Saving time with Threads the Ruby way

I have been working on some projects that require me to do multiple serial webservice calls using soap and http clients. As you might guess without concurrency its such a waste waiting for the network IO and its ends up being accumulative in times—the more service calls the slower it gets (.5s+1s+2s+1s+1s = 5.5seconds). Originally I wasn’t worried because I knew I would come back and tweak the performance by using threads and so today was the day for me to get it going. Before I got too crazy coding i wanted to run some basic benchmarks just to see if it would really end up making things faster. Here is what I did:

Benchmark.bm { |rep| 
  rep.report("non-threading") { 
    1.upto(100) { |count|
      amount_rest = rand(4)
      # puts "##{count}: sleeping for #{amount_rest}" 
      sleep(amount_rest)
      # puts "##{count}: woke up from a #{amount_rest} second sleep" 
    }
  }

  rep.report("threading") { 
    threads = []
    1.upto(100) { |c|
      threads << Thread.new(c) { |count| 
        amount_rest = rand(4)
        # puts "##{count}: sleeping for #{amount_rest}" 
        sleep(amount_rest)
        # puts "##{count}: woke up from a #{amount_rest} second sleep" 
      }
    }
    while !(threads.map(&:status).uniq.compact.size == 1 and threads.map(&:status).uniq.compact.first == false)
     # puts "will check back soon" 
     sleep(0.3)
    end
  }
}

benchmark        user     system      total        real
non-threading  0.100000   0.290000   0.390000 (142.005792)
threading          0.010000   0.020000   0.030000 (  3.182716)

As you can see, the threading in Ruby works really well as long as each thread is not doing anything CPU intensive. Even though ruby 1.8.7 does not support native threads, the threading, as you can see above, does work well. When all was said and done, I ended up making more than a 100% improvement and it will work a bit better if and when we have to do more requests concurrently.

I do however look forward to using ruby 1.9, but this will do the trick for me now.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: