Quarkus is a modern, lightweight framework that is specifically designed for building cloud-native applications. Red Hat, a company behind the successful JBoss Application server and Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server, took the next step towards creating a cloud-native Swiss Army Knife framework. It offers a plethora of features that can help enterprises of all sizes and across all industries to achieve their strategic objectives more effectively. In this short discourse, we'll delve deeper into some of the key features of Quarkus and how they can propel your enterprise to greater heights.
Red Hat designed Quarkus for microservices architecture in mind. It is a cloud-native framework, which means that great care has been put for it to be as compatible as possible with containers that are deployed into the cloud. Red Hat has been working closely with Google and Microsoft to ensure that Quarkus runs seamlessly on their cloud platforms. Quarkus is fully compatible with Google Cloud's Kubernetes Engine, Cloud Run, App Engine, as well as Microsoft Azure's Kubernetes Service, Functions, App Service, OpenShift and others.
Furthermore, the Red Hat CodeReady Containers tool provides a development environment for Quarkus on Kubernetes, while the Red Hat OpenShift application platform provides a scalable, secure environment for running Quarkus applications in a production environment.
Using Quarkus you can build your applications as a series of smaller, independent services, each of which can be scaled and deployed separately. Furthermore, the framework supports GraalVM unique capabilities to create a single, executable binary, that is optimized for the desired operating system. Such binary results in a smaller size, and therefore smaller memory consumption.
As we mentioned many times before, clouds give you numerous benefits including increased scalability, flexibility, and resilience. By breaking your application down into smaller components, you can more easily manage and scale each individual service, running independetly, or semi-independently of each other. This will help you to deliver a better experience to your customers, by quickly scaling in case of traffic spikes.
Quarkus has a significant advantage in its fast startup time, which sets it apart from other frameworks.
One of the ways to achieve this is with a technique called tree shaking, which analyzes the application's code usage and removes any unused fragments or dependencies.
This happens in a compilation phase, before we even run our production code, resulting in a smaller application package. Smaller applications mean less memory consumption, among other benefits.
Another advantage results from tight cooperation with Oracle, the creator of the next generation compiler: GraalVM. Quarkus natively uses the GraalVM optimizations, including the Ahead-of-Time (AOT) compilation. AOT compilation is a process in which the application code is compiled into machine code before it is executed by Java. Usually, the Java runtime analyzes and then optimizes application code when it is run. It’s the same as having a running train and laying tracks before the train while it’s running. With GraalVM optimizations, we lay the tracks before we start our train, so we have a faster application from the beginning.
Quarkus is compatible with GraalVM, meaning it’s fully supported by Red Hat, so it's guaranteed to smoothly compile the code, even for the target operating system. This results in even faster and more efficient execution by the operating system, but such prepared package won’t run on other operating systems, somewhat breaking the Java slogan “Build once, run everywhere”. There is at least one reason to do it: preparing such a native package even more helps to reduce the size of the application. Smaller, lightweight application in a straight-line lead to better performance, lower memory usage, bandwidth usage when sending over network and overall costs.
In addition to its fast startup time, Quarkus also has a lower memory footprint. Because the application is optimized in the build time, all classes that are not used removed from resulting application. It can be further optimized to run for only one operating system, and it will further remove unwanted system dependencies and enable further optimizations. It means that the application has to load less files into memory, and this means that it uses less memory than other frameworks.
This is particularly important for businesses that are looking to run their applications in a specific system in a containerized environment, where the additional container memory means additional costs.
Quarkus can help you to reduce your infrastructure costs and improve your application's performance. Less memory usage, less bandwidth and CPU usage. It also means that you can run more applications on a single server, which can further reduce your costs and improve your efficiency.
Quarkus also offers a range of features that can help to improve your software engineer's productivity. For example, Red Hat created tools for live coding feature, also known as “hot reload”. It allows developers to make changes to the code in real-time, without the need to restart, and the need to wait for a full application startup.
This will unleash your team to full potential, with swift cycles of coding and tests. The development process is faster and waiting for an application to start won’t distract your engineers, resulting in faster feature delivery. It also means that developers can more easily experiment with new features and functionality, unlocking their full potential. This will help to keep your application ahead of the curve.
Red Hat, as a global market leader, ensured that Quarkus also boasts a robust catalogue of integrations. The framework has a modular architecture that allows developers to easily add or remove module functionality as needed. While the core remains small, it allows for seamless integration with many tools and technologies. Quarkus provides support for nearly every integration pattern such as messaging, event-driven architectures, and RESTful services. There is a portal aggregating all, official framework extensions, making it trivial for developers to choose and apply them for your project.
This means that you can easily connect your application to any external system such as databases, messaging systems and other microservices. It enables you to painlessly leverage existing infrastructure and integrate new capabilities quickly and easily. This will save you time and resources, while also increasing the overall functionality of your application. For example, to enable telemetry in a kubernetes environment, adding only one line is enough:
To safeguard your apps and data, Quarkus offers strong security features. It supports several security protocols, including OAuth2, OpenID Connect, and JSON Web Tokens (JWT), as well as role-based access control (RBAC) and encryption. Those functionalities might be enabled by simply adding a dependency that implements them.
Because Quarkus's philosophy is "secure by default," you don't have to worry about enabling the latest security features because they will be activated as soon as they become available, ensuring that your application is secure against security threats and data breaches. It assists you in protecting the integrity of your business processes and retaining consumer trust.
Quarkus is designed to be highly performant, with features such as low-latency responses, ready for reactive programming with native support of mutiny library, and asynchronous I/O. This means that your application can handle many requests and scale up quickly to meet the demand, even under heavy load.
By default, a single thread is used by Java applications to process requests, and therefore only one of the machine CPUs. On multi-core processor, that’s a huge waste.
To fix this, Quarkus uses mutiny and Vert.x libraries, allowing it to overcome the plain Java limitations, and take advantage of all available system cores. If you’re interested in learning more about Vert.x, make sure to read our article about it here.
Should you need even more performance, you may also use Kotlin coroutines with the framework, preventing the I/O system waits and blocking operation even on a single CPU. This will make your apps even faster.
In conclusion, Quarkus is a powerful framework that offers a range of features that can benefit your business. From fast startup times and low memory footprint to microservices architecture and developer productivity tools, Quarkus can help you to build cloud-native applications that are scalable, flexible, and highly performant.
By leveraging the power of Quarkus, you can streamline your business operations, improve customer satisfaction, and gain a competitive edge in your industry. So, if you're looking for a modern, lightweight framework that can help you achieve your strategic objectives, then Quarkus may be the right choice for your enterprise. And we have just the right development teams that are already experienced with it.