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API Servers and the Importance of Learning

Steve Jones tells a story:

While talking with a client recently about their performance challenges, I was relieved to find that the database wasn’t the problem. Instead, their API server was overloaded by the number of calls taking place in their application. While the database did provide the backing for the API calls, there was a fair amount of caching. However, as they’d moved to microservices, more and more of the interaction between modules was taking place as a network call to a single server, which became overloaded.

Steve goes on to the broader point of people freely donating their time and expertise to explain how to solve problems. And the above is a major problem of moving to microservices: everything gets several times chattier. The biggest tricks I have there are to embrace asynchronous processing via queues and ensure that messages passed back and forth are as small as possible, which means getting rid of the idea of passing big lists of fully-hyrdated objects around.

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