Scaling Your Backend

Application scalability is the ability of an app to be able to handle more requests as the number of users increases. Web applications face the biggest challenge in scalability as a product becomes more popular and requests per minute grow. Application scaling is a complex process that owners can easily get wrong. It involves numerous adjustments of both hardware and software.

Scaling the Components of Your Backend

When scaling the backend, it must be clear what’s causing a drop in performance. It could be read/write patterns or ordering events as the number of users are growing. Knowing the bottlenecks will guide you on how to get scaling right. Backend components include memory, CPU, and Network. Improving each of these requires different tweaks. For instance, the code can be reexamined so that better algorithms are used as well as function calls. This will contribute to better efficiency in CPU.

It is important to utilize resource usage monitoring tools such as htop and iftop to understand fully what backend components are taking up resources inefficiently. Start with the network, Disk IO, CPU, and then Memory. It’s also to understand the database you are using. It should be tuned according to the workload it is expected to handle.

Developing Scalable Web Apps

Building a scalable web app presents quite a few advantages. First, its not necessary to buy all the hardware to run the application at full throttle. They can add hardware components as performance needs increase. The impact is the reduction of the initial financial outlay, which is a major concern for executives. The same goes for the backend software application itself. For instance, a web app could initially just have a dashboard to display data collected from different sources. However, as needs grow, you can build analytics capabilities on top of the existing application.

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