Understanding System designs concepts by running a Pizza Shop

Understanding System design concepts by running a Pizza Shop

In this digital age where businesses are moving online, it’s crucial to discover cost-effective ways to grow your business and boost revenue. Understanding system design concepts and how you can scale your business using system design is very important. System design helps you to strategize, and structure different processes, technologies, and workflow to optimize efficiency, productivity, and performance. By implementing a well-designed system tailored to the specific needs and objectives of the organization, companies can overcome operational blockers or inefficiencies, ultimately leading to growth and achieving competitive advantage.

In this article, we will understand the challenges you can face when you run a pizza shop, and will convert business problems and requirements into technical solutions, and will learn the importance of different components of system design.

Initial days of your Online Pizza shop

Let’s say you initially open your online Pizza shop with only one chef and start getting orders. But in a few days comes a point where you begin to get a lot more orders than you can handle. As an owner, you can ask your designated chef to put more effort into serving those orders or you can optimize the process of building your pizza and increase throughput with the same resources.

On the technical part, you can apply the same logic by increasing the performance of your server by increasing the capacity of a single machine/server by adding extra RAM or using better processors. This is known as Vertical Scaling.

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Making your Pizza Shop Resilient

Let’s say, your chef may call for a sick day, at this point, your business is in trouble. As your pizza shop is wholly based on one Chef’s work. In such a scenario, you can always keep a backup chef, so when your main chef is not available, the backup chef can handle orders.

In the same way, you always need multiple servers that can handle orders, so even if one of the servers is down, other servers can handle incoming requests. This is known as Horizontal Scaling.

Expansion of your Pizza Shop

In a few months, your pizza shop expanded and now you have three in-house chefs and each has their own speciality. Let’s say, two of your chefs are good at making pizza and a third chef is good at making garlic bread. In one situation if you get an order of one pizza and a garlic bread, it won’t be easy to decide which chefs can make which food items. So you divided the chefs into different groups according to their specialty.

In the same way, you can also divide different features or services into a set of group servers/ engineers. This is known as Micro Service Architecture.

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Opening a Distribution Center / Another shop

At this point, your Pizza shop is doing well, and each chef has their specialty and responsibility, thus your Pizza shop can sell much more and grow. But what if one day there is a power outage? You may not have a business that day. So it is necessary to have another shop maybe at a different location or distribution center, so if a power outage happens, you can fulfill your shop orders from different shops.

In the same way, You need to have a Distributed System, where another system can fulfill requests or share resources when the current server crashes or is not working due to some inconvenience.

In a large-scale system like Facebook, where you get numerous requests throughout the globe, you need to have a local server worldwide to give quick responses.

Expediting Your Bussiness

Now you have multiple pizza shops at multiple locations, let say you receive an order from a customer and now you have to deliver the ordered food to the customer, so now it becomes your job to find an optimized process through which you can assign shop at the different location should serve the order and make sure customer gets their order at minimum time.

The optimized process through which it directs the incoming request to the multiple servers can provide results in the shortest time, also if one of the servers goes down, it can redirect incoming requests to the remaining online servers, known as the Load Balancer.

Auditing your Business

It is crucial to log all your delivery times, feedback from customers, one of the shop owen breaks, time taken by delivery agents and any faulty event that happened in one of your shops so that you can be more ready in the future.

In the same way, You need to log all the events, analyze at what time faulty events occurred, and so forth. This is known as Metrics.

Also read, Why System Design is Important for a Developer!

Final Words

In this article, we understood the basic system design concepts and their importance by running a pizza shop, and importance of each process, and how implementing it can solve and help in growing the business. This article teaches you to convert business problems and requirements into technical solutions. Here are a few tips/terms used by engineers when designing systems.

  1. Vertical scaling
  2. Preprocessing using cron jobs
  3. Backup servers
  4. Horizontal scaling
  5. Microservices
  6. Distributed Systems
  7. Load Balancing
  8. Decoupling
  9. Logging and metrics calculation
  10. Extensibility


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