Cassandra vs MongoDB for a bootstrapped startup
The database. One of the most boring yet most essential piece ever design by mankind. Its sole purpose, serve as a place where we store the data used by our uber-awesome-oh-so-incredible™ application. So long as it is online, that we can store our data in it, and that we can retrieve it, we tend not to concern ourselves too much with it. As stated by Patrick McFadin : “Is it scaling? Yep. Is it online? Yep. Boring”. When Bootstrapping a startup, one tends to have little time (unless you’ve quit your day job) and little resources. Getting to the point where you have a boring database would indeed be the dream so that you can focus on your app. To get there however, the very first step is picking the right one based on your application’s needs. There are many options out there. One that I have seen bee heavily recommended back when I was working on a side project was MongoDB.
Distributed systems are great! Loosely coupled components. Seperation of concern. Scalability. Awesome!…until something goes wrong and you have to debug the issue.
Akka has been around for quite some time now, making the life of the modern developer so much easier. For those unfamiliar with it, it is a toolkit for building highly concurrent and distributed systems. It relies heavily on the Actor model for concurrency (i.e actors as entity capable of asynchronously processing messages they receives from other actors in its system) and has capacities for distributing one’s application. One of the most recent mechanism it provides to achieve the latter: Akka clusters. Why should you care?
The rise of reactive systems: why?
Most avid Twitter users remember the fail whale of the 2010 World Cup that almost sank Twitter before it could truly become the juggernaut that it is today. The root cause of it was that their system was being overloaded with requests, having found overnight fame during that international events. Being unable to service all of them at the time due to the architecture of their system, a lot of us trying to tweet “GOOOOAAALLL!!!” were greeted with the whale. That could have sunk their business as folks could have simply reverted back to using Facebook. Thankfully for them (and us), they survived and lived to tell the tale. What does that have to do with Reactive Systems?