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How Do You Choose Your Microservices Strategy? Too Many or Too Few?

Rajesh Prakasam

April 28, 2022

The technology industry is constantly evolving, and microservices are the perfect example of how we’ve made applications easier to manage. Of course, one of the biggest problems with microservices is that most people don’t know how to apply them using the best practices, or even worse, at all.

In the simplest terms, microservices act as applications within themselves. When you restructure your applications as a collection of microservices, you’ll achieve maintainability, easy and fast deployment, and scalability. These attributes make it much easier to manage and maintain your company applications.

What are Microservices?

Before you truly begin to think about how you’ll apply microservices to your current applications, you should know a bit about them. Best described as an evolved architectural pattern, microservices involve designing and developing an application as a collection of autonomous, loosely coupled services that can communicate with each other.

Also known as microservice architecture, microservices are a piece of modern software development that enables fast and accurate delivery of large, complex applications. Microservices allow your company to broaden and improve its technology stack. They’re becoming a much-desired component of digital modernization.

Building a Successful Microservices Strategy

Building a microservices strategy can be stressful, to say the least. It can be challenging to know how many (or how few) microservices to employ right out of the gate. As usual, evolving digitally takes a lot of careful planning, and microservices are not an exception to that rule.

There are practices you can put into place that will help you build your microservice architecture that will help new microservice adopters transition from monolith architecture. Before you begin your next project, consider these microservice tips, as many of them will work well for those new to these technology concepts.

These tips will work well for those unfamiliar with microservices to help create a more descriptive and easier transition.

Microservices Planning and Organization

Before you move forward with attempting to create a microservices architecture, you’ll want to ensure that it’s the right move for your business. Don’t commit to changes just because larger organizations are doing it. Instead, break up your requirements and notice where microservices will add real value.

Also, you’ll have to ask yourself if you can successfully divide your applications into microservices. After all, you’ll want your applications to maintain their core functionality and features, and microservices should enhance these features.

The Transition

The transition from a monolithic architecture to microservices is incredibly long and involved. While most of these changes will fall on the shoulders of your development team, you’ll have to consider your stakeholders.

Think about the amount of time and expertise needed to implement these infrastructure changes and the amount of work your engineering team will have to take on. To convert to a microservices architecture successfully, everyone has to be on board.

Building Teams

There’s no question that the conversion to microservices requires teamwork. One of the first steps in the process (other than getting your team members excited about the transition) is to begin building independent microservices teams. Assign different groups to handle different microservices independently.

Designing Your Microservice

You want to avoid building microservices that are too large or too small or have too many or too few. Microservice architecture is all about finding the perfect balance, which can be challenging for many companies.

If your microservices are too large, you’ll be unlikely to see any benefits from utilizing the architecture, which is disappointing once you’ve put in months of work. If your microservice architecture is too small, you’ll unintentionally drive up operational costs.

Microservices Perform One Function Well

Microservices are meant to perform one function very well (also known as high cohesion), so they’ve got to be developed not to depend on other services to perform that function. You want to achieve a Domain-Driven Design regarding your microservices, ensuring your service covers a single-bounded context.

Security

In the light of any new technological development, you must consider security. Adopting a Development Security Operations (DevSecOps) model helps ensure that your microservice framework is secure. Microservices exist on a distributed structure, which means they are more likely than other services to attack vectors.

Security for microservices requires an entirely different technique than when we’re dealing with a monolithic architecture. DevSecOps will work wonderfully here.

API Communication

Microservices should communicate through an API gateway that handles account and user authentication, requests, and responses. When you have that API gateway set in place, you can redirect traffic away from the gateway and to the most recent version of your application whenever an update takes place.

Microservice Development

If you’ve made it to the development stages of your microservices strategy, you’ve likely realized the number of microservices you should put into place to benefit your company. Remember, development for microservices is a considerable undertaking, and it’s best when done with balance.

Separate Control Strategies

Keep your control strategies for your microservice development separate. This way, you can implement changes that will not affect other services while keeping control logs tidy.

Backward Compatibility & Development Environment

Backward compatibility will assist your company in building production-ready applications quickly. It enhances the service components of the application without breaking callers.

The development environment of your microservices should be consistent across virtual machines, establishing the framework and allowing developers to get started quickly.

Storing Data and Managing Microservices

Each microservice needs a different storage database. You don’t have to use the same data storage for each of your microservices, as long as the two are well-matched. You’ll have to customize storage infrastructure to match your microservice, keeping in mind that storage is one of the key ways to build a solid microservice architecture.

The bottom line here is that you must manage each service independently. At the same time, they must work with other services seamlessly.

Launching and Hosting Your Microservices

Deploying your microservices is crucial to success and helps to save time while you’re coordinating regular upgrades. You don’t want one service to use up an unfair amount of resources because it negatively affects your other microservices.

Dedicated infrastructures are essential to hosting each microservice individually, isolating them from affecting each other directly. Your microservices strategy could crash and burn if you do not intend to keep them separate. Isolation will help avoid a complete and total shutdown in the event of the outage of one service.

Container Storage

Container storage is a fantastic way to keep your microservices organized and operating unassisted. When you containerize your microservices, you can launch services independently without messing with systems and services that exist on different containers.

Containers tend to match the goals of microservice technology because they offer platform independence. This blends perfectly with the purpose of microservices and how we can best maintain them.

Separate Builds and Automate Deployment

There’s no doubt that automation is the future. Automating your microservices through a DevOps workflow is the best way to handle and improve efficiency. Individual builds for your microservices are also essential for facilitating CI and CD.

Maintaining Microservice Operations

A centralized monitoring and logging system will save discrete logs for every microservice you establish. The correct maintenance and operations for microservices include a centralized logging system, aiding in handling errors much faster than possible on monolithic architecture.

Making the Transition

Deciding if your company is ready for microservices is challenging. The transition can be tricky, often requiring the entire team to lend a hand as changes occur. There’s no question that microservices help manage applications more efficiently, but it’s not right for every business.

In many cases, the delay in transitioning to microservices isn’t due to the architecture being a poor fit for a business, and more that the transition is so complex it keeps companies from trying. How you’ll go about implementing your microservices is very different from how other businesses will choose to do it.

However, the practices mentioned here are universal, fundamental ways to keep yourself on track and your company headed in the right direction regarding developing your microservices.

The Goal of Microservices

The goal of microservices is to improve the development of positive application attributes, including maintainability, testability, and deployability. In short, microservices allow any organization to develop better software at a faster rate.

You’ll be looking to achieve a framework of services that are loosely coupled, distributed, and independent of other application services. Microservices essentially remove the need for applications to be dependent on one another.

A DevOps model is a massive component of helping your microservices endeavor run smoothly. You’ll want to establish the perfect balance of microservices for your company while enabling automation and efficiency.

If your company needs the perfect architecture for continuous delivery, microservices could be perfect for you. The ability to edit services within their containers, taking away their ability to affect other services during maintenance, is revolutionary.

Remember, the microservices have to make sense for an application to work correctly. You may have some instances where microservices will work for you and others where they will not. Any organization that can find a way to implement microservices (with a good balance, not too few, and not too many) should begin planning out the shift today.

By

Rajesh Prakasam

VP - Engineering

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