Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Elizabeth White, Aruna Ravichandran, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Cameron Van Orman

Related Topics: Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog, @DevOpsSummit

Microservices Expo: Blog Feed Post

Navigating the Politics of Microservices | @DevOpsSummit #Microservices

Microservices do far more than simply keep the project manageable

Navigating the Politics of Microservices
By John Mueller

Microservices has the potential of significantly impacting the way in which developers create applications. It's possible to create applications using microservices faster and more efficiently than other technologies that are currently available. The problem is that many people are suspicious of microservices because of all the technology claims to do. In addition, anytime you start moving things around in an organization, it means changing the status quo and people dislike change. Even so, microservices present a way to create great applications quickly, but first you must overcome the politics that prevent people from using it.

Considering the Need for Microservices
A problem with current development techniques is that the developer needs to work with a large number of design patterns in order to produce a quality result. The application development environment continues to become more complex with each passing year. Even with good development practices and the employment of the appropriate design patterns, today's applications can become inefficient and difficult to maintain due to the ball of mud problem, where one task ends up taking on most of the processing needs or it becomes so huge that it starts to work outside its originally designed areas of expertise. Microservices avoids these problems by using just a few patterns and keeping the size of each task small.

However, microservices do far more than simply keep the project manageable. By using microservices, you can avoid making as many application design decisions up front. It's entirely possible to be tasked with an application development project one Monday and have a working model the following Monday. The working model may consist of just a login and a main screen, but you have something to show people – a sign of progress. Thereafter, each Monday will show another update in the application development process. Even using agile techniques, you can't obtain this result. It's essential to remember that development speed wins every time in the marketplace, so creating an environment in which it's possible to work quickly (and with few errors) is important.

There is also the issue of rolling out updates. Using current techniques, you need to lock down the system, roll out the new version, and hope that it works properly in the production environment. When working with microservices, you can roll out an update a little at a time by transferring traffic gradually to the new version of the microservice. As the new version takes more of the load, you can watch for potential problems and fix them before the user even notices. Consequently, updates don't occur at strict time frames and users are unlikely to even notice that they've taken place.

Defining Organizational Goals
The goals of using microservices are to make an organization more efficient and to allow updates in a timely fashion. In addition, using microservices allows better application designs where a single piece of code doesn't end up doing everything. Companies such as Nike, Netflix, and Twitter are using microservices to create better applications in far less time than would normally be possible. In order to achieve these goals, an organization must:

  • Incorporate new disciplines into the development process.
  • Obtain new tools to use when creating the applications.
  • Change the team dynamics in order to make microservices workable.

These sorts of changes don't occur overnight, so it's important to set realistic milestones when adding microservices to your development cycle. It may very well be that you'll continue to use older techniques for existing applications and employ microservices with new development-at least, at the outset.

Overcoming Fiefdoms
It's fine to say that there are all sorts of good reasons to adopt microservices as a strategy. You can spend a great deal of time demonstrating their superiority and even point out the need for these solutions in order to progress with organizational goals. In a perfect world, pointing these things out would be enough to convince anyone of the purity of your insights and they'd likely go along with you to some extent. Unfortunately, this is the real world and the real world is ruled by managers jealously guarding their fiefdoms. Siloed applications present a real threat to your organization. In fact, I've discussed this issue before in Breaking Down the Walls of the Siloed Application. The problem with microservices is that they represent a new way of accomplishing tasks that will threaten people's stranglehold on a piece of the pie, which makes microservices a very hard sell indeed.

The push for using microservices comes from ambitious vice presidents who have authority to fund large programming projects. These people see how long it takes to create applications using older approaches and know that waiting that long in today's environment simply won't work. Using microservices provides an effective and quick method for creating applications that actually do everything they promise. The payback for the vice president is the potential for advancement or other perks. Once a vice president is able to deliver applications more quickly and with fewer problems, the organization as a whole gets behind using microservices as the preferred approach. The problem is getting those early successes and overcoming the inertia of the siloed application environment.

It's important to understand that microservices won't become a major contributor to application development in any organization quickly. You need to start small and build on your successes to overcome the inertia of monolithic application development in most organizations. Even if the organization is ready to start development today, you need to build the required expertise to make microservices successful. In order to overcome objections from the various individuals in an organization who currently control development of one or more monolithic applications, begin by building a small application that starts out as a microservices project. The success you have will provide a reason for others to believe in the ability of microservices to deliver on its promises.

Creating Workable Solutions
When considering a microservice ramp-up for your organization, it's important to remember that you already have a considerable code base defined around existing technologies. In addition, using microservices involves fundamentally changing how an organization performs development. You can see how Microservices affects your development team here. Here are some other things to consider in order to create a workable solution.

  • Create a few course-grained microservices for new application features to start.
  • Keep the development team that is responsible for microservices development separate from the team that currently maintains the monolithic application.
  • As development progresses with the initial microservices and you can see where changes need to be made, create finer-grained microservices to produce better results.
  • Provide enough time for existing teams to discover how to use microservices and begin incorporating them into existing applications.
  • Develop microservices that provide self-contained business features at the outset so that you don't have to worry about interactions as much.
  • Obtain the tools required to perform granular monitoring, log aggregation, application metrics, automated deployment, and status dashboards for data such as system status and log reporting.
  • Slowly cross-train individuals so that the sharp divisions between skill sets diminishes.
  • Break down the silos between various groups.
  • Standardize service templates so that it's possible to create microservices with a minimum of chatter between groups.
  • Slide development from the existing monolithic application to one designed around microservices. However, don't make an existing monolithic application your first project-start with an application that uses microservices from the outset.
  • Prune older microservices from the system as you replace them with finer-grained and more functional replacements.

What Do You Think?
While implementing microservices presents certain political and cultural problems in an organization, it also holds the chance to create new opportunities in teams that earnestly want to build better software faster than ever. Coworkers not only build more scalable software in the process of properly implementing microservices, but also build more efficient group dynamics at the same time.

What challenges are you facing in your journey with microservices? We'd like to hear your stories, your experiments, and your opinions on the matter.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By SmartBear Blog

As the leader in software quality tools for the connected world, SmartBear supports more than two million software professionals and over 25,000 organizations in 90 countries that use its products to build and deliver the world’s greatest applications. With today’s applications deploying on mobile, Web, desktop, Internet of Things (IoT) or even embedded computing platforms, the connected nature of these applications through public and private APIs presents a unique set of challenges for developers, testers and operations teams. SmartBear's software quality tools assist with code review, functional and load testing, API readiness as well as performance monitoring of these modern applications.

@MicroservicesExpo Stories
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Michael Burley, a Senior Business Development Executive in IT Services at NetApp, will describe how NetApp designed a three-year program of work to migrate 25PB of a major telco's enterprise data to a new STaaS platform, and then secured a long-term contract to manage and operate the platform. This significant program blended the best of NetApp’s solutions and services capabilities to enable this telco’s successful adoption of private cloud storage and launchi...
Digital transformation leaders have poured tons of money and effort into coding in recent years. And with good reason. To succeed at digital, you must be able to write great code. You also have to build a strong Agile culture so your coding efforts tightly align with market signals and business outcomes. But if your investments in testing haven’t kept pace with your investments in coding, you’ll lose. But if your investments in testing haven’t kept pace with your investments in coding, you’ll...
Enterprises are adopting Kubernetes to accelerate the development and the delivery of cloud-native applications. However, sharing a Kubernetes cluster between members of the same team can be challenging. And, sharing clusters across multiple teams is even harder. Kubernetes offers several constructs to help implement segmentation and isolation. However, these primitives can be complex to understand and apply. As a result, it’s becoming common for enterprises to end up with several clusters. Thi...
Containers are rapidly finding their way into enterprise data centers, but change is difficult. How do enterprises transform their architecture with technologies like containers without losing the reliable components of their current solutions? In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Tony Campbell, Director, Educational Services at CoreOS, will explore the challenges organizations are facing today as they move to containers and go over how Kubernetes applications can deploy with lega...
Today most companies are adopting or evaluating container technology - Docker in particular - to speed up application deployment, drive down cost, ease management and make application delivery more flexible overall. As with most new architectures, this dream takes significant work to become a reality. Even when you do get your application componentized enough and packaged properly, there are still challenges for DevOps teams to making the shift to continuous delivery and achieving that reducti...
Is advanced scheduling in Kubernetes achievable? Yes, however, how do you properly accommodate every real-life scenario that a Kubernetes user might encounter? How do you leverage advanced scheduling techniques to shape and describe each scenario in easy-to-use rules and configurations? In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Oleg Chunikhin, CTO at Kublr, will answer these questions and demonstrate techniques for implementing advanced scheduling. For example, using spot instances ...
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to w...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloud Academy is the leading technology training platform for enterprise multi-cloud infrastructure. Cloud Academy is trusted by leading companies to deliver continuous learning solutions across Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most...
The last two years has seen discussions about cloud computing evolve from the public / private / hybrid split to the reality that most enterprises will be creating a complex, multi-cloud strategy. Companies are wary of committing all of their resources to a single cloud, and instead are choosing to spread the risk – and the benefits – of cloud computing across multiple providers and internal infrastructures, as they follow their business needs. Will this approach be successful? How large is the ...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm. In their Day 3 Keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, a Solutions Marketing Manager at Nutanix, and Mark Lav...
Many organizations adopt DevOps to reduce cycle times and deliver software faster; some take on DevOps to drive higher quality and better end-user experience; others look to DevOps for a clearer line-of-sight to customers to drive better business impacts. In truth, these three foundations go together. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 21st Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, industry experts will discuss how leading organizations build application success from all...
DevSecOps – a trend around transformation in process, people and technology – is about breaking down silos and waste along the software development lifecycle and using agile methodologies, automation and insights to help get apps to market faster. This leads to higher quality apps, greater trust in organizations, less organizational friction, and ultimately a five-star customer experience. These apps are the new competitive currency in this digital economy and they’re powered by data. Without ...
A common misconception about the cloud is that one size fits all. Companies expecting to run all of their operations using one cloud solution or service must realize that doing so is akin to forcing the totality of their business functionality into a straightjacket. Unlocking the full potential of the cloud means embracing the multi-cloud future where businesses use their own cloud, and/or clouds from different vendors, to support separate functions or product groups. There is no single cloud so...
For most organizations, the move to hybrid cloud is now a question of when, not if. Fully 82% of enterprises plan to have a hybrid cloud strategy this year, according to Infoholic Research. The worldwide hybrid cloud computing market is expected to grow about 34% annually over the next five years, reaching $241.13 billion by 2022. Companies are embracing hybrid cloud because of the many advantages it offers compared to relying on a single provider for all of their cloud needs. Hybrid offers bala...
With the modern notion of digital transformation, enterprises are chipping away at the fundamental organizational and operational structures that have been with us since the nineteenth century or earlier. One remarkable casualty: the business process. Business processes have become so ingrained in how we envision large organizations operating and the roles people play within them that relegating them to the scrap heap is almost unimaginable, and unquestionably transformative. In the Digital ...
These days, APIs have become an integral part of the digital transformation journey for all enterprises. Every digital innovation story is connected to APIs . But have you ever pondered over to know what are the source of these APIs? Let me explain - APIs sources can be varied, internal or external, solving different purposes, but mostly categorized into the following two categories. Data lakes is a term used to represent disconnected but relevant data that are used by various business units wit...
The nature of the technology business is forward-thinking. It focuses on the future and what’s coming next. Innovations and creativity in our world of software development strive to improve the status quo and increase customer satisfaction through speed and increased connectivity. Yet, while it's exciting to see enterprises embrace new ways of thinking and advance their processes with cutting edge technology, it rarely happens rapidly or even simultaneously across all industries.
It has never been a better time to be a developer! Thanks to cloud computing, deploying our applications is much easier than it used to be. How we deploy our apps continues to evolve thanks to cloud hosting, Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and now Function-as-a-Service. FaaS is the concept of serverless computing via serverless architectures. Software developers can leverage this to deploy an individual "function", action, or piece of business logic. They are expected to start within milliseconds...
With the rise of DevOps, containers are at the brink of becoming a pervasive technology in Enterprise IT to accelerate application delivery for the business. When it comes to adopting containers in the enterprise, security is the highest adoption barrier. Is your organization ready to address the security risks with containers for your DevOps environment? In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Chris Van Tuin, Chief Technologist, NA West at Red Hat, will discuss: The top security r...
Most of the time there is a lot of work involved to move to the cloud, and most of that isn't really related to AWS or Azure or Google Cloud. Before we talk about public cloud vendors and DevOps tools, there are usually several technical and non-technical challenges that are connected to it and that every company needs to solve to move to the cloud. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Stefano Bellasio, CEO and founder of Cloud Academy Inc., will discuss what the tools, disciplines, and cultural...