Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Stackify Blog, Aruna Ravichandran, Dalibor Siroky, Kevin Jackson, PagerDuty Blog

Related Topics: Microservices Expo, @CloudExpo, @DevOpsSummit

Microservices Expo: Blog Feed Post

A Quick Primer on Microservices By @OmedHabib | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps #Microservices

The term 'microservices' debuted at a conference of software architects in the spring of 2011

A Quick Primer on Microservices
By Omed Habib

Microservices are a type of software architecture where large applications are made up of small, self-contained units working together through APIs that are not dependent on a specific language. Each service has a limited scope, concentrates on a specific task and is highly independent. This setup allows IT managers and developers to build systems in a modular way. In his book, "Building Microservices," Sam Newman said microservices are small, focused components built to do a single thing very well.

Martin Fowler's "Microservices - a Definition of This New Architectural Term" is one of the seminal publications on microservices. He describes some of the key characteristics of microservices as:

  • Componentization: Microservices are independent units that are easily replaced or upgraded. The units use services to communicate with things like remote procedure or web service requests.
  • Business capabilities: Legacy application development often splits teams into areas like the "server-side team" and the "database team." Microservices development is built around business capability, with responsibility for a complete stack of functions such as UX and project management.
  • Products rather than projects: Instead of focusing on a software project that is delivered following completion, microservices treat applications as products of which they take ownership. They establish an ongoing dialogue with a goal of continually matching the app to the business function.
  • Dumb pipes, smart endpoints: Microservice applications contain their own logic. Resources used often are cached easily.
  • Decentralized governance: Tools are built and shared to handle similar problems on other teams.

History of Microservices
The phrase "Micro-Web-Services" was first used at a cloud computing conference by Dr. Peter Rodgers in 2005, while the term "microservices" debuted at a conference of software architects in the spring of 2011. More recently, they have gained popularity because they're able to handle many of the changes in modern computing, such as:

  • Mobile devices
  • Web apps
  • Containerization of operating systems
  • Cheap RAM
  • Server utilization
  • Multi-core servers
  • 10 Gigabit Ethernet

The concept of microservices is not new. Google, Facebook and Amazon have employed this approach at some level for more than 10 years. A simple Google search, for example, calls on more than 70 microservices before you get the results page.

Also, other architectures have been developed that address some of the same issues microservices handle. One is called Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), which provides services to components over a network, with every service able to exchange data with any other service in the system. One of its drawbacks is the inability to handle asynchronous communication.

How Microservices Differ From Service-Oriented Architecture
Service-oriented architecture (SOA) is a software design where components deliver services through a network protocol. This approach gained steam between 2005 and 2007, but has since lost momentum to microservices. As microservices began to move to the forefront a few years ago, a few engineers called it "fine-grained SOA." Still others said microservices do what SOA should have done in the first place.

SOA is a different way of thinking than microservices. SOA supports Web Services Definition Language (WSDL), which defines service end points rigidly and is strongly typed, while microservices have dumb connections and smart end points. SOA is generally stateless; microservices are stateful and use object-oriented programming (OOP) structures that keep data and logic together.

Some of the difficulties with SOA include:

  • SOA is heavyweight, complex and has multiple processes than can reduce speed.
  • While SOA originally helped prevent vendor lock-in, it eventually wasn't able to move with the trend toward democratization of IT.
  • Just as CORBA fell out of favor when early Internet innovations provided a better option to implement applications for the Web, SOA lost popularity when microservices offered a better way to incorporate web services.

Problems Microservices Solve
Larger organizations run into problems when monolithic architectures can't be scaled, upgraded or maintained easily as they grow over time. Microservices architecture is an answer to that problem. It is an architectural-style software where complex tasks are broken down into small processes that operate independently and communicate through language-agnostic APIs.

Monolithic applications are made up of a user interface on the client, an application on the server, and a database. The application processes HTTP requests, gets information from the database, and sends it to the browser. Microservices handle HTTP request/response with APIs and messaging. They respond with JSON/XML or HTML sent to the presentation components. Microservices proponents rebel against enforced standards of architecture groups in large organizations but enthusiastically engage with open formats like HTTP, ATOM and others.

As applications get bigger, intricate dependencies and connections grow. Whether you are talking about monolithic architecture or smaller units, microservices let you split things up into components. This allows horizontal scaling, which makes it much easier to manage and maintain separate components.

The Relationship of Microservices to DevOps
Incorporating new technology is just part of the challenge. Perhaps a greater obstacle is developing a new culture that encourages risk-taking and taking responsibility for an entire project "from cradle to crypt." Developers used to legacy systems may experience culture shock when they are given more autonomy than ever before. Communicating clear expectations for accountability and performance of each team member is vital.

DevOps is critical in determining where and when microservices should be utilized. It's an important decision because trying to combine microservices with heavy, monolithic legacy systems may not always work. Changes can't be made fast enough. With microservices, services are constantly being developed and refined on-the-fly. DevOps must ensure updated components are put into production, working closely with internal stakeholders and suppliers to incorporate updates.

The Move Toward Simpler Applications
As DreamWorks' Doug Sherman said on a panel at the Appsphere 15 Conference, the film-production company tried an SOA approach several years ago but ultimately found it counterproductive. Sherman's view is that IT is moving toward simpler applications. At times, SOA seemed more complicated than it should be; microservices were seen as an easier solution than SOA, much like JSON was seen as simpler than XML and people viewed REST as simpler than SOAP. We are moving toward systems that are simpler to build, deploy and understand. While SOA was originally designed with that in mind, it ended up being more complex than needed.

Another panelist, Allan Naim, product manager at Google, agreed. He explained that SOA is really geared for enterprise systems because you need a service registry, a service repository and other components that are expensive to purchase and maintain. They are also closed off from each other. Microservices handle problems that SOA attempted to solve more than a decade ago, yet they are much more open.

How Microservices Differ Among Different Platforms
Microservices is a conceptual approach, and as such it is handled differently in each language. This is a strength of the architecture because developers can use the language they are most familiar with. Older languages can use microservices by using a structure unique to that platform. Here are some of the characteristics of microservices on different platforms:

Java

  • Avoids using Web Archive or Enterprise Archive files
  • Components are not auto-deployed. Instead, Docker containers or Amazon Machine Images are auto-deployed.
  • Uses fat jars that can be run as a process

PHP
REST-style PHP microservices have been deployed for several years now because they are:

  • Highly scalable at enterprise level
  • Easy to test rapidly

Python

  • Easy to create a Python service that acts as a front-end web service for microservices in other languages such as ASP or PHP
  • Lots of good frameworks to choose from, including Flask and Django
  • Important to get the API right for fast prototyping
  • Can use Pypy, Cython, C++ or Golang if more speed or efficiency is required

Node.js
Node.js is a natural for microservices because it was made for modern web applications. Its benefits include:

  • Takes advantage of JavaScript and Google's high-performance, open-source V8 engine
  • Machine code is optimized dynamically during runtime
  • HTTP server processes are lightweight
  • Nonblocking, event-driven I/O
  • High-quality package management
  • Easy for developers to create packages
  • Highly scalable with asynchronous I/O end-to-end

.NET
In the early 2000s, .NET was one of the first platforms to create applications as services using Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), a similar goal of modern microservices. Today, one of the strengths of .NET is a deep presence in enterprise installations. Here are two examples of using .NET microservices:

Responding to a Changing Market
The shift to microservices is clear. The confluence of mobile computing, inexpensive hardware, cloud computing and low-cost storage is driving the rush to this exciting new approach. In fact, organizations don't have any choice. Matt Miller's article in The Wall Street Journal sounded the alarm; "Innovate or Die: The Rise of Microservices" explains that software has become the major differentiator among businesses in every industry across the board. The monolithic programs common to many companies cannot change fast enough to adapt to the new realities and demands of a competitive marketplace.

Service-oriented architecture attempted to address some of these challenges but eventually failed to achieve liftoff. Microservices arrived on the scene just as these influences were coming to a head; they are agile, resilient and efficient, qualities many legacy systems lack. Companies like Netflix, Paypal, Airbnb and Goldman Sachs have heeded the alarm and are moving forward with microservices at a rapid pace.

The post A Quick Primer on Microservices appeared first on Application Performance Monitoring Blog | AppDynamics.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By AppDynamics Blog

In high-production environments where release cycles are measured in hours or minutes — not days or weeks — there's little room for mistakes and no room for confusion. Everyone has to understand what's happening, in real time, and have the means to do whatever is necessary to keep applications up and running optimally.

DevOps is a high-stakes world, but done well, it delivers the agility and performance to significantly impact business competitiveness.

@MicroservicesExpo Stories
How is DevOps going within your organization? If you need some help measuring just how well it is going, we have prepared a list of some key DevOps metrics to track. These metrics can help you understand how your team is doing over time. The word DevOps means different things to different people. Some say it a culture and every vendor in the industry claims that their tools help with DevOps. Depending on how you define DevOps, some of these metrics may matter more or less to you and your team.
For many of us laboring in the fields of digital transformation, 2017 was a year of high-intensity work and high-reward achievement. So we’re looking forward to a little breather over the end-of-year holiday season. But we’re going to have to get right back on the Continuous Delivery bullet train in 2018. Markets move too fast and customer expectations elevate too precipitously for businesses to rest on their laurels. Here’s a DevOps “to-do list” for 2018 that should be priorities for anyone w...
If testing environments are constantly unavailable and affected by outages, release timelines will be affected. You can use three metrics to measure stability events for specific environments and plan around events that will affect your critical path to release.
In a recent post, titled “10 Surprising Facts About Cloud Computing and What It Really Is”, Zac Johnson highlighted some interesting facts about cloud computing in the SMB marketplace: Cloud Computing is up to 40 times more cost-effective for an SMB, compared to running its own IT system. 94% of SMBs have experienced security benefits in the cloud that they didn’t have with their on-premises service
DevOps failure is a touchy subject with some, because DevOps is typically perceived as a way to avoid failure. As a result, when you fail in a DevOps practice, the situation can seem almost hopeless. However, just as a fail-fast business approach, or the “fail and adjust sooner” methodology of Agile often proves, DevOps failures are actually a step in the right direction. They’re the first step toward learning from failures and turning your DevOps practice into one that will lead you toward even...
DevOps is under attack because developers don’t want to mess with infrastructure. They will happily own their code into production, but want to use platforms instead of raw automation. That’s changing the landscape that we understand as DevOps with both architecture concepts (CloudNative) and process redefinition (SRE). Rob Hirschfeld’s recent work in Kubernetes operations has led to the conclusion that containers and related platforms have changed the way we should be thinking about DevOps and...
While walking around the office I happened upon a relatively new employee dragging emails from his inbox into folders. I asked why and was told, “I’m just answering emails and getting stuff off my desk.” An empty inbox may be emotionally satisfying to look at, but in practice, you should never do it. Here’s why. I recently wrote a piece arguing that from a mathematical perspective, Messy Desks Are Perfectly Optimized. While it validated the genius of my friends with messy desks, it also gener...
The goal of Microservices is to improve software delivery speed and increase system safety as scale increases. Microservices being modular these are faster to change and enables an evolutionary architecture where systems can change, as the business needs change. Microservices can scale elastically and by being service oriented can enable APIs natively. Microservices also reduce implementation and release cycle time and enables continuous delivery. This paper provides a logical overview of the Mi...
The next XaaS is CICDaaS. Why? Because CICD saves developers a huge amount of time. CD is an especially great option for projects that require multiple and frequent contributions to be integrated. But… securing CICD best practices is an emerging, essential, yet little understood practice for DevOps teams and their Cloud Service Providers. The only way to get CICD to work in a highly secure environment takes collaboration, patience and persistence. Building CICD in the cloud requires rigorous ar...
The enterprise data storage marketplace is poised to become a battlefield. No longer the quiet backwater of cloud computing services, the focus of this global transition is now going from compute to storage. An overview of recent storage market history is needed to understand why this transition is important. Before 2007 and the birth of the cloud computing market we are witnessing today, the on-premise model hosted in large local data centers dominated enterprise storage. Key marketplace play...
The cloud revolution in enterprises has very clearly crossed the phase of proof-of-concepts into a truly mainstream adoption. One of most popular enterprise-wide initiatives currently going on are “cloud migration” programs of some kind or another. Finding business value for these programs is not hard to fathom – they include hyperelasticity in infrastructure consumption, subscription based models, and agility derived from rapid speed of deployment of applications. These factors will continue to...
Some people are directors, managers, and administrators. Others are disrupters. Eddie Webb (@edwardawebb) is an IT Disrupter for Software Development Platforms at Liberty Mutual and was a presenter at the 2016 All Day DevOps conference. His talk, Organically DevOps: Building Quality and Security into the Software Supply Chain at Liberty Mutual, looked at Liberty Mutual's transformation to Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery, and DevOps. For a large, heavily regulated industry, this task ...
Following a tradition dating back to 2002 at ZapThink and continuing at Intellyx since 2014, it’s time for Intellyx’s annual predictions for the coming year. If you’re a long-time fan, you know we have a twist to the typical annual prediction post: we actually critique our predictions from the previous year. To make things even more interesting, Charlie and I switch off, judging the other’s predictions. And now that he’s been with Intellyx for more than a year, this Cortex represents my first ...
"Grape Up leverages Cloud Native technologies and helps companies build software using microservices, and work the DevOps agile way. We've been doing digital innovation for the last 12 years," explained Daniel Heckman, of Grape Up in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The Toyota Production System, a world-renowned production system is based on the "complete elimination of all waste". The "Toyota Way", grounded on continuous improvement dates to the 1860s. The methodology is widely proven to be successful yet there are still industries within and tangential to manufacturing struggling to adopt its core principles: Jidoka: a process should stop when an issue is identified prevents releasing defective products
We seem to run this cycle with every new technology that comes along. A good idea with practical applications is born, then both marketers and over-excited users start to declare it is the solution for all or our problems. Compliments of Gartner, we know it generally as “The Hype Cycle”, but each iteration is a little different. 2018’s flavor will be serverless computing, and by 2018, I mean starting now, but going most of next year, you’ll be sick of it. We are already seeing people write such...
Defining the term ‘monitoring’ is a difficult task considering the performance space has evolved significantly over the years. Lately, there has been a shift in the monitoring world, sparking a healthy debate regarding the definition and purpose of monitoring, through which a new term has emerged: observability. Some of that debate can be found in blogs by Charity Majors and Cindy Sridharan.
It’s “time to move on from DevOps and continuous delivery.” This was the provocative title of a recent article in ZDNet, in which Kelsey Hightower, staff developer advocate at Google Cloud Platform, suggested that “software shops should have put these concepts into action years ago.” Reading articles like this or listening to talks at most DevOps conferences might make you think that we’re entering a post-DevOps world. But vast numbers of organizations still struggle to start and drive transfo...
Let's do a visualization exercise. Imagine it's December 31, 2018, and you're ringing in the New Year with your friends and family. You think back on everything that you accomplished in the last year: your company's revenue is through the roof thanks to the success of your product, and you were promoted to Lead Developer. 2019 is poised to be an even bigger year for your company because you have the tools and insight to scale as quickly as demand requires. You're a happy human, and it's not just...
"Opsani helps the enterprise adopt containers, help them move their infrastructure into this modern world of DevOps, accelerate the delivery of new features into production, and really get them going on the container path," explained Ross Schibler, CEO of Opsani, and Peter Nickolov, CTO of Opsani, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.