Cell-Based Architecture — Architecture Pattern

Cell-based architecture in computing involves designing systems that consist of interconnected cells, each cell capable of executing tasks independently. Like the cells in a biological organism, these computing cells have their own processing units, memory, and communication capabilities. They operate in parallel, exchanging information and collaborating to solve complex problems efficiently.

Critical Elements of Cell-Based Architecture

  1. Cell: A cell is the fundamental building block of this architecture. Each cell can enclose a logically connected set of services/microservices along with their dependencies like database, message-bus etc and forms a cohesive, individually deployable entity. Each cell operates autonomously, executing tasks assigned to it and interacting with other cells as needed. Each service within a cell can interact with any other service or component within a cell.
  2. Interfaces: Cells communicate with each other through well-defined interfaces. Both Egress and Ingress interface for a cell need to be well defined. This ensures that cells can be developed and maintained independently of each other.
  3. Inter-Cell Components: While cells are isolated components which can encompass multiple connected microservices, we need inter-cell components like Routers/Load Balancers/Message Bus to handle actions that span multiple cells.
Sample Cell-Based Architecture

Advantages of Cell-Based Architecture

  1. Scalability: Cell-based architecture is highly scalable. As the demand for a system increases, new cells can be added to the system without affecting the existing cells. This makes it possible to easily scale a system to meet changing demands.
  2. Performance: Cell-based architecture can improve the performance of an application by distributing the load of processing requests across multiple cells. This can be especially helpful for applications that experience a high volume of traffic.
  3. Resilience: Cell-based architecture is also highly resilient to failures. If a cell fails, the other cells can continue to operate without interruption. This makes it possible to minimize the impact of failures on a system.

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Pratik Pandey - https://pratikpandey.substack.com

Senior Engineer with experience in designing and architecting large scale distributed systems.