Build Large-Scale Apps with Go: Best Practices and Case Studies

Golang Benefits and Best Practices for Highly Scalable App Development

In the case of scalable software development Golang (the Go programming language) is the one on top because it copes well with tasks of this type. Let’s take a look at how to leverage Golang’s strengths for this. We will also share real-world case studies on using Golang for large-scale applications.

Golang for App Development: Highlights

Despite the short time that has passed since its appearance, Golang has already taken a fairly strong position in software development. For many, the advantages that can be obtained if you build a web app with Golang on the backend are obvious. Examples of Golang web apps are widely known. American Express, PayPal, Netflix, Uber, and many other companies have built their products with Go.

In addition to this, we have reason to believe in the relevance of Golang for enterprise-level solutions. The Go language is a reliable basis for long-term projects, where the economy of resources during operation and maintenance, the possibility of rapid scaling, and reliability of functioning come to the fore. Thus, Go’s potential audience includes not only established businesses but also startups expecting rapid growth and needing scaling. That is why we want to draw the attention of product owners to how to use Golang for app development correctly.

Main 4 Tech Advantages of Golang for Scalable App Development

Let’s discuss how to convert technical features into business benefits when building an app with Golang.

1. High concurrency

High concurrency is a built-in strength of Golang, which is permanently inherent to it and does not require any additional solutions, as is often the case in other programming languages. To support multi-threading, the creators of the Go language made a whole system, which consists of:

  • Goroutines that are automatically managed by Go at runtime
  • Channels for messaging between goroutines. In this way, the order of processing requests is coordinated, and blocking is prevented
  • WaitGroup, which is required for synchronization, and helps block the execution of certain functions until the group of goroutines has completed
  • Select statements that allow a goroutine to wait on multiple communication operations and more

If a large number of goroutines overloads the OS thread, which can cause it to block, the Go runtime automatically redirects the other goroutines to another thread.

This means Golang has all the elements necessary for concurrency programming and processing a large number of simultaneous requests without blocking and delays.

High concurrency is a vital property of Golang for enterprise-grade applications with its huge traffic, many users, and intensive operation. It is due to multithreading that reliability is ensured when many complex processes are performed simultaneously and many concurrent requests are processed. In addition, because of this feature, the Golang web app more fully uses the capabilities of hardware, primarily today’s multi-core processors.

The highlight of high concurrency mechanisms is that their operation is ensured at a not-too-high price. In many other programming languages, multi-threading requires quite a lot of memory. But the goroutine is lightweight and takes only a few kilobytes. The Golang runtime runs thousands or even millions of goroutines at the same time without overloading the infrastructure. Golang is one of the examples of the most cost-effective provision of high concurrency.

The ability to simultaneously perform several intensive computing processes and handle many concurrent requests makes Golang a helpful and reliable solution for cloud computing, highly loaded web services, and distributed software systems. High concurrency is one of the keys to the scalability that Golang for app development provides.

2. Cross-platform compatibility

Golang was conceived as an all-terrain vehicle from the very beginning. It is system-independent and compiles on different operating systems. After writing the code once, you can run it on multiple platforms without additional software or effort. Golang apps operate in a variety of environments. The portability of software written in Go is helpful. The files can be easily integrated into a Docker container without additional dependencies or run directly in the operating system. Universal compatibility removes barriers between the product and users and is another plus of Golang for scalable software development.

3. Efficient memory management

Go`s automated garbage collector manages memory allocation and deallocation. Therefore, it is easier for Golang developers to write code that doesn’t leak memory or cause memory-related bugs.

Efficient memory management is contributory for large-scale applications that typically deal with large volumes of data.

In theory, an experienced coder can manually manage memory even more skillfully than the built-in automatic tool. But in practice, it is better not to overload programmers with tasks other than writing code. After all, the working time of developers is a very valuable resource, and it is often unreasonable to spend it on the constant monitoring of created objects that are not used and are subject to deletion.

Garbage collection is optimized on the Go runtime side. Even with a significant number of dynamic objects, garbage collection causes a negligible delay in the CPU, which does not affect the functioning of the Golang app.

4. High performance

Golang is a compiled language. It follows that code written in Golang compiles directly into machine code, which will run faster than code in interpreted languages. Fast execution time Golang is sufficient for operating high-performance applications that process large volumes of data. A well-tuned Go runtime also makes a difference.

The execution speed of Golang apps meets the expectations of users even under high loads. Go quickly performs, for example, complex calculations, which is especially important for products based on AI, in particular, Machine Learning.

Main 5 Features of Go That Make App Development Predictable

Mostly, we are talking about Golang’s convenience for large-scale projects and large teams.

First of all, let’s touch on the history of the appearance of the programming language Go. This language entered software development relatively recently. Sometimes, this can be interpreted as a drawback. For example, from the point of view that there was less time to unite the programming community, create and fill libraries, and implement mega-projects.

But this coin has two sides. The authors of Go, creating it later than most existing programming languages, had the opportunity to take into account their shortcomings and limitations. And it should be noted that the creators of Golang took full advantage of this opportunity.

Golang has become one of the options for responding to the acute needs of today’s app development. On the one hand, it is required to guarantee the high performance of systems, and on the other hand, to make their development faster and more manageable, especially on large-scale projects.

At the same time, of course, the business side of the development process is no less important than the purely technical one. Therefore, achieving goals at all costs was not assumed. The new language was focused on saving resources.

We can say that with Go, software development has become more industrial than artistic. The Go language, being aimed at the implementation of functionality, also facilitates project management.

So, let’s list the main five features of Go that enable clarity and predictability of the app development process.

1. The main features of Golang are native, so to speak, built-in 

There is no need for external tools for, for example, acceleration or multi-threading. This matters because it is not always easy to introduce additional, not initially provided, properties to programming languages. Such an introduction often requires additional technological solutions and bulky structures, which may take the programmers’ work hours. 

The Go language is self-sufficient and well-thought-out. During its existence, only generics were added to it, the lack of which was sometimes criticized among developers.

As a result, the language works well out-of-the-box, and its elements are well-coordinated. In addition, it is highly likely everything necessary for building even a corporate app can be found in the standard library.

2. Language for unified coding

Golang has static typing, simple syntax, and a minimalistic approach, making it easy to learn and use. This is particularly helpful for enterprise-grade applications, as they typically involve many developers working on the same codebase and require a language that is easy to grasp and understand.

Such details do not bother our clients at the development stage, as we take care of all the technical issues of Golang app development, having enough experts on our team. However, for cases where customers plan to maintain Golang web applications with an in-house team, the ability to easily read the code will be necessary. Many coders learn Go as their second programming language, or plan to do so.

Golang’s basic development approach can be described as follows:

  • One method for solving the issue
  • One style for applying this method
  • One source for solutions – internal, as everything needed for coding is built-in or in the standard library

Golang users are not left alone with any questions. There is a practical guide called Effective Go and the popular Go Code Review Comments. The GoLint tool helps devs adhere to the coding conventions by finding coding style mistakes. Thus, Golang is focused on team software development. Team members write code in one standardized manner.

3. A powerful toolkit for facilitating development

We have already mentioned the optimized runtime. Examples of helpful packages for coders are also:

  • Gofmt – for standardizing the program code through the formatting of strings, values, and inputs.
  • Godoc, which operates as a web server, and compiles the software documentation, taking into account developer comments and the like.

Automatic management of own and third-party code packages is also provided.

4. Lightness of automation and deployment 

Golang software development can also be easily automated. Golang is convenient for writing code generators, statistical analyzers, and more. It is also not difficult to set up build automation and deployment of the Golang app well.

Executables can be quickly generated with all the dependencies that are sufficient to deploy on any platform. Go-run compiles and runs the code at the same time. Using Go-build helps to create an executable library of packages and dependencies and optimize the code for better performance. Integration with GitHub using Go-get is also provided.

5. Advanced approaches to bug fixing and security

Golang has convenient internal testing facilities. There are tools to make it easier for developers to write unit tests. A high degree of code coverage by unit tests, sometimes even 90%, is quite achievable for Golang app development.

GoTest helps run unit tests and collect benchmarks. Govet is specially designed to search for possible bugs or suspicious constructs in the source code. In addition, due to strong static typing, errors can be caught in time at the compilation stage.

In addition, due to strong static typing, errors can be caught in time at the compilation stage. At the compilation stage, the language functionality for type safety works. All variables are type-checked during compilation. This reduces the risk of security vulnerabilities like buffer overflows.

Golang also supports encryption and secure hash algorithms to protect confidential data, as well as the TLS protocol for secure client-server communication.

Indispensable Golang-Assistants for Software Scaling 

Product owners wholeheartedly strive for the absence of any obstacles for users. Business apps should be available on all types of devices with any operating system. Containerization facilitates such ubiquity. At least two pillars on which containerization stands are Go-products. 

Yes, when you say container, Docker instantly comes to mind. Docker is good at containerizing apps that it can then run, completely isolated from other system elements, on any machine.

How to properly apply containerization when you need, on the one hand, to scale the app and, on the other hand, not to weaken its reliability? If you anticipate a growing app load, you build more containers and may start using Docker on multiple physical servers or virtual machines.

This is where another Go product, Kubernetes, takes the baton from Docker. The point is that a group of physical servers or virtual machines, commonly called hosts or nodes, must be managed. Kubernetes is a container orchestration system for automating and managing the processes of app deployment and scaling.

Thus, Kubernetes allows you to scale the app without losing reliability and security. Automated load balancing is carried out, and the app, relying on multiple hosts, continues to function even if one or a couple of hosts go offline.

Thus, we see two tiers of containerization platforms in the Go ecosystem: 

  1. Docker for creating and maintaining containers at the entry-level 
  2. Kubernetes for orchestration and management of containers, which are essential features for app scaling

By engaging a team of developers who know how to combine Kubernetes with state-of-the-art CI/CD (Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment) tools, you have a chance to significantly reduce the time and money spent on scaling your app.

It is also relevant that Kubernetes leaves app owners a lot of space for various solutions regarding architecture and infrastructure. This container orchestration platform is suitable for working, for example, with microservices, in cloud environments, and the like.

You can learn more about the features of Kubernetes and the possibilities of its use in the article below.

Thus, we can conclude that Golang for scalable software development provides everything necessary.

Even in large teams, it is possible to develop according to predefined rules, obtaining a clear, unified code without technical debt. In Golang, a minimum of issues are left for programmers and teams to consider and discuss since many things are pre-regulated.

How does this Go feature impact software development projects? First, really fast development is possible in Golang because, in most situations, this language has one proper option. Secondly, on large projects, where many programmers are involved at the same time, there is no need to additionally define the code style rules. Third, your technical support team will also appreciate clear code, which will save them time when debugging and upgrading the system.

Among other software development technologies, Go is an all-rounder, speaking in sports language. It may be inferior to some other language in terms of a separate property, but it looks decent as the sum of its qualities. For example, if a language is comparable to Go in terms of speed, it may have a lower level of security or higher complexity. In other languages, the simplicity of development can be leveled off by the time lost in manual memory management.

Golang is characterized by balance, and the absence of clearly weak points. In turn, the advantages of the language are manifested in the various types of Golang software apps we can consider.

Golang for Large-scale Applications: Best Practices and Case Studies 

In the practice of software development, a list of types of IT products for which the Go language is widely used has already been formed. The most common areas of use for Golang are server web apps and various web services. Go is deservedly considered an excellent option for the technological basis of the back-end for business web products. Concurrency, which means reliability of operation, high execution speed, and minimum resource requirements, which we wrote about above, are good reasons for this.

Popular types of Golang apps include the following:

  • High-traffic websites and web apps

High performance, automatic memory management, and high concurrency – these are the main components of the success of Golang for web development, for example, e-commerce platforms, etc.

  • Real-time web resources 

Go ensures the running of such products with extremely low latency, which is not a problem for users of a highly visited chat or similar platforms for instant data and message exchange

  • Apps with large data streams 

Concurrency also works well here. Therefore, file sharing or video/audio streaming services are not rare cases of using Golang for web development.

  • Cloud computing systems 

Golang is found in the tech stack of cloud storage and providers of other cloud services. This is such a relevant topic for the enterprise-level sector that we will continue discussing it  below.

  • Specialized high-load software

In this example, we mean systems that require reliability under heavy loads and non-delayed processing of many simultaneous requests. We mean, for example, an API that handles hundreds of millions of requests per day or tools for parsing large amounts of data in various formats, notification services, etc. We will also return to the topic of software tools below.

  • AI-based apps 

We’re talking about a wide range of AI-powered products, including using Golang for ML systems. Notably, Go can be used both to create AI modules and as a core element of the tech stack of the project infrastructure.

  • Software for robotics,  automation, and IoT 

Go is good at writing software for managing networks of robots, drones, and IoT devices. There is, in particular, the Gobot framework specially intended for this, which includes a RESTful API and has an extensible system of connecting to hardware of various types. 

Cases of migration of running web projects to Go are not uncommon. The motives for such a transformation are, first of all, acceleration of software execution and reduction of resource consumption.

Along with those listed, there are not so widely discussed, but very profitable ways of using Golang for app development. We want you to know about them when contacting us with new projects. Since large businesses use a wide range of IT products, and the advantages of Go are clearly visible in large-scale projects, we highlight gains from Golang for established companies.

Building Mobile Apps With Golang 

We can state that Golang for mobile apps has everything necessary. There is, for example, Gomobile, a tool for creating and running mobile applications. When building the Golang mobile app, different approaches can be used:

  • Creating native mobile apps for Android and iOS
  • Development of SDK (software development kit) for the interaction of the Go package with Java (on Android) and Objective-C (on iOS) by generating and calling bindings

In addition, with Gomobile, developers may not only build mobile Golang apps but also collect Android and iOS libraries, which will be helpful when implementing domain logic.

Golang for Desktop App Development

Golang is suitable for writing desktop apps. There is a set of toolkits for this, for example, Fyne, GTK (GIMP Toolkit), etc. Such products that meet the basic requirements can be built using the Flag package from the Go standard library. More powerful CLI applications can be created with a resource like Cobra. By the way, console applications (command-line programs),  can perhaps be called a niche that Golang has covered.

Golang for Scalable App Development With Microservice Architecture

Microservice architecture satisfies such critical needs of software development as flexibility in scaling and increasing system resilience to possible failures. At the same time, the ability to quickly add another microservice and scale in pieces is valuable. By breaking down an application into smaller services, it becomes easier to manage and scale.

When creating microservices apps, project teams can use multiple programming languages. It often makes sense to choose Go as one of them. Golang’s concurrency features make it easy to create small, independent microservices that can communicate with each other.

It is appropriate to write in Go, for example, the code for such app modules that have at least one or more of the following characteristics:

  • Operate under high load, in particular, handling many concurrent requests
  • Support intensive calculations using a processor
  • Must perform quickly
  • Need to minimize consumed resources, in particular, memory
  • Should be very quickly developed and launched. A minimum of dependencies and one single binary file in a Docker container for launch is a very convenient option.

Cross-platform, easy deployment, and compactness of software modules in Go are essential in such solutions.

Working with a microservice architecture, developers rely on  native features of Golang, such as execution speed, multi-threading, and automated garbage collection. Static typing, clear syntax, and an extensive standard library, in turn, contribute to rapid development. If you need to quickly develop and deploy a stand-alone module for a microservice application, then this task is for Golang developers. Such a software module will execute quickly and cope with heavy loads, and its development will not affect other parts of the software. With Go, programmers can also build a RESTful API, the central element of the architecture that connects all microservices. Go’s built-in HTTP package makes creating and deploying web services a breeze. The gRPC framework for remote procedure calls is also implemented, and even partially written, in Golang.

Introducing a Golang service to a microservice solution implemented in slower languages often improves overall software performance. In addition, parts of the software written in Go can interact with any number of services without blocking web requests. There are many successful cases of combining Golang with other languages (PHP, Java, Python, etc.) in the tech stack of various projects.

Golang for Internal Startups for Enterprise Innovation

A startup is always a startup. Even within an established business, a startup means the uncertainty of the result, the riskiness of the project, the limitation of resources, and the need for comprehensive and ubiquitous testing of the new product. Perhaps, it is precisely in such circumstances, that the small mobile gopher (mascot of the Go language) should go first, before large clumsy animals.

Golang app can be:

  • quickly developed and deployed
  • launched simultaneously on different platforms
  • perform quickly, allowing users to evaluate  functionality
  • get by with a minimum of resources due to its economy in the use of memory and CPU – to ensure the integration of necessary third-party solutions with packages of the standard library

When you need high performance and processing of many concurrent threads with a short time to market, then building a web app with Golang is a good idea. If the Golang startup is successful, it will be possible to scale it quickly, as high concurrency will help to cope with the growth of traffic and the number of users. Interoperability with cloud solutions is often the next step towards scaling.

Golang for Enterprise-Level Cloud Solutions

Go helps in building and scaling cloud computing enterprise-level networks. Cloud computing is inherently based on the shared use of resources. Concurrency support is a prerequisite for running apps and processing large volumes of data in the cloud. The ability to handle many requests at the same time without getting choked is in high demand. Go is great for coordinating access to shared resources because it has mechanisms specifically designed for this purpose. Lightweight Goroutines, WaitGroups, and Channels are parts of such mechanisms that are relevant for powerful computing and big data exchange in cloud services.

Resource efficiency is another indicator that you are on the right track when using Golang for cloud app development. It is not by chance that the lion’s share of Cloud Native Computing Foundation projects are conducted with Go. Fast build time Golang apps allow for iterative development. Together with memory management in Golang, this reduces the load on servers and CPUs, as well as the need for memory. In addition, the overhead of creating a goroutine is very low. So, Goroutines are much cheaper than traditional threads. Thus, the operation of the server part of the software systems created with Golang will cost less, especially when choosing the pay-as-you-go model.

Let’s explore the benefits of using Golang for enterprise-level applications running on cloud platforms and services in MobiDev case studies.

Case Study #1: Using Golang in Cross-Cloud Solutions

The key tech challenges:

Client needs: 

  • the ability to use several cloud platforms or services for the app 
  • deployment and scaling of cross-cloud instances 
  • setting up cross-cloud analytics to improve performance, power regulation, save resources and maintain compliance when using cross-cloud instances 

The project team suggested using the Go language to create a solution for implementing and scaling cross-cloud instances and resource analysis.

Solution:

MobiDev engineers deployed cross-cloud instances, configured cross-cloud resources, and scaled cross-cloud instances using Kubernetes.

Case Study #2: Using Golang for seamless app interoperability with cloud computing services

The key tech challenges:

The client was required to run an app written in TypeScript on AWS Lambda. The client’s basic need was to automatically manage computing resources for code execution. In addition, the client prioritized flexibility in regulating the volume of resources by automatically providing backup services and turning off unused services, and the ability to save resources. Such issues require seamless app compatibility with the serverless computing platform. 

Solution:

The key idea was to use the native AWS Lambda support of the Go language. 

After consultation with the project team, the client decided to rewrite the app code from TypeScript to Go, which was done by the MobiDev developers. The result of the project implementation on Golang is that the client’s app successfully runs on AWS Lambda. In this way, the client more fully uses the advantages of serverless computing cloud service. Resource consumption is regulated automatically, which leads to savings.

Integrations and Technology Combinations in Golang App Development

Today, product owners and developers have a lot of technologies at their disposal, including programming languages. All of them have their pros and cons. But even when not used as the main programming language of the project, Golang is rarely left out of the game.

Established businesses use many internal IT systems and third-party services at the same time every day. The Go language is great for creating tools for interoperability with other software, and it also lends itself well to making fuller use of the potential of architectural models and technologies. In this regard, it is appropriate to mention the growing popularity of Go in the field of DevOps.

Using Golang for integrations with other software written in Go is especially promising. It should be noted that an impressive number of well-known tools for software development and data work have been created on Golang.

We have already mentioned Docker and Kubernetes. Also written in the Go language:

  • Consul, service networking platform
  • Terraform, an infrastructure-as-code software tool
  • Caddy, an extensible, cross-platform, open-source web server
  • Telegraf, an agent for working with metrics (writing, collecting, processing, etc.)
  • Prometheus, a monitoring and alerting system for cloud environments, which also collects and records metrics.
  • Kapacitor, which is a data processing engine that can be integrated with apps or databases, etc.

Recently, we are facing a growing demand for software solutions for more effective use of popular tools and platforms. Let’s look at how exactly it works, with examples of our implemented projects.

Case Study #3: Additional plugins for Telegraf

The key tech challenges:

Telegraf (written in Go) gathers and sends all metrics and events from databases, systems, and IoT sensors. The client wanted to customize the use of Telegraf to work better with data.

Solution:

Considering that Telegraf is written in Go, the developers wrote additional plugins in the same language, which significantly increased the effect of using this data agent.

Case Study #4: Administration and communication panel with Telegraf and Kapacitor 

The key tech challenges:

The client for a data-driven project required maximum coordination of the use of Telegraf and Kapacitor (both written in Go) to achieve synchronicity, mutual complementarity, and lack of duplication of data flows.

Solution:

The developers designed and built the admin panel to communicate with Telegraf and Kapacitor, taking care of the necessary third-party integrations.

Ready to Go? 

We shared how our clients` projects have benefited from MobiDev`s expertise in Golang. Using Go in the tech stack of your project keeps you free to choose different directions for development. Microservices architecture, AI features, cross-platform, scaling, cloud, and cross-cloud solutions – all this can be implemented in any Go project.

The next move is yours. Reach out to us, and we will help you to see the benefits that Golang can bring to your IT product.

Contact us and get your project going with Go!

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