Click here to close now.

Welcome!

MICROSERVICES Authors: Elizabeth White, Dana Gardner, ScriptRock Blog, Cynthia Dunlop, XebiaLabs Blog

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, MICROSERVICES, .NET, Virtualization, Big Data Journal, SDN Journal

Cloud Expo: Blog Post

Moving Targets: Developing Cloud Apps on Rapidly Evolving Platforms

What does engineering in a constantly changing environment really cost?

Butch Cassidy and Sundance are staring over the edge of the cliff:

Butch: Alright. I'll jump first.

Sundance: No.

Butch: Then you jump first.

Sundance: No, I said.

Butch: What's the matter with you?

Sundance: I can't swim.

Butch: Are you crazy? The fall will probably kill you.

What's with the Butch & Sundance quote, you ask?  This classic scene from "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" illustrates an issue I see every day when talking to customers: focusing so much on one problem, they fail to appreciate the magnitude of another.  As enterprises and software companies make the decision to migrate existing applications to the cloud, they are often so concerned with how to do the migration, they often don't appreciate the real challenges of the long-term impact of developing cloud applications.

In traditional enterprise application development, engineers don't spend a lot of their time adjusting to changes in the underlying systems and platforms.  The rate of change is relatively slow, and development teams retain a level of control over the systems and services that their applications leverage.  When moving to IaaS or PaaS environments, not only does most of that control disappear, but the rate of change increases substantially.  In 2012 alone, Amazon made over 159 changes to the AWS platform launching new services and additional features.  If your engineering teams are working on applications on the AWS platform, how much time would you think they spend keeping up with those changes, figuring out whether they apply to the application, and actually changing the application to optimize for the new changes?  My estimate is that a developer would have to spend at least 20% of their time studying and keeping up with platform changes.  I'm willing to bet that in most cases, that work is discarded in favor of more mundane application maintenance tasks.

It's the fall that's gonna kill ya.
And therein lies the rub: the cost savings and efficiency gains of moving to the cloud have hidden killers: either the development teams become less productive just staying educated on the platform, or the applications quickly fall behind the platform, victim to that old enemy of software: bit rot.  Applications that used to work, or work well, over time start to fail or perform badly in unexpected ways.

What's the solution?  Automation can make a big impact.  The same approach that security vendors use to find patterns in your code and match them to known vulnerabilities could instead find patterns that indicate areas to address cloud optimization.  We're working on an automated way to solve this dilemma, working with cloud providers to understand changes to the platforms, and automatically detecting when those changes impact your app and how to address them.  Learn more about this by visiting http://www.paaslane.com.

Does this issue affect you?  Did you account for it when you decided to move your app to the cloud?  Do you wish you had?

More Stories By Benjamin Grubin

Benjamin Grubin is a 15-year veteran of the technology industry with experience in security, software engineering, marketing, consulting and management. He is the Director of Product Management & Marketing for Cloud Technology Partners, overseeing products that accelerate cloud development and migration. Mr. Grubin has worked with Fortune 100 companies to modernize their infrastructure and support next-generation management and security technologies. He is also a frequent presenter at conferences, seminars and panels on topics including cloud computing, IT service management, virtualization, and IT security.

Mr. Grubin holds an MBA from Harvard Business School as well as both a Master of Science in Computer Science and Bachelor of Science in Economics and Computer Science from Tufts University. Follow Ben on Twitter at @bgrubin.

@MicroservicesExpo Stories
While poor system performance occurs for any number of reasons (poor code, understaffed teams, inadequate legacy systems), this week’s post should help you quickly diagnose and fix a few common problems, while setting yourself up for a more stable future at the same time. Modern application frameworks have made it very easy to build not only powerful back-ends, but also rich, web-based user interfaces that are pushed out to the client in real-time. Often this involves a lot of data being transf...
InfoScout in San Francisco gleans new levels of accurate insights into retail buyer behavior by collecting data directly from consumers’ sales receipts. In order to better analyze actual retail behaviors and patterns, InfoScout provides incentives for buyers to share their receipts, but InfoScout is then faced with the daunting task of managing and cleansing that essential data to provide actionable and understandable insights.
Best practices for helping DevOps and Test collaborate in ways that make your SDLC leaner and more scalable. The business demand for "more innovative software, faster" is driving a surge of interest in DevOps, Agile and Lean software development practices. However, today's testing processes are typically bogged down by weighty burdens such as the difficulty of 1) accessing complete Dev/Test environments; 2) acquiring complete, sanitized test data; and 3) configuring the behavior of the environm...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY., and the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MangoApps provides private all-in-one social intranets allowing workers to securely collaborate from anywhere in the world and from any device. Social, mobile, and eas...
As a group of concepts, DevOps has converged on several prominent themes including continuous software delivery, automation, and configuration management (CM). These integral pieces often form the pillars of an organization’s DevOps efforts, even as other bigger pieces like overarching best practices and guidelines are still being tried and tested. Being that DevOps is a relatively new paradigm - movement - methodology - [insert your own label here], standards around it have yet to be codified a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Solgenia will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Solgenia is the global market leader in Cloud Collaboration and Cloud Infrastructure software solutions. Designed to “Bridge the Gap” between Personal and Professional S...
Learn the top API testing issues that organizations encounter and how automation plus a DevOps team approach can address these top API testing challenges. Ensuring API integrity is difficult in today's complex application cloud, on-premises and hybrid environment scenarios. In this interview with TechTarget, Parasoft solution architect manager Spencer Debrosse shares his experiences about the top API testing issues that organizations encounter and how automation and a DevOps team approach can a...
Chef and Canonical announced a partnership to integrate and distribute Chef with Ubuntu. Canonical is integrating the Chef automation platform with Canonical's Machine-As-A-Service (MAAS), enabling users to automate the provisioning, configuration and deployment of bare metal compute resources in the data center. Canonical is packaging Chef 12 server in upcoming distributions of its Ubuntu open source operating system and will provide commercial support for Chef within its user base.
When it comes to microservices there are myths and uncertainty about the journey ahead. Deploying a “Hello World” app on Docker is a long way from making microservices work in real enterprises with large applications, complex environments and existing organizational structures. February 19, 2015 10:00am PT / 1:00pm ET → 45 Minutes Join our four experts: Special host Gene Kim, Gary Gruver, Randy Shoup and XebiaLabs’ Andrew Phillips as they explore the realities of microservices in today’s IT worl...
After what feel like an interminable cycle of media frenzy followed by hype and hysteria cycles, the practical elements of real world cloud implementations are starting to become better documented. But what is really different in the cloud? How do software applications behave, live, interact and interconnect inside the cloud? Where do cloud architectures differ so markedly from their predecessors that we need to learn a new set of mechanics – and, when do we start to refer to software progra...
The world's leading Cloud event, Cloud Expo has launched Microservices Journal on the SYS-CON.com portal, featuring over 19,000 original articles, news stories, features, and blog entries. DevOps Journal is focused on this critical enterprise IT topic in the world of cloud computing. Microservices Journal offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. Follow new article posts on T...
Even though it’s now Microservices Journal, long-time fans of SOA World Magazine can take comfort in the fact that the URL – soa.sys-con.com – remains unchanged. And that’s no mistake, as microservices are really nothing more than a new and improved take on the Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) best practices we struggled to hammer out over the last decade. Skeptics, however, might say that this change is nothing more than an exercise in buzzword-hopping. SOA is passé, and now that people are ...
Hosted PaaS providers have given independent developers and startups huge advantages in efficiency and reduced time-to-market over their more process-bound counterparts in enterprises. Software frameworks are now available that allow enterprise IT departments to provide these same advantages for developers in their own organization. In his workshop session at DevOps Summit, Troy Topnik, ActiveState’s Technical Product Manager, will show how on-prem or cloud-hosted Private PaaS can enable organ...
For those of us that have been practicing SOA for over a decade, it's surprising that there's so much interest in microservices. In fairness microservices don't look like the vendor play that was early SOA in the early noughties. But experienced SOA practitioners everywhere will be wondering if microservices is actually a good thing. You see microservices is basically an SOA pattern that inherits all the well-known SOA principles and adds characteristics that address the use of SOA for distribut...
SYS-CON Events announced today the IoT Bootcamp – Jumpstart Your IoT Strategy, being held June 9–10, 2015, in conjunction with 16th Cloud Expo and Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Javits Center in New York City. This is your chance to jumpstart your IoT strategy. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the IoT Bootcamp is not just based on presentations but includes hands-on demos and walkthroughs. We will introduce you to a variety of Do-It-Yourself IoT platforms including Arduino, Ras...
Microservice architectures are the new hotness, even though they aren't really all that different (in principle) from the paradigm described by SOA (which is dead, or not dead, depending on whom you ask). One of the things this decompositional approach to application architecture does is encourage developers and operations (some might even say DevOps) to re-evaluate scaling strategies. In particular, the notion is forwarded that an application should be built to scale and then infrastructure sho...
Microservices are the result of decomposing applications. That may sound a lot like SOA, but SOA was based on an object-oriented (noun) premise; that is, services were built around an object - like a customer - with all the necessary operations (functions) that go along with it. SOA was also founded on a variety of standards (most of them coming out of OASIS) like SOAP, WSDL, XML and UDDI. Microservices have no standards (at least none deriving from a standards body or organization) and can be b...
Our guest on the podcast this week is Jason Bloomberg, President at Intellyx. When we build services we want them to be lightweight, stateless and scalable while doing one thing really well. In today's cloud world, we're revisiting what to takes to make a good service in the first place. Listen in to learn why following "the book" doesn't necessarily mean that you're solving key business problems.
Right off the bat, Newman advises that we should "think of microservices as a specific approach for SOA in the same way that XP or Scrum are specific approaches for Agile Software development". These analogies are very interesting because my expectation was that microservices is a pattern. So I might infer that microservices is a set of process techniques as opposed to an architectural approach. Yet in the book, Newman clearly includes some elements of concept model and architecture as well as p...
Microservices, for the uninitiated, are essentially the decomposition of applications into multiple services. This decomposition is often based on functional lines, with related functions being grouped together into a service. While this may sound a like SOA, it really isn't, especially given that SOA was an object-centered methodology that focused on creating services around "nouns" like customer and product. Microservices, while certainly capable of being noun-based, are just as likely to be v...