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What is Beehive?

  • Distributed router
  • Application deployment tool
  • Written in erlang, c and ruby
  • Scalable
  • Application load-balancer
  • Template-able
  • Configurable
  • And much more



This will start beehive on your local machine with the root /tmp/beehive. If you want to use a different directory, (such as something less transient like ~/beehive_data) run:

export BEEHIVE_HOME=~/beehive_data

When starting beehive in a non-dev mode, the beehive root will default to /var/lib/beehive.

Running tests

 make test

Make sure you have ruby gems rack and thin installed. Various tests depend up them, and tests likely won't complete properly without them.

How it works

The incredibly basic architecture diagram of beehive looks like:

Distributed Routing layer
  |         |         |    
Backend   Backend   Backend
  |         |         |    
Storage   Storage   Storage

The distributed routing layer, written in erlang uses Mnesia, the distributed database management system intelligently routes requests across the bees. The router currently can handle http requests. Because Beehive was written with the intention of being extensible it can be extensible to other protocols.

It handles pending connections seamlessly and allows for streaming connections. It also keeps track of statistical data available through a web interface. The router itself has a RESTful interface for adding bees, which don't even need to sit inside the Beehive network. This can be useful for putting the router in front of a personal cluster (such as Eucalyptus) and expanding to the cloud environment (such as EC2) without having to change a line of code.

Beehive keeps track of the available bees for the known applications.

Beehive has an event system that allows for notifications along the system in a nonblocking manner. This way system events, statistic gathering log events can all be handled without affecting the performance of the router, which is tuned for speed.

For more information about each particular part of the project, there are READMEs in each of the appropriate directories.


  • Mad props for the super smart folks at Heroku for their sweet architecture ideas and for providing such a rad interface and an unmatched user experience.
  • Daniel Fischer for his web design help
  • AT&T for their support of the project
  • Beehive is a part of the Poolparty project suite.

Note on Patches/Pull Requests

  • Fork the project.
  • Make your feature addition or bug fix.
  • Add tests for it. This is important so I don't break it in a future version unintentionally.
  • Commit, do not mess with rakefile, version, or history. (if you want to have your own version, that is fine but bump version in a commit by itself I can ignore when I pull)
  • Send me a pull request. Bonus points for topic branches.


Copyright (c) 2010 Ari Lerner. See LICENSE for details.