Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Beaglebone and RabbitMQ and Erlang/OTP...really?

So, what good is a 24/7  home sensor base station if it loses messages?

I originally planned to run the beagle board based station as an AMQP client talking to a cloud server where data would be correlated and presented to users.  Unfortunately, from a design perspective, this doesn't address temporary "internet outages". What does the station do with a bunch of events when it can't reach the cloud server?

Well, how about running RabbitMQ on a Beaglebone?  This local instance of RabbitMQ would act as a cache and shovel events/messages to the cloud server RabbitMQ when it is available.  By using a local "work" queue, I can utilize a different delivery path in case the internet connection has gone south (power outage?) for a pre-defined duration. This backup path could be a cellular modem.

 I am using the nerve erlang distribution and after building a bunch of supplemental Erlang packages, I was able to get the latest RabbitMQ (2.8.2) running on the Beaglebone.  I haven't put it through its paces, but it does seem to run the management plug-in and I can navigate it with a web browser.

Resource-wise, the "freshly" launched RAM footprint is around 30MB.  Performance may be an issue, but it looks like I have some room for at least a few sensor event messages.  And, I don't need spectacular performance, I need reliability.

I will put it through some stress tests, but I like the overall architectural approach: Erlang/OTP and RabbitMQ in the home base station.


  1. Hi, could you please describe the process you went through to get rabbitmq server going?

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