The Architecture of an MBaaS-Mobile Backend as a Service

This article explains mBaaS – Mobile Backend as a Service, how it works, and it’s architecture. It will take you over the core features of a mBaaS, the advantages of using the platform, and the essential technical concepts required to understand a mobile backend structure.

What is MBaaS-Mobile Backend as a Service?

A mobile backend as a service works like a bridge connecting the frontend to the backend via APIs. It comprises a scalable database accessible over REST or GraphQL APIs, ready to use building blocks to authenticate users, notifications, and storage.

Using these services, you also get many benefits as a developer and the great features that come alongside. The following are some of the best features of MBaaS.

  • Scalable Database
  • APIs – Application Programming Interfaces
  • Storage
  • Notifications
  • Authentication

The core benefits of using a mBaaS rely on a lower development cost, faster software releases, and outsourcing the hassles of managing and scaling a backend.

Some essential concepts related to MBaaS

MBaaS is a very conceptual thing as the work and processes happening here are dealt with in different layers. So, before we discuss those deeper level layers, it is good to know about some basic concepts for the components of the architecture of mBaaS.

The following are the details about some different parts of MBaaS architecture.

Database

A database is a place that makes the data easy to manage and store. So, it is a structured collection of data that makes it easy to access, manage, and update the data. A great analogy will be a library where there are different sections, and each section has its shelves, and then the data is present in the form of books on those shelves.

Virtualized Server

It is a server that is not physically present, but it acts as a server. It’s like having a computer inside another computer. A virtual machine runs its own OS, and it’s completely segregated from other virtual machines.

One bare metal server can run one or multiple VMs. The best part of using virtualization is the guarantee that there is no connection between the original computer and the virtual machine, which creates a very secure structure for the application.

Container

The core difference between a container and a VM relies on the fact that a container does not run an operating system, but it shares the OS with other containers. As there is no operating system on the containers themselves, this makes them very fast in processing.

Containers are like a virtually created operating system that is used for short and straightforward processes. These are perfect for running the applications’ processes and microservices.

API Request

The API request is a process that is initiated when a user enters the URL and makes a call for the server.

Load Balancer

It is the part of the MBaaS that must efficiently distribute the load among the different backend servers. The presence of load balancers ensures that none of the servers gets overloaded, and the application remains to process well. It also adds a new server to the active servers group if one gets down and manages the traffic accordingly.

The Architecture of Mobile Backend as a Service

If we take a more in-depth look at the architecture of a Mobile Backend as a Service, it is divided into three parts called the layers of MBaaS. Here we will discuss each of them in detail.

The First Layer: Database Servers

The first layer of the MBaaS is the database layer, and it has multiple database servers in it. These database servers serve the purpose of data replication, and they also follow a backup routine for retrieving data.

Most mBaaS will deliver a fully redundant infrastructure with at least two databases syncing data in real-time. Some mBaaS like Firebase will provide a NoSQL database structure, while others like Back4app give a more flexible solution with both NoSQL and SQL deployment.

The Second Layer: Applications Servers

The second layer comprises multiple VMs to process requests. The number of VMs varies during the day, and auto-scaling rules are necessary to allocate the right amount of VMs to the group.

Each virtualized server will host multiple containers, and each container will host a single application.

The Third Layer: Connection

The third and the last layer present in an MBaaS system is the connection layer that connects the application servers to the Internet. This layer connects the application to the Internet and ensures proper performance with load balancers and CDNs. This layer is also responsible for the low latency of the application.

Conclusion

Here we discussed all the architecture and working of a mBaaS. The core concepts of a mBaaS include a scalable database, APIs, virtualized servers, containers, load balancers, and a CDN. A mBaaS amalgamate all these elements and provides a ready to use solution to accelerate backend development.

FAQ

What is mBaaS?

A mobile backend as a service works like a bridge connecting the frontend to the backend via APIs. It comprises a scalable database accessible over REST or GraphQL APIs, ready to use building blocks to authenticate users, notifications, and storage.

What are mBaaS core features?

– Scalable Database
– APIs – Application Programming Interfaces
– Storage
– Notifications
– Authentication

How does the mBaaS structure look like?

– Database cluster
– Application cluster
– Load Balancers + CDN


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