The way to construct globally distributed purposes with Azure Cosmos DB and Pulumi

This publish was co-authored by Mikhail Shilkov, Software program Engineer, Pulumi.

Pulumi is reinventing how folks construct trendy cloud purposes, with a singular platform that mixes deep programs and infrastructure innovation with elegant programming fashions and developer instruments.

We dwell in wonderful instances when folks and companies on completely different continents can work together on the pace of sunshine. Quite a few industries and purposes goal customers across the globe: e-commerce web sites, multiplayer on-line video games, related IoT units, collaborative work and leisure experiences, and lots of extra. All of those purposes demand computing and knowledge infrastructure in proximity to the end-customers to reduce latency and maintain the person expertise partaking. The fashionable cloud makes these situations potential. 

Azure infrastructure

Azure Cosmos DB supplies a turn-key knowledge distribution to any variety of areas, that means that places might be added or eliminated alongside the best way whereas working manufacturing workloads. Azure takes care of information replication, resiliency, and effectivity whereas offering APIs for learn and write operations with a latency of lower than 10 milliseconds.

In distinction, compute companies—digital machines, container cases, Azure App Providers, Azure Features, and managed Azure Kubernetes Service—are situated in a single Azure area. To make good use of the geographic redundancy of the database, customers ought to deploy their utility to every of the goal areas.


An image showing globally distributed applications.

Globally distributed utility

Software areas should keep in sync with Azure Cosmos DB areas to get pleasure from low-latency advantages. Operational groups should handle the pool of purposes and companies to supply the right locality along with auto-scaling configuration, environment friendly networking, safety, and maintainability.

To assist handle the complexity, the method of infrastructure as code involves the rescue.

Infrastructure as code

Whereas the Azure portal is a wonderful pane-of-glass for all Azure companies, it shouldn’t be used on to provision manufacturing purposes. As an alternative, we must always attempt to explain the infrastructure by way of a program which might be executed to create all of the required cloud assets.

Historically, this might be achieved with an automation script, e.g., a PowerShell Cmdlet or a bash script calling the Azure CLI. Nonetheless, this method is laborious and error inclined. Bringing an atmosphere from its present state to the specified is usually non-trivial. A failure in the course of the script typically requires handbook intervention to restore environments, resulting in downtime.

Desired state configuration is one other fashion of infrastructure definition. A person describes the specified remaining state of infrastructure in a declarative method, and the tooling takes care of bringing an atmosphere from its present state to the parity with the specified state. Such a program is extra pure to evolve and monitor adjustments.

Azure Useful resource Supervisor Templates is the bespoke desired-state-configuration instrument on this planet of Azure. The state is described as a JSON template, itemizing all of the assets and properties. Nonetheless, massive JSON templates might be fairly laborious to jot down manually. They’ve a excessive studying curve and rapidly turn into massive, advanced, verbose, and repetitive. Builders discover themselves lacking easy programming language prospects like iterations or customized capabilities.

Pulumi solves this downside by utilizing general-purpose programming languages to explain the specified state of cloud infrastructure. Utilizing JavaScript, TypeScript, or Python reduces the quantity of code many-fold, whereas bringing constructs like capabilities and elements to the DevOps toolbox.

International purposes with Pulumi

For example the purpose, we developed a TypeScript program to provision a distributed utility in Azure.

The goal state of affairs requires fairly just a few assets to distribute the applying throughout a number of Azure areas, together with:

  • Provision an Azure Cosmos DB account in a number of areas
  • Deploy a duplicate of the applying layer to every of these areas
  • Join every utility to the Azure Cosmos DB native duplicate
  • Add a Visitors Supervisor to route person requests to the closest utility endpoint

A diagram showing the flow of global application with Azure and Pulumi.

International utility with Azure and Pulumi


Nonetheless, as a substitute of coding this manually, we are able to depend on Pulumi’s CosmosApp element as described in How To Construct Globally Distributed Purposes with Azure Cosmos DB and Pulumi. The element creates distributed Azure Cosmos DB assets, in addition to the front-end routing element whereas permitting pluggable compute layer implementation.

You could find the pattern code in Reusable Element to Create Globally-distributed Purposes with Azure Cosmos DB.

Pulumi CLI executes the code, translate it to the tree of assets to create, and deploys all of them to Azure:

A screenshot showing Pulumi's CLI executing the code.

After the command succeeds, the applying is up and working in three areas of my selection.

Subsequent steps

Infrastructure as code is instrumental in enabling trendy DevOps practices within the universe of world and scalable cloud purposes.

Pulumi permits you to use a general-purpose programming language to outline infrastructure. It brings one of the best instruments and practices from the software program growth world to the area of infrastructure administration.

Strive the CosmosApp (accessible on GitHub—TypeScript, C#) with serverless capabilities, containers, or digital machines to get began with Pulumi and Azure.

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