Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Zakia Bouachraoui

Related Topics: @DevOpsSummit, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, @CloudExpo

@DevOpsSummit: Article

SOA or Microservices? | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps #IoT #Docker #Microservices

Some say, microservices is just SOA done right

This is a no-hype, pragmatic post about why I think you should consider architecting your next project the way SOA and/or microservices suggest. No matter if it’s a greenfield approach or if you’re in dire need of refactoring. Please note: considering still keeps open the option of not taking that approach. After reading this, you will have a better idea about whether building multiple small components instead of a single, large component makes sense for your project.

This post assumes that you have experience with software architecture and services (you’ll find some words about my experience on the bottom of this post). I won’t go into the details of Wikipedia’s or Martin Fowler’s definitions per se. Much more I will talk about what microservices and/or SOA could and should do for your project.

Microservices? SOA? Both? None?
I’ll leave it up to you if they are both the same. Some say, microservices is just SOA done right. Some say, microservices has common roots with SOA but is really next-gen and lightweight and less-enterprisey and whatnot.

I don’t stand the slightest chance of resolving this. Therefore, I won’t go with either of them. I’ll go with microsoavices instead. It’s not meant to be funny (in the first place, that is), it’s meant to be a pragmatical phrase that saves me from overhead typing.

The perfect software architecture doesn’t exist
There is no perfect generic software architecture approach but you knew that already. Microsoavices might just not be the perfect fit for your project or even your company. What’s a microsoavice anyway? First and foremost, I’d like to reduce it to two simple key points

  • Fine-grained responsibility
  • Built for fault-tolerance

Those two things are the least common denominator for me on everything you and I already have read about the topic. They should be the basis for any project, no matter if it’s your shiny (shabby?) little garage project or if you’re out for something really big.

Fine-grained responsibility
Microsoavices may be single-task or single domain. Here’s an example for a single-task microsoavice.

Most likely, projects not merely consist of business logic and application domains. There are always some plain utilities involved. I once worked on a project that needed to convert RTF files to HTML. We used a library for that, so it was really easy. On the other hand, updating the library required us to re-deploy all instances of our application. Deployment was automated and we didn’t have to send out floppy-disks with the new versions to our customers but anyway, for a team of three maintaining dozens of instances it required quite some attention.

Wrapping that same library into a stand-alone application that’s listening for incoming HTTP requests was all that was necessary to turn it into a microsoavice (yes, and that final re-deployment of all the instances that changed the internal library call into an external HTTP request). Anyway, from that day on, updating that library was just a matter of re-deploying that single component (as long as the API stayed stable).

Besides single-task microsoavices there’s also more than enough use-cases for covering application domains instead of just single tasks. Take a shopping cart as an example. There are simple functions like

  • Add product to cart
  • Remove product from cart
  • Update product’s quantity in cart

Nobody seriously thinks about creating separate services for those tasks and that’s the reason why it’s as fine-grained as it needs to be (and should be, probably).

Built for fault tolerance
In-process method calls, are replaced with external calls between components. The big difference is that external calls are much more likely to fail. And they will. This requires attention but taking care of it appropriately makes your whole system much more stable and fault-tolerant by design already.

It’s up to you whether you go for a library that handles the issue for you or if you want to take care of it yourself but don’t make the mistake of not taking care. Fault tolerance really is a central issue. Getting it done right early on is the key to succeed with microsoavices.

The problems
Building, deploying and maintaining an ecosystem of many small, independent components poses its own problems. You not only face the problem of fault tolerance, but also the problems of

  • Configuration (where do I reach that service?)
  • Monitoring (what services are available?)
  • Deployment (how many instances are up? on which hosts are they running)
  • Testing (what to do in case of a failing service call?)
  • And quite some more.

Testing and deployment should be taken care of by continuous integration and deployment tools that are available. Monitoring was not there until recently but is already catching up with new products entering the market. Central configuration of a microsoavice environment is probably something that could be solved by using some ESB-like tool.

You see, there seems to be a solution for everything, you might just not be all too happy with them. And I honestly think that we’re not fully there yet when it comes to tooling. The future will bring lots of good tools that make building, deploying and maintaining microsoavices much easier.

The mindset
From my own experience I can say that going down microsoavice lane is not just about all the technical problems. It’s a little bit like the agile thing, which is really also quite a bit about the mindset.

If you are concerned about increased danger of failure because of single failing services, then you probably need to think about it again. If you see how all those small components help you decrease the likeliness of failure, you’re probably settled.

One most important thing not to forget is your developers. Make sure they get the idea of what microsoavices are all about. I will try to cover in a future post, how microsoavices change and improve a developer’s everyday life.

My experience
I have been working as a software developer for about a decade. During that time I worked on all different kinds of projects. I did about 90% web stuff with Java and JavaScript, and also some C#.NET, Visual Basic (pre-dotnet), perl, php, python, etc. I worked several years as a senior lead developer / architect hybrid but also did projects as a one-man-team handling everything from development to deployment and maintainance. Yes, sounds impressive, but, hey, I just did my job.

Looking back, I did some projects which would have really benefitted from doing the microsoavice approach and some others, which surely would have not. And I did one project that was forced into the enteprise-SOA thing in a very dogmatic way, which is why I want to write about the topic pragmatically and from a practical perspective.

Up next
This was just a short introduction to the topic to get your mouth wet. I just touched some keypoints briefly but I will go much more into detail in the posts to follow.

While you’re waiting, why not sharing some of your worst experiences with the topic so far? Tell me about ignorant software architects and blind followers of dogmas, I’m always in for a good laugh.

The post SOA or microservices? (It doesn’t matter a pair of fetid dingo’s kidneys) appeared first on The ruxit blog.

More Stories By Dynatrace Blog

Building a revolutionary approach to software performance monitoring takes an extraordinary team. With decades of combined experience and an impressive history of disruptive innovation, that’s exactly what we ruxit has.

Get to know ruxit, and get to know the future of data analytics.

Microservices Articles
SYS-CON Events announced today that DatacenterDynamics has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. DatacenterDynamics is a brand of DCD Group, a global B2B media and publishing company that develops products to help senior professionals in the world's most ICT dependent organizations make risk-based infrastructure and capacity decisions.
Most DevOps journeys involve several phases of maturity. Research shows that the inflection point where organizations begin to see maximum value is when they implement tight integration deploying their code to their infrastructure. Success at this level is the last barrier to at-will deployment. Storage, for instance, is more capable than where we read and write data. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Josh Atwell, a Developer Advocate for NetApp, will discuss the role and value...
DevOpsSummit New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DXWorldEXPO within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term.
CloudEXPO New York 2018, colocated with DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
Consumer-driven contracts are an essential part of a mature microservice testing portfolio enabling independent service deployments. In this presentation we'll provide an overview of the tools, patterns and pain points we've seen when implementing contract testing in large development organizations.
Adding public cloud resources to an existing application can be a daunting process. The tools that you currently use to manage the software and hardware outside the cloud aren’t always the best tools to efficiently grow into the cloud. All of the major configuration management tools have cloud orchestration plugins that can be leveraged, but there are also cloud-native tools that can dramatically improve the efficiency of managing your application lifecycle. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, ...
Using new techniques of information modeling, indexing, and processing, new cloud-based systems can support cloud-based workloads previously not possible for high-throughput insurance, banking, and case-based applications. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, John Newton, CTO, Founder and Chairman of Alfresco, described how to scale cloud-based content management repositories to store, manage, and retrieve billions of documents and related information with fast and linear scalability. He addresse...
Containers and Kubernetes allow for code portability across on-premise VMs, bare metal, or multiple cloud provider environments. Yet, despite this portability promise, developers may include configuration and application definitions that constrain or even eliminate application portability. In this session we'll describe best practices for "configuration as code" in a Kubernetes environment. We will demonstrate how a properly constructed containerized app can be deployed to both Amazon and Azure ...
Enterprise architects are increasingly adopting multi-cloud strategies as they seek to utilize existing data center assets, leverage the advantages of cloud computing and avoid cloud vendor lock-in. This requires a globally aware traffic management strategy that can monitor infrastructure health across data centers and end-user experience globally, while responding to control changes and system specification at the speed of today’s DevOps teams. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Josh Gray, Chie...
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true ...