Microservices architecture, often just referred to as microservices, is a software organization approach that revolves around turning applications into a collection of services that are loosely coupled, autonomous, and able to be deployed independently of one another. The best microservice is highly maintainable, easily tested, and organized based on business capability.
With microservices architecture, teams enjoy rapid and reliable delivery that breaks large and complex applications down into small, capable services. When done right, these microservices can deliver macro results.
Each microservice is able to run independently of the others, making it easy to add, remove, and scale each of them as needed. When demand grows, upgrading the resources of one microservice is easy, and a properly calibrated container orchestration service can even scale it automatically.
What’s more, you only need to scale up for as long as demand requires it, allowing you to scale back just as easily, saving your company a great deal of costly resources. Compare that to a monolithic architecture, where demand in one area requires greater resources for multiple areas.
When pairing microservices to create an application, developers don’t need to worry about different languages. Microservices-based applications can connect across languages and across platforms, meaning the architecture is entirely programming language agnostic and technology agnostic.
Not only does this give developers the flexibility they need to choose the best language and platform for each project, but it also allows them to tap into the larger skill set of their team.
In a microservices architecture, one service failing is far less likely to impact any other service since each one runs autonomously. Regardless, a large architecture of distributed microservices will tend to have dependencies, which requires developers to proactively protect applications from a dependency-related failure.
Still, the architecture by nature give developers a leg up when it comes to preventing a cascading failure. Using features like a circuit breaker or Remote Procedure Calls (RPCs), microservices architecture makes it easy to prevent application shutdowns even in the event that a core service fails.
As you continue to explore the benefits of the architecture, you’ll see that they all support another very important requirement: security. By default, microservices help contain and protect all of the sensitive data that resides with each service. Additionally, developers can use APIs to securely connect microservices, safeguarding the data of each service to ensure only authorized servers, users, and apps can access it.
The security benefits of microservices architecture are especially relevant if your services manage highly confidential information, such as health or financial data. With a secure API, developers will retain complete control over who accesses that data, aiding compliance with regulations like GDPR and HIPAA.
When a microservices architecture is properly configured—meaning that developers have stayed true to the fundamentals of separating services based on business capability and avoiding dependencies between services—businesses will benefit from the “pluggability” of this structure.
Microservices make development and upgrades easy by allowing developers to quickly build, add, and change services individually, plugging them into an application as needed. This also results in reduced coding conflicts, service outages, and other risks and challenges associated with monolithic applications.
This architecture style also helps improve time to market by allowing a small team to work on each service, enabling them to launch their project when they’re ready, without having to wait for another, slower-moving team to launch their component. All of that, and microservices also support the philosophy of CI/CD/CD (continuous integration, continuous delivery, continuous deployment).
This architecture isn’t just a buzzword. There’s a reason some of the world’s largest companies are jumping on the opportunity to future-proof their businesses and break down their applications into profitable, standalone services. Whether your company is ready to make the move or still considering its options, understanding the benefits of microservices is an important next step.
Of course, moving to microservices is not an overnight change, but if you are contemplating a new application it should be a consideration. If you’re ready to explore all that microservices have to offer, it’s time to talk to an expert. Contact us today to discuss how microservices can help your business.
This is article 2 of 4 in a four part series on Application Architecture and Systems Integration. You can view the related articles at the links below — or simply click to download our comprehensive Operational Guide to App Architecture & Systems Integration White Paper:
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