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Cover image for 🚀How TCP Servers Are Designed to Handle Multiple Requests
mrityunjay saraf
mrityunjay saraf

Posted on • Updated on

🚀How TCP Servers Are Designed to Handle Multiple Requests

📚 Table of Contents

  1. 🖥️ What Is a Server?
  2. 🔄 What Is Multi-Threading?
  3. ❓ Why Do We Need a Multi-threaded Server?
  4. 🛠️ How to Design Multi-Threaded Servers?

🖥️ What Is a Server?

It is the process that listens to the TCP protocol on some port, addresses the client request, and sends the response.

🔄 What Is Multi-Threading?

Multithreading is a programming concept that allows multiple threads of execution to run concurrently within a single process.
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❓ Why Do We Need a Multi-threaded Server?

Let's imagine we have a single-threaded server that will process one request at a time. Now, imagine what if millions of requests come in.
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I've created a server that processes requests one after the other. Each new request waits until the previous one is completed. Take a look at the response times in different terminals:

Response Timing

Now, consider a multithreaded server architecture. It can handle multiple client connections simultaneously using threads. Each incoming connection gets its own thread, enabling the server to serve multiple clients at once.

In our example, all four clients receive their responses concurrently after four seconds. This demonstrates the efficiency of a multithreaded server in handling multiple requests simultaneously.

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🛠️ How to Design Multi-Threaded Servers?

  • Step 1: Open the Socket to Listen to the Port
    Create the ServerSocket object that will accept the TCP connection from port 1234.
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  • Step 2: Accept the Client's Connection to That Port
    Accept the client request using the ServerSocket.accept().
    It is a blocking system call meaning it will not move further without accepting the connection.
    ServerSocket.accept() will return the Socket object specific to that client connection, which will be used for reading requests and sending responses to that client.
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  • Step 3: Create a New Thread for Each Request
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  • Step 4: Read the Request and Send the Response
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  • Step 5: Repeat Steps 2 to 4 an Infinite Amount of Time
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Disclaimer: 🚨 This article aims to explain multithreaded servers. However, there are practical limitations to this design. Creating millions of threads to handle millions of requests can strain system resources. These issues can be addressed by using strategies such as thread pooling.

🌟 Thank you for reading! I appreciate your time and hope you found the article helpful. 📚 I'm open to suggestions and feedback, so feel free to reach out. Let's keep exploring together! 🚀

Top comments (2)

mahimarajput profile image

Good Job @mjsf1234

lovepreetsingh profile image
Lovepreet Singh

Well written and with code examples