As you plan to grow and expand your business, there goes a requirement to scale the applications and websites as well, and not all apps and websites are scalable. While getting any solution developed for your business, you must choose the right set of technology that can easily fit not only your current requirements but the future needs too.
Ruby on Rails is one of the most popular and preferred mobile app development frameworks due to the sheer number of benefits this framework offers. There are too many reasons to use ROR for app development flexibility and support being the top ones. One can create highly intuitive and attractive apps of all sizes using this framework. But many developers are worried about the application scalability issues that come along with it.
Scaling the application means to improve its capability or capacity for managing various user requests simultaneously. Hence, Ruby on Rails application scalability not only emphasizes the application framework but it also highlights the application architecture for handling the user requests at the same time. There are many ways through which we can scale the ROR applications and in this article, are going to discuss this in detail.
What Is Ruby on Rails Application Scalability?
The scalability of any app development platform alludes to the application potential built within the same framework to be able to grow and organize maximum user requests per minute for the upcoming events of the company. Ruby on Rails is not just a framework that can scale, instead it is an architecture of the whole server system.
The majority of Ruby on Rail development companies work with start-ups and small businesses and that goes really fantastic. However, people often talk about the scalability issues in Rails, especially when the project grows large. Developers, in general, have an individual server on which they can install the software like-
● Nginx server
● Rack application server (Puma, Unicorn, or Passenger)
● A single instance for the Ruby on Rails application
● A single instance for the application database
Common Issues Faced While Scaling the RoR Applications
While planning for app scalability there are too many questions that come up in mind. App scalability is not an easy task and various issues accompany the process. Even if the performance or scalability issues of your applications are not as intense there are some common bottlenecks that appear while scaling the ROR app.
● Bad indexing
● Poor performance application database query
● Inadequate monitoring skills or caching
● Inaccurate memory management and background design
● Complex data-based scheme and server limitations
In spite of the shortcomings, many companies prefer this framework and hire Ruby on Rails developers to create high performing applications in a short span of time. Also, the availability of hundreds of application profiling or scaling tools has made it easy for users to make ROR applications more scalable. So, if you are also one of them, let us discuss a few tips that can help you in this process.
Smart Tips to Scale Ruby on Rails Applications
There are various resources available on the web that explains scaling Ruby on Rails applications. In this segment, we are presenting a quick summary of the effective strategies that explain scaling Ruby on Rails applications.
Tip 1: Cache and entirely cache
To stream data in browsers on app demand, you can use Ajax libraries such as jQuery and cache at client data. You can also use reverse proxy caches and gateway for caching HTTP responses at your web platform. It will also help you understand the etags and expiration functions. Leverage the potential of built-in actions, fragment caching, and page caching in Rails. You can use memcache for caching the outcomes that you would have to pull from another database otherwise.
Tip 2: Segregating the data and data serving
Ruby on Rails development services demands the strategic segregation of data. It is never recommended to push your RoR data in any single database for your comfort. In simple words, data sets that are complete and independent on their own should never get stored in a single database instead they must go into separate files. Try serving static assets derived from a separate tier, use CDN (like Akamai), or Amazon S3 for serving those assets. This tip is a little expensive but it truly justifies the application’s scalability. You must have an understanding of the scalability limitations of your application irrespective of the file system you have integrated.
Tip 3: Minimizing the external dependencies
If your application has voluminous data reporting requirements then it is advisable to report the database from your production instead of the main database. Ruby on Rail experts recommends looking out for the application dependencies on 3rd party or external mediums such as RSS feed, serving network, etc.
If any of the services fail to respond or cannot efficiently handle the growing user request then you can adopt a fallback strategy to maintain the scalability of your ROR app. When the number of users for an application increases it gets difficult to schedule the application log processing. To simplify the process you can segregate the schedule and jobs as per the application resource consumption.
Tip 4: Tend the job handlers and ROR database
The ORM solutions (inclusive of Rail’s active record) can develop SQL queries that can result in performance issues in the database. You have to make sure to consider your query log right after every integration and keep in mind- do not miss any database indices and have not developed any inappropriate indices in your app code.
To manage your application database you can scrub it periodically (especially for the database indices) that you are not using anymore. The expert advice is to always hire Ruby on Rails developers for every scale of the app as database issues can sneak up on your application scalability. It is always better to spend some extra money instead of getting things messed up.
Tip 5: Sharding the relational data
For high application scalability, my SQL relational database has to be sharding, it involves segmenting the database into various independent components based upon a key. Sharding for various customer-oriented applications is entirely based upon user ID but the usual sharding scheme utilizes excess frequency or data age.
What Are The Alternate Solutions To Scale The Application Database?
If you are looking for ways around reducing your application load time then you can integrate some effective techniques. Utilizing these solutions will make it possible for you to lessen application load time.
Caching the database is a crucial method that can quickly provide the data to the customers from a centralized storehouse. However, caching the application database is not closely related to the scaling of the solution. User activity involving log file statistics or sessions is compiled in the application that can offer data anytime anywhere to the users. We will learn more about ROR app caching in the last segment of the article.
Redis is used as a database by professional developers and any custom web development company along with a message and cache. It also supports the application data structures which are inclusive of various components like hashes, strings, sets with range queries, sets, bitmaps, geospatial indexes, hyper log logs, etc. All these things help the users to scale the application. Redis is also an open-source data structure that has in memory and it is BSD licensed.
Memcached is a distributed in-memory system that helps to scale the Ruby on Rails applications after storing their data object in the dynamic memory. It also helps to limit the database load time and scale up the application.
4. Vertical scalability
In Ruby on Rails, managing or handling RPM is the process to consider while sharing the application and that’s when vertical scalability comes into the picture. It can easily make the server handle activity for increasing the number of RPM which means upgrading the RAM after contributing more to it and updating the server processor. In simple words, vertical application scalability means empowering your system with more efficiency to make it work for every situation.
For starters, vertical scalability for the application can work well but as the traffic for the application increases, VS might not perform as expected. Eventually, you are compared to upgrade the solution and its computational power. There is a downside of this approach, when you require scaling the application there are some of its parts that demand maximum computational resources as compared to the others.
5. Horizontal scalability
The professional RoR developers use horizontal scaling solutions that have a resemblance to how scaling is done for other frameworks. It refers to the way for converting any single server architecture directly into a three-tier setup for your Ruby on Rails application. This conversion involves various components out of which the major ones are- application instances, Nginx, application database instances, and many more. These components are used to fulfill various purposes through which the developers can scale their Ruby on Rails applications as required.
The first one, application instances are used for establishing a balanced communication between Nginx and app databases. The second one, Nginx is used for developing an implementation cycle and process for handling multiple requests received by the app. And the third one, application database components are used for scaling the application.
Let us understand each of these components in brief:
● Application instances- Very often separate additional server mediums are required to scale the applications. These server mediums help to make the application highly scalable and they can also access various application instances. You can use unique interfaces like Rack to establish a smooth interaction between Nginx and the application. Other than using the application server, you can also use RoR based tools to separately deal with the user request.
● Nginx- Nginx is a Ruby on Rails server software that is extensively popular at present. It is used along with a single machine that functions as a reverse proxy and a load balancer. Nginx- need minimum computational power to perform its functions at the time of traffic and therefore it requires a medium powered server that can add more value to its Solution.
● How to use Nginx- When the system receives an initial request, it gets passed to the very fast machine. On the contrary, Nginx software will pass the second request to the next machine. This process will go on as long as you require it. Assuming that you have three machines in place then once three requests are forwarded, the cyclic process will begin and the fourth request from the browser will be automatically sent to the first machine. This mechanism can be used to scale the Ruby on Rails applications to a greater extent.
● Database instances- Scaling the application database is one of the most effective ways to scale the Ruby on Rails application without any inconvenience. Database deployment on the server where the application itself is deployed will be budget-friendly as well. Database instances are meant to offer an easy and smooth User experience and it can also accommodate data quantities for scaling the application.
These are some of the alternate solutions that you can use to escape The Ruby on Rails applications scalability issues.
Tools That Can Help You Scale ROR Applications
To scale the ROR applications, the Ruby on Rails experts suggests determining or eliminating the bottlenecks in the application. However, finding the shortcomings manually is not possible for the developers and the easiest way to detect the bottlenecks in ROR applications is to use dedicated software programs. Using these tools will help you get the details about the application scalability issues. Some of the popular tools for scaling ROR applications are- Splunk, Flame, StatsD, Relic, Graphs, just to name a few.
Using these app scalability tools will check the application performance along with collecting useful insights from the same. The collected statistics will help you figure and analyze the required changes. It is always advisable to hire an RoR Development company because the developers there can limit the time-consuming processes once the issues are identified.
The Bottom Line
Scaling the Ruby on Rails applications relies on the project instances as the framework itself may not be suitable for all the application types. You can take the right set of tools and analysis using reliable technologies before scaling the application. Scaling Ruby on Rails applications is an easy task but only if you have the right approach. If done on the mark, it can save you time as well as money.