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Decisions about gRPC and Protobuf
Mickael Alliel
DevOps Engineer at Rookout · | 6 upvotes · 17.1K views

At the start of Rookout, we used to have a giant Python monolith and it started being hard to maintain - we realized that using Kubernetes, it would be easy enough to have multiple micro-services each responsible for their own tasks.

After almost a year of micro-services, we are slowly slimming it down to a Golang backend with a NodeJS GraphQL facade for easier frontend development.

NodeJS has the most popular and better options for GraphQL, and it is for a reason.

Between having protobuf schemas between our services, a GraphQL schema to manage our queries, and a very durable backend in Golang, we are able to do anything we want and handle large scale very easily.

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Pros of gRPC
Pros of Protobuf
  • 20
    Higth performance
  • 11
    Easy setup
  • 10
    The future of API
  • 4
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    What is gRPC?

    gRPC is a modern open source high performance RPC framework that can run in any environment. It can efficiently connect services in and across data centers with pluggable support for load balancing, tracing, health checking...

    What is Protobuf?

    Protocol buffers are Google's language-neutral, platform-neutral, extensible mechanism for serializing structured data – think XML, but smaller, faster, and simpler.

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    Blog Posts

    Jun 6 2019 at 5:11PM


    What are some alternatives to gRPC and Protobuf?
    GraphQL is a data query language and runtime designed and used at Facebook to request and deliver data to mobile and web apps since 2012.
    RabbitMQ gives your applications a common platform to send and receive messages, and your messages a safe place to live until received.
    Kafka is a distributed, partitioned, replicated commit log service. It provides the functionality of a messaging system, but with a unique design.
    An architectural style for developing web services. A distributed system framework that uses Web protocols and technologies.
    It was designed as an extremely lightweight publish/subscribe messaging transport. It is useful for connections with remote locations where a small code footprint is required and/or network bandwidth is at a premium.
    See all alternatives