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Non blocking socket in NIO

ParagS Kulkarni
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Joined: Oct 04, 2004
Posts: 60
what is the concept behind non blocking sockets in NIO package of java?


Thanks, Parag
Ilja Preuss
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Sheriff

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 14112
Moving to IO and Streams...


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David Harkness
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Joined: Aug 07, 2003
Posts: 1646
You can find great tutorials on using NIO by searching Google. I did one from IBM's DeveloperWorks, and it was pretty complete.

The main concept is that non-blocking sockets don't block when no data is available to read or the buffer is too full to write. That's it in a nut shell.

Normally, if you have a server that handles multiple requests simultaneously, with blocking I/O you're forced to use a separate thread for each request. If you want to handle 1000 clients at once, you need 1000 threads. Since the majority of time the threads are blocked waiting on I/O operations, this is a huge waste of resources.

With non-blocking I/O, you can have one thread handle all the requests. The thread loops checking a bunch of sockets at once for available data rather than blocking on a single socket.
 
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