Modern technologies are changing our world every day. And cloud computing is making a huge contribution to this process. It is a real revolution for businesses when they’re starting to adopt cloud architecture for software applications. This made it possible not only to introduce various microservices but also to make the process as simple as possible, providing it with a focused and productive state.
Most likely, the word “microservices” is, for now, nothing more than another buzzword from technical blogs. Its use is still fraught with confusion and misunderstanding.
In this article you will find answers to some important questions, such as:
- What do we call a Microservice Architecture?
- Are there some success stories?
- What are the pros and cons of using Microservice Architecture?
- Some requirements for MA.
What do we call a Microservice Architecture?
There are some system architecture types, and MA is one of them. What is the difference? The application is presented in the form of a service structure, where each of the services is intended for a concrete operation. The origin of this concept is easily explained with the principle of shared responsibility. How does it look like?
In fact, MA defines services that do one thing perfectly and then combines them into a common framework. An application from a set of modules can even be compared to the LEGO constructor. Just as every detail matter for the overall result, each service contributes to the realization of a specific business goal. Each part does its job, and together they are combined into a service.
How do services tie together? It can be achieved by the application program interface. It is an API which is responsible for the various components of the system, and the interaction between them. Thus, the services are relatively independent of each other, which makes development and maintenance much easier. If your main requirements for the system are agility and scalability, you definitely have to rely on microservice architecture.
So, how we can define microservice?
Working on determining the structure of microservices, much attention needs to be paid to application decomposition. This task may require different approaches. Here are 3 of the most popular:
- Decomposition based on business opportunities. For example, ERP for resource management, resource allocation, and other similar tasks. In addition, each microservice is responsible for processing a specific element of a business operation.
- Decomposition based on usage scenario. It is understood that microservices follow a specific action plan. For example, if Amazon needs to process delivery orders, they turn to a specialized microservice.
- Decomposition based on available resources. In this case, we can cite Spotify as an example. This company uses microservice in order to manage the accounts of its customers. Thanks to this approach, they have achieved significant success in personalization, and also provide their users with security.
How to keep all the data consistent?
There is one more essential challenge. Nowadays, it is impossible to do without maintaining data consistency on a huge number of microservices.
And here are a few main reasons for this:
- Speaking about the configuration of the microservice architecture, it is worth mentioning that each microservice accesses its own databases. During the operation, all of these databases are synchronized;
- The system needs a more flexible approach in case of tracking data conversion. Only then can it ensure data consistency and consistency;
- The Saga pattern is one that can be called one of the most consistent. This works as follows:
- Every time a service converts data, an event is published;
- This is what other services in the structure take into account, after which they update their databases.
We have prepared 4 real-life examples of microservice architecture. You’ll appreciate them.
In 2012, Walmart decided to go along with microservice architecture. The reason for this was some systemic problems that arise with the most active clients. The system ceased to cope with the workload, which significantly affected the company’s profits.
This led Walmart to radically change its entire system. All major business tasks were reconfigured to microservices. Using this approach, the company not only redistributed the workload but also optimized the work processes of the system. In the future, this also influenced the improvement of the structure.
Here are just some results of switching to microservices:
- Switching architecture reduced costs by 20-50%;
- The system uses much less computing power, up to 40%;
- The system helps to forget about downtime during seasonal activity (black Friday discounts, Christmas sales, etc.);
- With the help of microservice architecture, the company was able to implement mobile applications that had a positive impact on the total number of conversions.
Another stunning example of using microservices is Spotify. It created an efficient system and was able to prevent the problems associated with monolithic complex systems.
Most likely you know how many active Spotify users are. It reaches approximately 75 million people per month. This is a fairly large-scale business. These users want seamless service, they don’t think about how it is provided. Therefore, the company has set itself the task: to make interaction with customers seamless.
And here is how they did it:
- The system consists of autonomous specialized microservices, for each of which the development team is responsible;
- One goal one microservice. This may be content tagging, user behavioral analytics for recommendations, a search engine, and others;
- Services that are isolated in nature are less dependent on each other. This means that customer service is always on top;
- In addition, any possible problem is associated with a particular service, which means that they don’t impact any other services.
The following example is simply unbelievable. What the microservice architecture is ideal for is payment processing.
PayPal‘s business and customer demand can impress anyone. Proper load handling is possible only with the help of good scalability. In addition, not even looking at the scope of work, the company must provide customers with an excellent experience.
Paypal runs virtual machines in Node.js. These machines are responsible for the distribution of workload and uniform maintenance. This is the most efficient way to handle billions of hits per day without much effort.
Explicit Amazon’s scope allows us to call this case the most interesting.
Let’s see how the Amazon e-commerce application works.
The service uses several operations, each of which includes high requirements for the workload. It goes about a large number of functions: not about search only but also about advertising, price optimization, notifications, and personalization. They all control the process using the API.
Now, using a microservice approach, the company is able to handle every function. A special group was created for this, consisting of its own work processes. The decision-making process has become easier, and the delivery speed is much greater. Just imagine: now the company has more than 50 million deployments per year! And no discomfort for customers.
Advantages and issues of adopting the Microservice Architecture
- The main feature of microservices is its size. They are small, so the amount of code is compact enough, which really pleases the developers. Instead of entering an overgrown system, it’s enough to understand a small application.
- All this helps speed up the workflow in an integrated development environment, as well as increase its productivity. In addition, it was a smaller area that helped reduce the number of errors caused by the human factor.
- The isolated nature of microservice architecture is what helped split the design team into autonomous units. All modules are responsible for the development, QA testing, deployment, and scaling of their part of the application. This significantly affects the project and its overall results.
- Moreover, getting rid of emerging problems is much easier precisely because of the isolated nature of microservices. Imagine a memory leak. If we talk about monolithic architecture, the whole system will be destroyed. But if the problem is isolated, although it affects the workflow, it does not have any effect on other services.
- Microservice architecture does not depend on the technological stack. Each microservice has its own stack, which allows you to experiment and innovate.
- Speaking about the business tasks and goals, it is worth mentioning that it is the microservice architecture that can provide continuous delivery. Specialized components do not disrupt the overall workflow. The application continues to work and develop.
- And this means that the company can support it in a simpler way. No extensive system where all the elements are interconnected. Just forget that the slightest change creates problems. Now you have small, but completely autonomous services under your control.
- Systems that are effortless to maintain are easy to test. They do not require a lot of time and resources. The development cycle now needs pretty little time.
- This also contributes to a simpler and less problematic deployment of the system. Services are independent, they don’t require each other. And even if you have to face deployment challenges, the overall system will not suffer any damage at all.
Of course, microservice architecture can offer an incredible amount of benefits. But there is not a single system in the world, that does not face various challenges. So which ones?
- Microservices are small and self-sufficient. However, the connections between them create a complex distributed system. This means that optimization will require some effort.
- This can complicate the deployment process, because the more moving parts there are in the system, the greater its operational complexity. Your developers should manage a large number of autonomous services, as well as monitor the process of their interaction.
- Developers are faced with a difficult task, which is to implement the mechanisms of relations between services and the processing of partial failures. For this, you may need developers from various services.
- The testing process is also complicated due to the complex structure, especially when it comes to various interactions between services.
- If you plan to implement multi-service requests, you need to take care of the transparent interaction of the dedicated development teams and precise coordination. In other words, your team should be on the same page. And this is what JatApp can provide you with.
In short, microservice architecture is gaining in popularity. This is what the best companies in the world choose to build their applications. Even with some challenges, MA is the most flexible and cheapest development method that can provide you with the best results. Using this approach, JatApp will help your business grow and evolve while providing consistent and seamless customer service.