p2p gossip protocol w/ incremental diffs & failure detection for a fault-tolerant, self-managing cluster or mesh (for node.js)
Pull request Compare This branch is 40 commits ahead, 26 commits behind kessler:master.
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Failed to load latest commit information.


Telepathine for Node.JS


unstable Dependency Status


P2P "Gossip" protocol

Shared memory (distributed hashtable)

Distributed event bus

Incremental change-sets

Failure detection


Self-managing cluster or mesh

TCP with optional UDP mode (connection-less for small packets)

Private Darknet with Pre-shared Network Encryption Key


See scripts in the simulations/ directory for examples.


new Telepathine(port, seeds, options)

Default Options:

    options = {

        // For IPv4 use [a.b.c.d]:port, ex:
        // For IPv6 use the format [ad:dre::ss]:port, ex: [::1]:9000
        address: '', // localhost

        // Whether to emit value change events on heartbeats
        emitValueOnHeartBeat: false,

        // Manual Network address translation
        addressMap: {
            //key: value //key = address mapped from, value = address mapped to

        // Network ID, used to encrypt messages, secured from non-network message.  undefined=public, no encryption
        network: "Preshared_Network_Key",

        udp: true,                  //whether to run UDP server (recommended)

        gossipIntervalMS: 2500,     //how often (ms) to send gossip updates

        heartbeatIntervalMS: 2500   //how often (ms) to send heartbeat updates



start([callback]), stop()

  • start and stop the peer. may be called repeatedly, event handlers will be maintained

set(key, value[, expiresAt])

  • set local key/value state, broadcasting to peers. expiresAt is a unixtime (millisecond resolution)


  • get locally stored value

getRemote(peer, key)

  • get remotely stored value from a specific peer


  • get all keys that have been provided by a particular peer


  • on success returns true




say(eventname, parameter[, eventDurationMS, buffer])

  • send an event for a finite duration, which triggers receiver's 'hear' handlers

hear(eventname, handler(data, fromPeer) )

  • receive 'say' events. eventname can use EventEmitter2 wildcard

hearOnce(eventname, handler(data, fromPeer) )

  • receive a 'say' event once.

know(key, handler(peer_name, key, value, expiresAt))

  • receives 'set' events for a given key. eventname can use EventEmitter2 wildcard

believe(key, handler(peer_name, key, value, expiresAt))

  • receives 'set' events for a specific key then call Telepathine.set -- setting any received value in the local key/value state, in addition to the remote peer's key/value

after(delayMS, callback)

  • execute a callback after a time delay (ms) after a peer has start(), or if it's already start(), execute after a time delay

every(intervalMS, callback)

  • repeat a callback every time interval (ms) after a peer has start(), or if it's already start(), begin repeating

on(eventname, handler)

  • handle peer events, described below. eventname can use EventEmitter2 wildcard


on('start', function(peer) {})

  • local peer started

on('stop', function(peer) {})

  • local peer stopped

on('set', function(peer_name, key, value, expiresAt) {})

  • value set

on('set:[key]', function(peer_name, key, value, expiresAt) {})

  • value set, allows using EventEmitter2 wildcards

on('say:[eventname]', function(parameter, fromPeer) {})

  • received remote 'say' event, allows using EventEmitter2 wildcards. a peer does not receive its own 'say' events.

on('key:expired', function(peer_name, key, value, expiresAt) {})

  • a key has expired

on('peer:new', function(peerstate) {})

  • peer discovered

on('peer:start', function(peer_name) {})

  • peer seems alive

on('peer:stop', function(peer_name) {})

  • peers seems dead


Distributed Shared Memory

From: simulation/example_p2p.js

//For debug log, run: DEBUG=* node examples/p2p.js

var T = require('../lib/telepathine.js').Telepathine;

var startPort = 9000;
var numSeeds = 4;

var seed = new T( startPort++,
                  [ /* no seeds */ ], 
                  { /* default configuration */ } 

// Create peers and point them at the seed 
// Usually this would happen in separate processes.
// To prevent a network's single point of failure, design with multiple seeds.
for (var i = 0; i < numSeeds; i++) {

    var g = new T(i + startPort + 1, 
                  ['' + (startPort + i + 2)]).start();

    //event emitted when a remote peer sets a key to a value
    g.on('set', function (peer, k, v) {
        console.log(this.peer_name + " knows via on('set'.. that peer " + peer + " set " + k + "=" + v);

    //convenience method for key/value change events
    g.know('somekey', function (peer, k, v) {
        console.log(this.peer_name + " knows via know('somekey'.. that peer " + peer + " set somekey=" + v);

    //convenience method for key change events, using wildcard
    g.know('*', function (peer,k, v) {
        console.log(this.peer_name + " knows via know('*'.. that peer " + peer + " set " + this.event + "," + k + "=" + v);

// Another peer which updates state after a delay
new T(startPort, 
      ['' + (startPort + 1)] )
        .after(1000, function () {

            // indefinite memory
            this.set('somekey', 'somevalue');

            // temporary memory: 10 seconds from now this key will start to expire in the gossip net
            this.set('somekey2', 'somevalue', Date.now() + 10000);


Distributed Event Bus

From: simulation/example_events.js

var a = new T(9000, []).start();
var b = new T(9001, [":9000"]).start();

a.on('start', function () {

    a.hearOnce('eventname', function (data, fromPeer) {
        console.log('a received eventname=', data, 'from', fromPeer);

    a.hear('*', function (data, fromPeer) {
        console.log('a received ', this.event, '=', data, 'from', fromPeer);


b.on('start', function () {

    b.hearOnce('reply', function (data, fromPeer) {
        console.log('b received reply=', data, ' from ', fromPeer);

    b.say('eventname', 'eventdata');



expresso -I lib test/*  


npm test


This is a fork of grapevine which is a fork of the original node-gossip.

grape·vine (grāp′vīn′) n. 1. A vine on which grapes grow. 2. a. The informal transmission of information, gossip, or rumor from person to person. b. A usually unrevealed source of confidential information.

  • node.js sockets instead of json-over-tcp or msgpack
  • key/value pairs have optional ttl, which propagates to the other peers, it will cause keys to get deleted (although this is not an EXACT mechanism, so it shouldn't be used as such)
  • IPv6 support (in-progress)
  • various bug fixes
  • UDP messaging for high performance, used for small messages
  • compact wire protocol

node-gossip implements a gossip protocol w/failure detection, allowing you to create a fault-tolerant, self-managing cluster of node.js processes. Each server in the cluster has it's own set of key-value pairs which are propogated to the others peers in the cluster. The API allows you to make changes to the local state, listen for changes in state, listen for new peers and be notified when a peer appears to be dead or appears to have come back to life.

The module is currently in 'hey it seems to work for me' state, there are probably some bugs lurking around. The API will probably change and suggestions on how to improve it are very welcome.


  • major code refactoring, too many people wrote too much code without proper coordination
  • convert tests to mocha
  • test edge cases
  • Security
    • Cluster name -- dont allow peers to accidentally join the wrong cluster
    • Encryption
      • pre-shared key
  • The scuttlebutt paper mentions a couple things we don't current do:
    • congestion throttling
    • make digests only be random subsets
  • variable update rates for different peers; use default if unspecified in seed parameter
  • record traffic, bandwidth, & latency statistics
  • vary interval duration ('updateVariability' parameter) to temporally distribute traffic
  • file system mapped key/values
  • addressAlias - array of addresses to map to the specified 'address' option, more convenient notation than specifyign a complete addressMap
  • non-diff request protocol for sharing large objects
  • UDP multicast


Gossip Protocol

Both the gossip protocol and the failure detection algorithms are based off of academic papers and Cassandra's (http://www.cassandra.org/) implementation of those papers. This library is highly indebted to both.