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Part 1 - Overengineering of a cloud application

N-tier architecture is seen nowadays as an old. People tends to migrate to event-base or microservice architecture. It's very common to see people that decide an architecture based on the market trends, ignoring the requirements, business needs and budget.

When you combine this with Azure (cloud in general) you will end up easily with a microservice architecture that combines messaging systems and event-driven architectures. Of course, N-tier application has a lot of disadvantages, but when you have a simple web application, there is no sense to create a complex unicorn that will survive for 100 years.

I was shocked to review a solution that was deployed in Azure 2 months ago, that from architures point of view was beautiful, but from the running and development costs become a nightmare.
I will not go in details of the business requirements, but imagine a system that needs to display some static information, allow users to upload small CSV files that are consolidated in a reporting system. Figures:

  • Under 200 users worldwide
  • Concurrency level is 10% (20 users online simultan)
  • Less than 15 CSV uploaded in total per day
  • Basic reporting functionality
  • Current DB size 150MB (2M reporting entries)
  • DB forecast for next 3 years is 1GB (20-25M reporting entries)
  • CSV has up to 1000 entries (maximum 10 columns)
For a system like this, it was a delight to discover a microservice solution in the backed hosted on a dedicated cluster that communicates between each other using Azure Service Bus. The front-end was a SPA with a nice REST API. Behind this, there was an Hadoop Cluster that would process the CSV files, extracting points for charts, pushing the results in a DocumentDB. User management was done using a system hosted in Azure SQL Database. 
There were also some other system involved, but this are the main components.

I don't know what is you opinion about this kind of system. Personally I like how it was design, it's extremely scalable and can process and manage high loads. In the same time, I take a look on the requirements and I ask myself 'WHY?!'.

My main goal was to reduce running costs and complexity of the project with a minimal impact. If you want to find out what was our proposed solution you should check the blog tomorrow.

Part 2 - The solution


  1. I was interested to hear about your proposed solution but cannot find it on this blog

  2. wow.. All this should fit easily on a single server, not even a large one.. :)


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