What Is Tornado Explain the Main Features and Major Components in Tornado Web Server?


Larry Thompson

Tornado is a popular web server framework written in Python. It is known for its high-performance, asynchronous capabilities, making it a great choice for building scalable and efficient web applications. In this article, we will explore the main features and major components of the Tornado web server.

Main Features of Tornado:

  • Asynchronous and non-blocking: One of the key features of Tornado is its asynchronous nature. It uses an event-driven architecture that allows it to handle thousands of simultaneous connections without the need for threading or multiprocessing.
  • Websockets support: Tornado has built-in support for WebSockets, a protocol that enables real-time communication between clients and servers.

    This makes Tornado suitable for developing applications that require bidirectional communication.

  • High performance: Thanks to its non-blocking design, Tornado can handle high loads with low latency. It is often chosen for applications that require fast response times and efficient resource utilization.
  • Scalability: Tornado supports scaling horizontally by running multiple instances behind a load balancer. This allows it to handle increasing traffic by distributing the load across multiple servers.

Major Components of Tornado:


The IOLoop is at the core of Tornado’s asynchronous nature. It acts as an event loop that efficiently handles network I/O operations. The IOLoop continuously checks for events like incoming requests or data availability on sockets, ensuring that these operations are non-blocking and do not block the entire application.


The HTTPServer is responsible for handling HTTP requests received by the web server. It listens on a specific port and routes incoming requests to appropriate request handlers based on URL patterns. The HTTPServer works seamlessly with the IOLoop to ensure efficient handling of incoming requests.


The RequestHandler is a key component in Tornado that handles individual HTTP requests. It receives the request, processes it, and generates an appropriate response. Developers can define custom RequestHandler classes to handle specific routes and implement the desired functionality for each request.


The Application class represents the entire web application in Tornado. It acts as a container for request handlers, URL routing rules, and other configuration settings. The Application class is responsible for starting the web server and managing the overall lifecycle of the application.


Tornado’s WebSocketHandler allows bidirectional communication between clients and servers using WebSockets. It provides methods to handle WebSocket connections, send messages, and receive messages from clients. WebSocketHandlers can be used alongside regular RequestHandlers to build real-time features in your web application.


In summary, Tornado is a powerful web server framework with features like asynchronous processing, WebSockets support, high performance, and scalability. Its major components such as IOLoop, HTTPServer, RequestHandler, Application, and WebSocketHandler work together to provide an efficient and flexible environment for building modern web applications. By leveraging Tornado’s capabilities, developers can create responsive and scalable applications that meet the demands of today’s users.

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