What are microservices, and what is microservices architecture?
Microservices, also known as microservices architecture, is a method of app development in which a large application is composed of modular components or services. Each module supports a specific task or business goal and communicates with other sets of services via a simple, well-defined interface, such as an application programming interface (API).
Martin Fowler, a software developer, and the author is credited with popularising the concept of breaking down service-oriented architecture (SOA) services into microservices.
The history and origins of microservices can be traced back to a continuous effort to improve communication between platforms, simplify systems, and make them more user-friendly. It is a software development technique that groups together loosely coupled services to organise an application. However, it can be any type of small service that interacts with other services to run a software application. Microservices architecture makes use of fine-grained services and lightweight protocols.
During a 2005 presentation on cloud computing, Dr. Peter Rodgers coined the term “Micro-Web-Services.” Rodgers went against the grain and advocated for software components that support micro-web services. He established a functional model of microservices in his presentation, which eventually became a reality. “Any service, at any granularity, can be exposed,” he said, explaining how complex service assemblies work behind simple URI interfaces. He went on to say that a well-organized micro-web-services platform “applies the underlying architectural principles of the Web and REST services together with Unix-like scheduling and pipelines to provide radical flexibility and improved simplicity in service-oriented architectures”.
Monolithic vs. Microservices Architecture
All processes in monolithic architectures are tightly coupled and run as a single service. This means that if the demand for one of the application’s processes increases, the entire architecture must be scaled. Adding or improving features to a monolithic application becomes more difficult as the code base grows. This complexity restricts experimentation and makes implementing new ideas difficult. Because there are so many dependent and tightly coupled processes in monolithic architectures, a single process failure has a greater impact. An application built with a microservices architecture is made up of independent components that run each application process as a service. These services communicate using lightweight APIs and a well-defined interface. Services are designed to support business capabilities, and each one serves a single purpose. Because each service is run independently, it can be updated, deployed, and scaled to meet the demand for specific application functions.
We must first decide how we want to structure our microservices before we can create a sample microservices architecture. We could, for example, divide them vertically into levels:
- Central services – Business data persistence and application of business rules and other logic are handled by central services.
- Composite services—Combining a number of central services to accomplish a common goal or aggregating data from multiple central services.
- API services — Allow third parties to develop creative applications that use the underlying functionality in the system landscape by opening up functionality to the outside world.
In this case, we’d use a horizontal structure based on domains to represent business functionalities.
Before scaling microservices, it’s critical to define a target architecture; otherwise, the IT landscape could devolve into chaos and exhibit worse properties than existing monolithic applications.
The benefits of microservices architecture include:
- Microservices have grown in popularity, and many technologies and cloud vendors now support them. Because of their easy availability, many businesses are adopting microservices due to their combination of efficiency and support.
- Microservices are language agnostic, meaning they can work with almost any technology with a few minor tweaks.
- DevOps: Microservice architecture is built to support DevOps philosophies. DevOps, on the other hand, aids in the development of microservices-based applications.
- Resource Availability: The focus of previous service architecture designs was on shared resources. The use of shared resources made the work unnecessarily difficult. Microservices’ architectural design allows each service to be encapsulated. This allows developers to make changes to microservices without affecting other services.
Main reasons for adopting microservices as part of your future stack:
1. Flexibility: Microservices allow different services to use the best technology for their needs. Each team implementing a specific service can choose their preferred programming language and framework because they are working independently. Despite this, the services can communicate easily within the app. Furthermore, its independence allows for the continued operation of single services without causing harm to others.
2. Reusability: After a microservice architecture is designed and implemented, the schematic diagram can be reused and improved for future projects and services. That means that much of the basic architecture can be preserved and reused, even if the programming language, development tools, and so on are different.
3. Lowers Risk: Because each service in the framework is a separate entity, it can operate on its own. As a result, if one component fails, the entire application continues to run without interruption. This method only requires the repair or rebuilding of one piece. The chances of the business apps collapsing are reduced as a result.
They also allow businesses to better manage their resources, which reduces costs. Separate teams can use them to work on various services, allowing them to operate more quickly. As a result, development time is reduced, and costly machinery is avoided as a result of splitting services. The increased efficiency of microservices lowers infrastructure costs while also lowering IT costs.
5. Agility: Each service in a microservice architecture performs only one function. Because of the lightweight codebase, each service can be released, scaled, and tested independently. Because of this benefit, Amazon switched from a monolithic architecture to a microservices architecture.
6. Continuous delivery: Microservices use a continuous delivery paradigm to manage the entire lifecycle of an application. Testing becomes simple and quick when development and testing teams work together on a single service. This strategy allows businesses to build and test code on a continuous basis while also allowing them to use code from existing libraries.
Microservices, like any other software paradigm, is not a magic solution. It should be one of the many tools in the toolbox of the product/solution architect. Other approaches can also realise the underlying principles of “loose coupling and high cohesion.” Remember that when you use microservices, you’re agreeing to create a distributed system, and while many excellent open-source frameworks have made this once-difficult model more accessible and affordable, there are still premiums and overheads to consider.
- Begin by developing a solid business case. Examining whether your application can be expressed as a set of business capabilities with clear boundaries is an important part of this activity.
- Clearly map your application requirements to microservices characteristics. If you only need scale-out, for example, containerization may be a better option than microservices. If the majority of your requirements correspond to microservices characteristics, you’ve found a good match.
- Finer details, such as how “micro” the services must be or whether you prefer a single data store (but databases/tables must not overlap), can be addressed later.
- When containers and container orchestrators are part of the deployment architecture, pay special attention to logging and performance metrics.
- Take a phased approach, reviewing and evaluating each phase as you go.
- There is no one-size-fits-all approach to getting started with microservices. Our customers have used microservices for both greenfield and brownfield projects, according to our experience. Some people have only used microservices chassis without containers, while others have used microservices and containers.