Understanding Event-Driven Architecture and Serverless Opportunities

March 04, 2021

Alisdair Broshar

Alisdair Broshar
@AlisdairBroshar

Whether you're building a new application or adding new features to an existing application, it is worthwhile to reflect on the structure and design of what you're building. Not only does app architecture make the difference between a good app and an excellent app, but it can also either contribute to technical debt or mitigate it.

Moreover, since your application's architecture will affect how you will be able to adapt and update your application in the future, this decision carries long-term implications and strategic significance.

That is why we want to discuss event-driven architecture in this blog post. Specifically, what makes this architecture model unique, how it works, and what advantages and opportunities it provides. Finally, we want to explain why the cloud computing industry is so excited about pairing this architecture model with serverless technology.

What is Event-Driven Architecture?

As the name suggests, event-driven architecture makes your whole application design event-centric.

  • Events are changes in state detected in hardware or software. These changes can be either user-generated, such as when someone clicks on a mouse pad or presses a button on a keyboard, or it can be a system occurrence, such as a server running out of memory.
  • They serve as a record for the detected change.

The Architecture

Event-driven architecture is best understood as the composition of loosely-coupled services that handle events in real-time.

There are three defining components to event-driven architecture:

  1. Event Producers: Could be an HTTP request, a cron job, a UI action, or an IoT device, such as connected cars, medical devices, and manufacturing plants. Event producers detect events and represent the event as a message to the event router.
  2. Message Brokers or Event Routers: Such as an event queue or a message bus. Event routers receive the event, store it temporarily before dispatching it to the appropriate event consumers.
  3. Event Consumers or Workers: These are the services you and your team build to process and execute the events you receive. Common examples of event consumers could be an automatic Slack notification, a function for data analysis or data manipulation, or a program to generate and send emails for newsletters or onboarding.

Event-Driven Architecture Producers, Brokers, and Consumers

Advantages of Event-Driven Architecture

Overall Good Choice for Modern and Distributed App

Event-driven architecture is an excellent model for creating robust and resilient apps. This model provides developers a great level of flexibility when testing and creating new services and apps. Moreover, by processing events as they occur, this architecture aligns your app with the real-world, which improves your user experience and increases your competitive edge.

  • Autonomy by Design: Services within a modern event-driven architecture are loosely-coupled, which means each of these components - event producers, the event brokers, and event consumers - have little to no knowledge of the other components.
  • Flexibility: In a loosely-coupled event-driven architecture, if developers wish to add new event consumers, all they need to do is develop those specific workers. There is no need to modify event producers or the event router for that event consumer to be incorporated into the app's architecture. This is drastically different than the setup of tightly-coupled systems with high interdependencies where services were designed to talk and interact directly with one another.
  • Scalability: An additional benefit of loose-coupling is how easy it becomes to scale your app. Since all of your components are isolated, scaling these components becomes a breeze.
  • Connect Your Multi-Cloud Landscape: Different cloud service providers are inherently loosely-coupled. Event-driven architecture provides a way to connect their unique services because message brokers and event consumers are cloud-agnostic. By connect your multi-cloud landscape, you can leverage the different offerings of your cloud service providers to best support your product and business needs.
  • Responsiveness: Event-driven architectures promote flexibility and real-time responsiveness. This is key for IoT devices and applications that communicate information in real-time.

Serverless Event-Driven Architecture

Serverless computing and event-driven architecture are on the rise. These concurrent trends are propelling developers and businesses forward as they enable developers to focus on improving their application’s flexibility and performance all while dramatically optimizing a firm’s IT costs and the application’s time-to-market.

In event-driven architectures, events trigger applications. Adopting serverless simplifies app management, which results in signifiant cost and complexity reduction when using event-driven architecture. Since your IT teams are no longer burdened with managing and scaling your underlying infrastructure, they are able to redirect their focus to work on more critical tasks to developing and improving your business. By eliminating this operational complexity, your business gains significant competitive advantage.

An additional benefit to this pairing worth mentioning is scaling. The decentralized and loosely-coupled nature of modern event-driven architectures makes it easier than ever to scale your app, and since serverless platforms are autoscaling by design, your teams will never have to worry about scaling again.

With serverless platforms, you are only charged for the computing time and power your application uses. By combining the event-driven model with serverless platforms, you optimize your cloud budget by only paying for the resources that are necessary to meet your application’s demand.

Overall, pairing serverless technology with event-driven architecture offers businesses a way to optimize their cloud costs without compromising on performance and lets developers no longer worry about maintaining or scaling the underlying infrastructure that powers their apps.

Koyeb Supports the Serverless Future

Koyeb is a developer-friendly serverless platform to deploy apps globally. Thanks to native support of popular languages and built-in Docker container deployment, you can use Koyeb's serverless platform to deploy your:

  • Web apps,
  • APIs,
  • Event-driven functions,
  • Background workers,
  • Web services,
  • Cron jobs.

Since Koyeb is a unified platform that lets you combine languages, frameworks, and technologies you love, you can easily scale and run low-latency, responsive, web services and event-driven serverless functions.

With Koyeb, you can scale like internet giants without their budget. See the benefits of going serverless, get started with a free account today!

Here are some useful resources to get you started:

  • Koyeb Documentation: Learn everything you need to know about using Koyeb.
  • Koyeb Tutorials: Discover guides and tutorials on common Koyeb use cases and get inspired to create your own!
  • Koyeb Community Slack Channel: Join the community chat to stay in the loop about our latest feature announcements, exchange ideas with other developers, and ask our engineering teams whatever questions you may have about going serverless.