Well, you’ve decided to build a functional website or an application. You’ve defined the functionality that should be implemented in the first release and imagine how your product will look. You also understand that there are characteristics like scalability, flexibility, and security that your solution should correspond to. What else should you pay attention to?
The ability to cope with high loads is another important element that developers should concentrate on. It’s just a must-have if you need to create e-learning, social networking, or another type of web app that is poised to have multiple users. The system has to be able to process hundreds and even thousands of requests per second and continue working with no downtime even when there is a sudden influx of users.
Otherwise, customers may face such unpleasant things as slow and endless page loading, glitches, Internet disconnection, slow or lack of payment processing, errors, and bugs in the interface, and more. As a result, they are more likely to just stop using your product.
Although it sounds a bit scary, don’t be afraid. The high load architecture was invented to solve such problems and build fault-tolerant and high-performance software. In this article, you will learn what is the high load project and how to make it. Let’s get started!
What does high load actually mean
High load means that one server can’t effectively handle data and request processing which affects the entire system making it work much slower. It also implies a simultaneous service of a minimum of 10,000 users. If your software is deployed on services like AWS and Microsoft Azure, it is about maintaining the high load architecture.
High load is required when developing solutions like:
- Booking platforms
- E-commerce solutions
- E-learning applications
- Dating applications
- Live casinos
- Video streaming platforms
- Gaming applications
- Social media applications
- Online currency exchange platforms
In our custom web application development company, we recommend that you create a high load architecture even if your app is supposed to be small, especially if it refers to the B2C area. You may need to scale the app, or aim to quickly attract hundreds of thousands or millions of users, or there may be their unexpected influx (yes, sometimes it happens). This way, a risk of failure will be avoided.
Now, let’s get insight into the principles of implementing high load architecture.
The main principles of the high load architecture
1. Flexibility is the core
When creating a web solution, take care of its flexibility from the very beginning. This will provide you with the ability to elastically expand in the future easily: add new features, implement changes, even scale up to thousands and millions of users if needed. Therefore, flexibility is crucial for any fast-growing software system.
2. Use of the cloud
If you’re making a new web app and your company isn’t world-famous like Facebook and Amazon, there is no reason for implementing the infrastructure able to handle millions of users (in case of such giants as Facebook and Amazon, most people will start using a new product just because of a famous name and brand loyalty).
The connection to the cloud will allow you to host new projects, store data, cut costs, and facilitate servers’ management as well. Besides, many cloud hosting services offer private network services that allow software development teams to use various cloud servers and seamlessly extend the system.
The process of scaling web projects generally involves four stages:
- Load analysis by developers
- Defining what areas are affected by server loads
- Moving these areas to separate nodes
- Load analysis to validate if the system is able to successfully manage high loads
By performing these steps, programmers can ensure that their project is able to work under high load without the downtime and continue to provide amazing user experience.
3. Scalability is crucial
The implementation of a scalable project helps programmers to reduce the time and costs required for software product engineering. Therefore, the client wins, too. So, use a powerful server that will cope with high loads and provide easy scalability. The thing is that you don’t have to create a large product at once but should take care of its scalability.
Recommendations for the high-load architecture development
Well, yes, the development of a scalable fault-tolerant system matters. However, how do you build it? Take a look at several meaningful recommendations from software developers.
1. Separate databases
In most cases, the database is the first node that faces high load and has to withstand it. Each user request generally passes between 10 and 100 database queries. Database separation will enable you to increase the app performance and minimize the negative influence on other system components.
2. Migrate databases
Sometimes database migration can become a great solution, for instance, when your server is outdated. An important thing to do is to place on the website an apologizing and polite warning about works on it. It’s more reasonable to move databases at night when the level of user activity is the lowest.
Replication will let engineers seamlessly synchronize data from one server to another. Once the configuration is done, the IP address of the project database has to be changed. Remember about turning the old server off.
3. Separate web servers
Separation of a web server and its allocation to a single node helps developers to save resources. As an example, let’s take PHP. In this case, they should configure the app deployment to either the Nginx or the PHP server that represents the back-end project part.
Here the PHP server will be responsible for script processing and the Nginx server will provide static files and connection to the back-end as well.
4. Install several back-ends
The use of several PHP back-ends will allow you to reduce load and handle it much better. When installing them, programmers need to ensure that they all have the same configuration.
As soon as you have them set up, requests from the same user will be transmitted to different servers instead of one. Also, you will need a single repository for all sessions. This way, the load will be allocated.
With the integration of Nginx, you will manage to balance the load between PHP back-ends. By connecting cache servers, a higher speed of your web solution will be provided.
5. Employ task queues and DNS balancing
If your system is supposed to asynchronously carry out heavy operations, you should use task queues. The queue server will be responsible for receiving tasks from the app and the other server—for handling them. If their number will grow, you can connect additional servers.
Then, DNS balancing should be used to specify various IP addresses of front-ends. Set up several front-ends with the same configuration so that DNS will provide clients with different IP addresses.
6. Use different servers for different goals
Although the integration of several back-ends simplifies the process of handling high loads, it may also call some difficulties. Since file uploading and processing are carried out on the back-end side, it becomes challenging for programmers to always remember on which back-end each file is kept.
To solve this challenge, you should make servers’ separation for file loading, processing, and storing.
The project architecture is essential for its success. Sergey Valuy, CEO at Smartym Pro, believes that it defines 90% of its efficient functioning and capability to solve technical issues. If your product is able to work under high load and continue providing seamless user experience, your customers won’t leave you and you won’t lose profit. So, take care of building the high load architecture!