August 26 2019

Investing in MuleSoft is a pivotal step toward solving your organization’s integration challenges. While the product is well designed to make digital integration easier, using it effectively still requires learning the basics of how it works. An important part of that is understanding MuleSoft cores.

When you purchase a MuleSoft license, what you pay is directly related to the number of cores you want. In order to get the best possible return on your investment, you need to know how MuleSoft cores work and how to use them effectively. 

With many years of experience managing MuleSoft for clients, we’ve learned the ins and outs of how to make your MuleSoft cores go further.  

 

6 Tips for Managing MuleSoft Cores

As a new MuleSoft user, it’s common to make mistakes in figuring out how many cores you need and how to use them effectively. Avoiding those mistakes and using your cores efficiently will save you money in the long run. 

 

1. Determine the best setup for your business

You have three main options when setting up MuleSoft for your business:

  • Cloud - You can set up MuleSoft entirely in the cloud. 

  • On premise – You can host MuleSoft on servers on your own premise. 

  • Hybrid – The most common option companies choose is combining the first two, setting up some integrations and applications on premise and others in the cloud.

 

None of these options are inherently better than another, as the option you choose depends on your business's unique set up and needs. Making the right decision on the setup will influence how you allocate your cores– it will play a role in how many you need and how you use them. 

It’s worth noting that the option you choose in this step won’t influence your cost for MuleSoft directly. You always have the option to change this down the line if your needs evolve. Even so, it’s worth figuring out which is the most logical choice for your business, as it will influence both the process of getting set up and how you’re able to use the product as you go. 

 

2. Get your architecture right

A common mistake companies make is using a three-layered architecture when they don’t actually need all three layers. Using a three-layered architecture means using more cores, which costs you more. If you can accomplish the same functionality with fewer layers, you’ll save money by doing so.

On the flip side, some businesses may try to get by with fewer layers when they need more. That may seem like a way to save money, but if it means your applications aren’t working the way you need them to, it’s not worth it. To use your cores efficiently while still getting the right functionality from the product, your architecture structure must be designed to match your needs.

It may not be a bad idea to take a step back and think through the entire vision of the application network model to better understand the overall operational aspects. As an organization, you should be able to support numerous APIs as you start investing in the latest technologies. This means decoupling complex functionality into simple APIs for faster and better delivery of the business needs.

 

3. Determine the velocity, volume, and variety of implementations 

Flexibility is often one of the main reasons an organization purchases MuleSoft, so you should absolutely use it to accomplish every API and integration that’s important to your business’ success. Be aware that the number of APIs and integrations you use it for will influence how efficiently you use your cores and thus affect your subscription costs for the MuleSoft platform. 

  • Volume - the amount of the data planned to flow through the API’s or integrations

  • Velocity - Real-time vs Near-time, Batch vs Streaming

  • Variety - Structured vs unstructured vs partial vs mix of all (also depends on the systems that need to be connected to)

 

Create a list of all your desired integrations and predict the number of cores you’ll likely need for each. Some may require more cores than others, and the number you need for each integration could be affected by which of the three methods of using MuleSoft you chose back in our first step. Some of the use cases may not even be a good fit for MuleSoft in your IT ecosystem, which should be carefully vetted with experts. Knowing the breadth of integrations you need the product for and what they all are is important to understand the number of cores you need and how to use them best. 

 

4. Ensure optimum core utilization

Another mistake we see is companies using cores incorrectly due to implementing the wrong coding or processor for the function. Amateur coding in itself causes a lot of issues like memory leaks, which wastes the amount of core power you have available to you. Any opportunities to cut out waste and optimize the core usage will obviously result in you getting more for your money with MuleSoft. 

Following coding standards and well-defined performance, tuning can make a big difference in managing your MuleSoft cores more effectively. 

You can very well try combining few API’s into one app especially for cloudhub, even though this may not be the best possible way but it will save a few cores. This option should be carefully vetted because this might not give you a true microservice strategy.

 

5. Get creative

Your business needs particular applications to ebb and flow. That makes estimating your core usage complicated. For example, an e-commerce business will need more capacity during the busy holiday season when systems they’re integrating see increased usage compared to the slower times during the year. 

How do you pay the right amount- so you don't overpay during slow times but underpay during busy times? You have to think strategically and creatively about how to best allocate your resources. Using the cores you already have more efficiently during high-usage periods so you don’t have to purchase more is possible, but you have to know what you’re doing.

 

6. Value/Outcome - Business outcomes vs Platform benefits

Similar to project/program management, having a periodic check on the value proposition is vital for successful implementation. MuleSoft defines “outcomes” through two distinct but complementary areas:

 

Business outcomes 

The outcome that your organization can achieve with APIs/Integrations built on MuleSoft’s built on Anypoint Platform is an essential ingredient in the customer realizing the outcome.

 

Platform benefits

Benefits your organization will realize by using Anypoint Platform and adopting API-led connectivity model along with newer delivery methodology.

This helps in defining the value proposition for the amount of money spent on MuleSoft licenses/cores. 

 

MuleSoft Experience Makes All The Difference 

All of these tips can help you use your MuleSoft cores more efficiently and save money in the process, but they’re hard to pull off when you’re still learning the product itself. Effective core management is a skill that requires experience. Just because your business lacks that experience in-house, doesn’t mean you’re doomed to inefficiency and high costs.

Partnering with skilled, experienced MuleSoft consultants is an easy solution to gaining the knowledge you need. We can guide you to making the best decisions when choosing how many cores you need, getting set up with MuleSoft, and using the cores you have as efficiently as possible.  

About the Author

Karthik

Karthik Dega is Consultant of AVIO and focuses his time on client relationships, solution architecture and advisory roles for AVIO. Prior to joining AVIO, Karthik worked in technologies like GXS, WebMethods, Oracle SOA Suite and currently working on MuleSoft Anypoint Platform. Specializes in thought leadership, digital transformation and business process. Believes in  test driven development and fail fast methodology. Drawn towards challenges and learned to admit failures.

Join the Conversation

Enter your first name. It will only be used to display with your comment.
Enter your email. This will be used to validate you as a real user but will NOT be displayed with the comment.