There is a renewed interest in the concept of microservices due to many documented successes – it is becoming the default style for building enterprise applications. Many have found microservices analogous with service-oriented architecture (SOA)—and although there are subtle differences—they are both architectural patterns and styles where computer software application integration is enabled by service interfaces.
The microservice architectural style is a method to developing a single application as a suite of small services, each running in its own process and communicating with language-agnostic APIs. These services are built around business capabilities, and are independently deployable via automation. There is a minimum of centralized management for these services, which may be written in different programming languages and use different data storage technologies.
What are the benefits or advantages of microservices?
Microservices are well-suited to a dynamic, cloud environment where there is a need to scale up and down in response to application load. In contrast—in a monolithic architecture—there is a tendency to scale the monolith horizontally by adding new nodes. In a microservice architecture, there is more flexibility and scalability of individual services up and down as necessary.
In a microservice architecture, rolling out new functionality and implementing system iterations should be faster and more agile. Rather than changes being batched together in a release, with a microservices architecture, changes to the platform are decoupled. Just one system component can be modified, tested and pushed into production outside of any centrally mandated release cycle. The low dependencies between the different services makes implementing continuous delivery a lot easier, too. Finally, microservices eliminates long-term commitment to a single technology stack. Since individual services are decoupled, trying out a new technology stack on an individual service is now possible.
Microservices enable the creation of very resilient systems. When one microservice fails, your system is still running. It may lose a part of the functionality, but the rest is still working and serving your clients. This reduces the risk of deployment with overall smaller impacts if something breaks. This is especially useful when applying continuous delivery of product, software or code releases, which can often be seen as a risk. The lack of dependencies in microservices architecture greatly lowers that risk.
There are more benefits and also some challenges to leveraging a microservices strategy. Hopefully, these highlights provide a window into all that is possible. We’d love to share more with you.
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