
  • configuration is a python file
  • ginko has start / stop services
  • start the number server in the background

Number Client

  • spawns a greenlet relative to your service
  • makes services self contained
  • gets the numbers from the server and puts it in a queue


  • uses httpstreamer
  • subscription wraps a queue
  • posts are publishes, gets are subscribes


  • hub is now responsible for managing subscriptions

If you’re in a loop that doesn’t use IO, run gevent.sleep(0) to make sure it yields

Code for the example is up here: