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Communication between services in .NET

user2226 Published in March 18, 2018, 2:04 am

I'm facing an issue in a High Available Windows Services I developed with a master/slave setup.


The services itself synchronize data to two endpoints. One endpoint is synced to a local database, and one is an external. The database that is local is duplicated on both machines, so both master and slave need to sync this. The external endpoint only needs to be synced once.

The Master will by default sync to the external service, the slave will take over when the master is down. When the master goes back up and the slave is still synchronizing to the external, master will ask slave to finish a portion of the work, and then tell the master is done so he can continue the remaining work.

All this needs to happen asynchronously, I do not want the program to stop and wait for the other to respond (like the slave still handling the data).

I already implemented all the logic for this.


Two Windows services running on two different machines. Currently the communication is done over Named Pipes.

The problem:

Named pipes isn't reliable enough for the throughput that is being done. It also often crashes, and isn't made for reconnecting/closing and reopening a lot of times. I also face the problem that it just 'hangs' a lot when sending/receiving messages. Retrying sometimes works but I think I shouldn't be retrying. I need to have a reliable communication between the two instances.


I've been looking for an alternative to Named Pipes, but can't seem to find a solution of which I'm convinced that would work. Mostly because a lot of the technologies are for communication between a service and a client over http.

WCF over MSMQ is also not what I need, because I only want communication to happen when both are online. WCF in general is also more focused on one endpoint receiving data and sending a response. I need bidirectional communication, so both instances need to be able to receive and send messages at any time.

I think my best option is SignalR, but I'm also not convinced.

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