Over the past years, microservices represented an important trend in the world of software development, as we mentioned in our previous article. In any case, if you ask different developers what a microservice is, you will get lots of different answers.
Additionally, to make it all clear, we will put on the table the most important tools and techniques microservices developers are using to build highly scalable, modular applications.
What are microservices and how they work
Basically, microservices (aka Microservice Architecture) represent a popular software design architecture that breaks apart monolithic systems. Applications are usually built as collections of loosely couples services and each microservice is responsible for a single feature. They communicate with each other through some protocols such as HTTP and TCP.
We can say that microservices come with many benefits that are super useful nowadays, and one of the most important advantages is that the team can develop, maintain and deploy each microservice independently. This leads to other benefits, such as: reduce the time to market, speed up your CI/CD pipeline and better scalability,
Summarily, microservices can make an application much easier to understand, develop concurrently, test and scale, being more agile than their monolithic counterparts.
A brief example: Netflix has definitely lots of services. One that handles user authentication, other that handles monthly billing, other that can recommend similar movies to you. Every component is its own service, although they work together to create the whole application.
The architecture of microservices appeared as a need to address the problems identified by people in monolithic systems.
Most important thing: the service’s API.
In a microservice architecture, each service is self-contained and implements a single business capability.
Here, focusing on how each service will be implemented IS NOT the most significant thing to do. Instead, think about how the services will interact and what protocol they will use to do so (REST or others).
Keep in mind that most architectures include a load balancing solution that understands when and how to spin up a new instance of the service in case of large volume requests.
Photo source: codetiburon.com
Advantages of using microservices architecture:
- Developers will work on a smaller codebase compared to a larger one in a monolithic app
- The responsibilities will be more defined
- The application’s technology will no longer need to depend on one language or library
- It will be easier with the continuous delivery
- Scalability will be independent to each microservices
- You will be free to choose using distinct databases for your microservices (for example NoSQL, or a combination of Redis, MySQL, MongoDB)
- An error will not bring the entire system sown.
Operating system. Containers. Orchestration. Tools that can help with microservices
When it comes to deploying services, LINUX is the KING. That’s because it’s quicker to spin up, has less storage overhead and provide fewer attack surfaces from a cybersecurity perspective.
When it comes to containerization, DOCKER represents the dominant player. Docker containers can spin up in milliseconds, which will result in an ultra-fast response to demand.
Managing and orchestrating container creation, processes and destruction is the job of an orchestrator. Undoubtedly the best is KUBERNETES and it’s open source! This will allow you to automate the deployment of your containerized microservices, making it easier to manage all the elements of your application.
Using a container orchestration platform is a must in building your application with microservices.
Microservices are definitely the most suitable for large-scale applications.
Even though developing and maintaining independent microservices might seem easier, network management requires extra effort. Container platforms, DevOps practices and cloud computing can contribute a lot to the architecture of microservices.
Keep in mind that even though might seem easier to start with a monolithic architecture, once the application grows in size, it would only get harder to decompose it into microservices. In this case, it would be better to start off with microservices in the early development phase.
Have you started thinking about this type of approach for your next project? We can guarantee that microservices architecture can deliver some distinctive benefits over traditional architectures. Just make sure to choose the best team to work on your project!