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Michael Di Prisco
Michael Di Prisco

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Concurrency - The Twelve Factor App Methodology

Welcome back to our exploration of the Twelve Factors in Software Development. In this segment, we'll delve into Factor 8: Concurrency. This factor highlights the benefits of scaling your application through the process model and explores the concept of concurrency in the context of cloud-native development.

Concurrency: Scale by Adding Processes

The Concurrency factor emphasizes the idea of scaling your application by adding more processes. Rather than relying on a single, monolithic instance, breaking your application into smaller, concurrent processes allows for better resource utilization, improved responsiveness, and enhanced scalability.

Why It Matters

Modern applications often face variable workloads and traffic spikes. Concurrency enables your application to handle increased demand by distributing the workload across multiple processes. This approach also contributes to fault tolerance and responsiveness, as individual processes can handle requests independently.

How to Implement

Design your application to operate as a collection of independent, stateless processes. This can be achieved by embracing a microservices architecture or by using containerization technologies like Docker. Tools like Kubernetes can further facilitate the orchestration and scaling of these processes.

Example in Action

Consider a web application that handles image processing. Instead of processing images sequentially within a single process, design the application to spawn multiple processes, each handling a portion of the workload concurrently. This way, the application can efficiently utilize available resources and scale horizontally.

// Concurrent image processing using worker processes
const { fork } = require('child_process');'/process-images', (req, res) => {
  const images = req.body.images;

  // Distribute image processing across worker processes
  images.forEach((image) => {
    const worker = fork('imageProcessor.js');

  res.json({ message: 'Image processing started' });
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By embracing the Concurrency factor, your application becomes more adaptable to varying workloads and can effectively scale to meet the demands of a dynamic environment.

Stay tuned for Factor 9: Disposability, where we'll explore the concept of treating processes as disposable entities and how it contributes to the resilience and reliability of your application.

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