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Nanite: Self Assembling Cluster of Ruby Daemons

By Peter Cooper / October 12, 2008

nanite.pngIt was with much excitement that Merbcamp started yesterday with a keynote from Ezra Zygmuntowicz, initial creator of the Merb Web application framework. Aside from covering Merb-related news, Ezra revealed a project called Nanite - a "self assembling cluster of Ruby daemons."

A Nanite installation is based around a "mapper exchange" with which Ruby daemons (called Nanite "agents") register. Nanite mappers (running in, say, Rails or Merb applications, or even command line apps) can then call the exchange and gain access to the functionality of the agents. The mapper exchange makes it possible for daemons / agents to start, stop and die while allowing the whole cluster to be self-healing.

Ezra says:

Nanite is a new way of thinking about building cloud ready web applications. Having a scalable message queueing backend with all the discovery and dynamic load based dispatch that Nanite has is a very scalable way to construct web application backends.

It's still early days, but Nanite could become a key part of the back end of Ruby-developed Web applications in the future. Nanite offers some key benefits (scalability, reliability) on the cheap - it's worth investigating if these traits sound useful for your own projects.

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  1. Jean says:

    This sounds a lot like an early ad-hoc implementation of OSGi

  2. Dr Nic says:

    Yay for Ezra.

  3. Preston Lee says:

    You should really check out Journeta. ( It supports similar use cases at a very generic level. OpenRain developed it for similar purposes.

  4. filterfish says:

    Preston, the difference is that nanites is based on ampq which is highly scable and *very* fast. The potential for nanites is huge.

  5. Sho says:


    yes, but the thing is, AMQP can suck my balls.

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