Software apps and online services
There are hardly any app that doesn't require a server or any kind of backend service. Using a server for a mobile app is a very crucial subject if you are related to providing app design and development service. This article will show you how to choose a server for your app.
Regular native apps that use tools such as ReactNative, will require backend. The first step to develop an interactive app is to determine the complexity of the required backend. If the app required simple data storage and retrieval service then Google’s Firebase is sufficient for the purpose. It will provide you the best value for your money.Firebase
Firebase is perfect as a default scalable and performance solution where simple data storage and retrieval is required. But when the application requires complex business logic, you will experience Firebase limitation. Firebase is not designed to handle complex business logic. Though you can work around your way with cloud functions to some degree.Yet it should never be a choice if your App requires complex backend.
The most common disadvantage of using firebase as the backend is that you will have to completely depend on Google. This kind of setup and porting where backend is dependent on another service provider is not reliable.
Most mobile application depends on the restful interface to seamlessly communicate with the server. This kind of setup allows the freedom to develop backend using any programming language. If you are working on more complex logic, it makes sense to use programming language you are most comfortable with.Multi-region hosting
You don't need to bother about multi-region hosting if your app is built to cater to a single country or a continent. But if you are building an app for global users, your backend location will matter a lot.
The Network latency and throughput between backend server and client play a critical part in offering better app experience. People operating from within the EU, have to follow strict regulations regarding where data is stored. This is especially important if your app is collecting personal data and serving EU customer. In this case, personal data should be stored only on servers residing within the EU. Fortunately today almost every cloud & hosting providers offer EU hosting.Single server hosting
If you are not expecting a dramatic spike in traffic in the near future, you can go with single server hosting. But if you expect your app to reach thousands of users in a very short time, single server hosting is not a feasible option.
With single server hosting there is another threat as well. For example, this also means a single point of failure. However, if you have correctly set up your backend, take backup regularly and have engaged a reliable provider, you are good. There are thin chances that you will run into any kind of trouble with this approach.Virtual servers
If you need virtual servers for your mobile app the best provider would be one that offers an easy way to scale your server as your usage grows. You should also consider server management tools provided by hosting providers. User-friendly server management tools will help you reliably manage server or scale when needed. You should also make sure that you get server instance as a guaranteed resource, fast network connectivity, and tools to monitor the load.Bare metal servers
Bare metal setup with a backend that does not require heavy data processing can handle tens of thousands of monthly users. In certain cases even when the user base runs up to a million monthly users, the bare metal server can handle things provided backend is not too heavy on data processing.
The most app starts initially with a bare metal server. However, once this app setup and usage grows, they migrate to better server meant for heavy usage.Multiple single server setup
Many app development companies divide app server, data storage and even caching to different servers, as a measure to scale. This is possible if it's just a single backend that you are hosting. You can start by adding a Load Balancer but without employing more complicated cluster setup.
However keep in mind that as soon as you start to add more server in the mix, you may experience performance issue with internal network latency. The Thumb Rule is - nothing is fast then a single bare metal setup.Servers that app developers can choose
In the last few years, there has been a surge in hosting providers to come up with a new set of server solutions keeping app developers in mind. App development needs support for things like storage, data, analytics, push notifications and more. Here is a list of few server providers you can choose for your mobile app based on specific needs.
- AWS SDK - Amazon is offering SDKs for both Android and iOS. The SDKs comes packed with libraries, code samples, and documentation to aids developers make use of various AWS services such as EC2, S3, and Amazon SimpleDB within their apps.
- Windows Azure - This cloud server from Microsoft’s has become mobile-dev friendly. There are official SDKs and APIs available for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone.
- Google - Google provides an option to link Android apps to the Google App Engine. This can be done with the help of Google Plug-in for Eclipse.
Unless your app requires heavy data processing or need to handle several thousand monthly users, you are good with server setup. But if your app requirement needs more, go with proper orchestration tool such as Kubernetes, Marathon, Docker Swarm etc. The setup may require special expertise and learning them is a steep curve. Therefore you can hire mobile app design and development services company to keep your sanity. Servers are important consideration even in devops services. Therefore before you hire dedicated devops Engineer, make sure they possess a basic understanding of servers.
With right orchestration setup, you will spend less time maintaining server farms throughout the globe. It will also require less effort from your end to manage servers comparable to managing a single server. You should also bear in mind that not all hosting and cloud provider offer the same performance and feature. Sometimes you may experience even 4 times difference in internal network latency.