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Hello everyone! In this article, we will continue our series on the 12 factors for the development of modern applications, inspired by the books of the legendary Martin Fowler. If you missed our previous articles, feel free to check out the other factors.
Today, we will cover the sixth factor:
The sixth factor states that the application should be executed as one or more stateless processes, with data being stored in backing services. This is important to ensure scalability, portability, and ease of deployment.
Stateless processes are those that do not store information about the current state of the application, which means they do not maintain data in memory or local storage. Instead, any required state information is stored in backing services, such as databases, caches, or messaging systems.
The main advantage of using stateless processes is that they can be easily scaled horizontally, adding more instances of the process as needed to handle the load. Additionally, as each process is independent and does not store state information, they can be restarted or replaced without affecting the overall operation of the application.
Key Principles for Processes
Avoid storing data in memory or local storage: As mentioned earlier, processes should be stateless and should not store state information. This ensures that processes are independent and can be easily scaled.
Store data in backing services: State data should be stored in appropriate backing services, such as databases, messaging systems, or caches. This allows processes to be restarted or replaced without losing important information.
Scale horizontally: Stateless processes allow the application to be scaled horizontally, adding more instances as needed to handle the load. This helps ensure that the application can meet traffic demands and provide consistent performance.
Monitor processes: Monitor your application’s processes to ensure they are functioning correctly and identify potential issues or bottlenecks. This can include monitoring resource usage, response time, and error rates.
Ensure portability: As processes are independent and stateless, they should be portable and able to run in different environments and platforms. This makes deploying and maintaining the application easier.
Examples and Tools
Here are some examples of tools and technologies that can help implement stateless processes in your application:
Docker: Docker is a containerization platform that allows packaging applications and their dependencies into containers, which can be run in different environments and platforms. This makes creating stateless and portable processes easier.
Kubernetes: Kubernetes is a container orchestration system that manages the deployment, scaling, and operation of container-based applications. It facilitates the creation of stateless processes, ensuring the necessary instances are always running and managing horizontal scalability.
Redis: Redis is an in-memory data store, used as a database, cache, and message broker. It is useful for storing state information in backing services, ensuring processes remain stateless.
RabbitMQ: RabbitMQ is an open-source message broker that implements the Advanced Message Queuing Protocol (AMQP). It can be used to store temporary state information, such as messages and events, helping to keep processes stateless.
Amazon S3: Amazon S3 is a simple storage service that allows storing and retrieving any amount of data, at any time, from anywhere on the web. It can be used to store state data in backing services, ensuring processes are independent and stateless.
In summary, the sixth factor of the 12 factors is “Processes”. It highlights the importance of running applications as one or more stateless processes, with data being stored in backing services. This ensures scalability, portability, and ease of application deployment. The tools and technologies mentioned above can help you achieve this goal.
In the next article, we will cover the seventh factor of the 12 factors. Stay tuned!
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See you next time!