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The emergence and the fast growth of Mobile Apps, Web Apps, Single Page Apps and APIs within the past few years is a telltale sign of the growing importance and demand for speed and faster user experiences by users. And this is not simply a psychological need for speed in our ever accelerating and connected world. It is a requirement.

  • Faster apps lead to better user engagement.
  • Faster apps lead to better user retention.
  • Faster apps lead to higher conversions.

Despite the ever-accelerating pace of life, our reaction times remain constant, regardless of the type of application (online or offline), or medium (laptop, desktop, or mobile device).

DelayUser Perception 0–100 ms Instant 100–300 ms Small perceptible delay 300–1000 ms Machine is working 1,000+ ms Likely mental context switch 10,000+ ms Task is abandoned

For an application to feel instant, a perceptible response to user input must be provided within 10s of milliseconds. After a 1/2 second or more, the user’s flow and engagement with the initiated task is broken, and after 3 seconds have passed, unless progress feedback is provided, the task is frequently abandoned.

Simply put, speed is a feature!

There are a number of technical solutions for improving an application’s performance, such as the data transfer capabilities of servers or routers, including compression and streamlining application roundtrip responses. But there is one thing that cannot be addressed with technology, and that’s proximity.

Solving Latency with Geography, Not Technology

Given the above, the most practical solution is to move the data geographically closer to the customer or end points for a business. This is the concept behind Content Delivery Networks (CDN) and caching sites. Most get deployed on the edge to provide faster access to common, or popular data and they bypass the ‘speed of transport network’ issues by getting popular content to the edge, where the customers are.

But CDN's were created to solve the problems of the "old web" - a web that was static and relied heavily on server-side rendering. They don't provide much for SaaS providers. SaaS applications are powered by query driven, dynamic data - and CDNs don't do well with dynamic data.

Macrometa brings the CDN into the cloud-native era by providing a global multi-model database and geo-replicated streams at the CDN edge. It means your apps always run on the edge with nothing to cache, purge or expire. The edge is the dynamic origin for every request and your users are always served the freshest state from the closest edge PoP.

Simply put, we may not be able to make the packets travel faster, but we can reduce the distance your dynamic data has to travel. This empowers you to serve your customers globally at high speed by enabling your Apps & APIs to utilize dynamic data in close proximity to your customers.

Maintaining State at the Edge

Given the benefits associated with making state (i.e., dynamic data) available in close geographical proximity to users, why don’t we see developers doing this? It is because maintaining state (i.e., dynamic data) at the edge across several locations is a very hard problem especially when one needs various consistency guarantees on that data.

It takes years and a team of engineers with deep expertise in distributed systems & databases to build this type of fast data platform. If you have the time, money, energy and skills then you can certainly build a multi-modal fast data platform like Macrometa. The industry can certainly benefit from more data platforms like Macrometa’s fast data platform that are coordination-free and utilize both consensus and convergence mechanisms.

On other hand, if your primary focus is in building Apps and APIs for your business needs. then the Macrometa platform can definitely help you serve your customers globally, at high speeds - thus fairly quickly, by providing a geo-distributed fast data platform with various consistency guarantees and other functionalities.

Building a Global Address Book App

Let’s create the backend for an Address Book app in the next few minutes. An app that is available globally at high speed (i.e., local read-write latencies) to its users by leveraging Macrometa’s fast data platform.

I have highlighted the words next few minutes in the above paragraph because typically doing the same exercise without using Macrometa’s platform will take months to build it (assuming the team has necessary expertise). Don’t take my word though. Verify it for yourself.

Note:

You need an account with Macrometa’s Fast Data platform to build the backend for the app. If needed, you can get a free developer account here

Follow this tutorial!

Wrapping up…

Faster apps lead to better user engagement, better user retention and higher conversions. The most practical solution is to move the data and application geographically closer to the customer or end points for your business.

Macrometa’s fast data platform enables dynamic data to be used like CDN by providing a global multi-model realtime database and geo-replicated streams at the edge. It means the backend for your apps always run on the edge with nothing to cache, purge or expire. The edge is the dynamic origin for every request from your app and your users are always served the freshest state from the closest edge PoP.

I hope the above shows how quick and easy it is to create a geo-distributed backend engine using Macrometa for your app to serve your users faster globally.

There are quite few other capabilities available in Macrometa’s Fast Data platform. Give it a try with a free developer account to explore and decide for yourself.

Posted 
Jul 25, 2019
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