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Adopting Elixir by Jose Valim, Bruce Tate, Ben Marx

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Distributed Erlang

In Chapter 6, Distributed Elixir, we discussed distribution from a development and architectural perspective. This time, we will explore it under the operations view, directly tied to the Erlang runtime.

Let’s start with a quick summary.

Distributed Erlang works by establishing TCP connections between nodes. Nodes can only successfully establish connections if they share the same cookie. When distributed Erlang starts, it can automatically create a cookie, but we strongly advise teams to generate their own cookies. Once connected, nodes form a fully meshed network, where each node can communicate with all others. By default, the runtime does not encrypt the connection but can be configured to do so.

Nodes keep an open connection ...

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