We have been designing systems and applications for several years now and getting better at it. Several innovations and best practices have been evolved over the years.
Microservices is one of those architectural trends that has emerged from the field of domain-driven architecture, platform and infrastructure automation, programming, and persistence.
Many businesses have started adopting the microservices architecture for the purpose of business enhancement through application/software performance.
What are Microservices?
Microservices are an approach/architecture to software writing (coding). With the help of Microservices, systems are broken down into their tiniest elements making them independent of each other.
Instead of a conventional monolith approach to software, where everything is assembled into one piece, microservices are all portioned and work together to complete the exact same tasks.
Each one of these Individual components/elements or processes is a micro-service.
This approach to software development values these granules and the ability to share identical processes across different applications. It is a key component of optimizing the creation of software into a cloud-based model.
Why Microservices Architecture?
Using a microservice approach to application creation will increase durability and speed up the time to market. Here`s what to expect from a microservice.
- Improved resilience: With microservices, the whole application is decentralized and decoupled to services that act as independent entities. Unlike a monolith, architecture where code failure affects more than one service or feature, there is a limited impact of microservice failure. And if many devices are taken down for repair, the users will not notice it.
- Enhanced Scalability: Scalability is a core component of microservices. Since each service is a separate part, you can scale up a single feature or service without having to scale up the entire application. Business critical services may be distributed on several servers for improved availability and efficiency without compromising the performance of the other services.
- Using the right tool for the right task: You do not have to get tangled up with a single vendor when it comes to microservices. You have the freedom to use the right tool to do the right job. Each service can use its own language, system or ancillary services and still being able to communicate easily with other services in your application.
- Faster time to market: Since microservices work with loosely coupled services. There will not be a reason to rewrite the entire codebase to add or modify a feature. By developing applications in smaller increments that are independently testable and developable, there is faster time-to-market your applications and services.
- Easier debugging: Microservices makes it simple to debug and evaluate applications. With smaller models going through a continuous development and testing process, the ability to produce error-free applications is greatly possible.
Challenges to Microservices Architecture
If a business is planning on shifting from a monolith to a microservice, the entire team of data engineers need to change. Organizational culture/changes are identified as complex challenges since each technical team will work on their own deployment order and will be responsible for a unique service with its own customer base.
These may not be great concerns for developers, but they will be crucial to the successful architecture of microservices. Beyond organizational culture, and processes, complexity and efficiency are two of the key challenges of microservices architecture.
Below are the categories of challenges that are faced while implementing microservices.
Building: you need to spend time identifying the dependencies between your serves. Be aware that due to these dependencies, completing one build could trigger a number of other builds. There must also be consideration on the impact that microservices have on your data.
Versioning: when upgrading to new versions, bear in mind that you will be able to break down compatibility. You can also draw on conditional logic to handle this but its going to be unwieldy and ugly. Alternatively, you may provide several live versions for various customers, but this can be more complicated in maintenance and management.
Testing: integration testing, as well as end-to-end testing can become more complicated and more critical than ever before. Know that a failure in one part of the architecture might cause anything to fail a few hops away, depending on how you built the services to help each other.
Logging, Monitoring & debugging: Centralization of logs, views and bugs needs to be done which is challenging.
Deployment: This is also a challenge at least in the initial set-up. In order to make the deployment simpler, you need to invest in quite a lot of automation as and when the complexity of microservices gets overwhelming for human deployment.
From large businesses to start-ups, microservices has been on the runway to enhance application software performances. Some of the major businesses that have incorporated microservices architecture to their applications would include Netflix, Amazon, eBay, and many more.
Switching on to microservices architecture has granted more opportunities to those businesses in terms of lesser TCO & costs, greater customer experiences and enhanced delivery.