This tutorial helps you understand and get acquainted with everything you need to know about Microservices. As you go further, you will gain complete knowledge regarding the architecture, features, applications, certifications and the job structure of microservices in the market.
With a steady increase in the market size for the Microservices since 2016 in the US, many large players are migrating to it. This popularity is mainly because; the enterprises are looking forward to becoming more agile and adopt DevOps with continuous testing capabilities.
It is important for a tech-savvy engineer to understand the concept of Microservices and its bigger picture in the market. So, let's get started.
Microservices is a method of software development which packages an application as a set of loosely-coupled services with light-weight protocols for communication. Basically, it is a set of services that work independently to contribute to a user-defined task. Here, each business task is handled by a service that works independently with a dedicated server.
It borrows its architectural style from the Service-Oriented Architecture.
Note: Service-Oriented Architecture is a design of software development where services are provided by the application components to other components through network protocols.
Microservices are also popularly known as Microservice Architecture. Every service in the application is an independent, self-contained service and they implement single business capability.
The old monolithic architecture of applications was one of the reasons for the development of microservice architecture.
Before understanding the reasons to adopt Microservices, let us understand the structure of Monolithic architecture and the flaws that compelled to design a new architecture.
The whole architecture is built as a single, autonomous, business unit, where all the components inside the system are interconnected and are interdependent.
Below are the reasons for migrating over monolithic architecture.
Defects (Effects) of Monolithic Architecture
[Related Page: Guide to Cloud Native Microservices]
Microservice Architecture as an alternative
To address the overhead issues encountered in the Monolithic architecture, Microservices was developed.
Microservices is made of small, autonomous business units or services, which are independently deployable in a system. They communicate with each other through independent network protocols and constitute the distributed architecture.
The smaller services making up for the functionality of the entire application improve the modularity of the system. This modular structure reduces the resistance for development, unlike the former one. Any changes to a component can be independently addressed to the component, without affecting the whole system. This reduces the cost of maintenance, as the independent revised software updates can be released, without having to release an entirely new version of the application. This agile flow helps the enterprises to develop better infrastructure for DevOps and otherwise, with a much simpler and lighter internal arrangement.
Let us understand the difference between the monolithic and microservice architecture through an example.
In an e-commerce application, there are a lot of services involved with every user interaction with the site. Until recent times, the architecture followed in the big shark e-commerce applications like Amazon was the monolithic architecture.
The image shown below represents the monolithic application.
The crucial services of an e-commerce site, like search, review, payments were all handled by a single server in monolithic architecture. If there had to be any bug fix made on any of the services, a new version of the application had to be deployed. Besides this, if there had to be any scaling made to handle the load, multiple instances of the server had to be run.
This was observed to be very heavy for maintenance and development.
To overcome these drawbacks, Amazon migrated to the microservice architecture, where independent services managed the application.
The image below represents the microservice architecture of an e-commerce website.
Here, the services like search, reviews, and payments work as autonomous business units which are maintained by separate servers and database.
Any changes demanded by any of these services can be independently fixed and deployed, without forcing for a new version of the application.
[Related Page: Microservices Security And How Do You Secure Them?]
After understanding the need of Microservices, let us understand the architecture that constitutes Microservices
In Microservice architecture, each service is self-contained and implements a small business capability.
Services constitute the main component of the microservice architecture.
Some of the characteristics of services are:
Besides the services, there are other typical components of the microservice architecture that are discussed below.
Following are the cases where microservice architecture can be adopted for the best benefits.
There are many distinct features of microservices that make it stand unique from the monolithic architecture. They are:
Below are some of the benefits of using Microservices:
Microservices has taken over the back-end architecture of many companies like Netflix, Amazon, Uber, etc. Though the services and the benefits offered by microservices are great, it is not always the best choice for all the situations. Sometimes, it's best to employ the good old web services in development. Just like microservices, web service uses separate domains, but with a wider functionality. In this section, let us understand the differences between the web service and microservice and know which one to adopt, and when to adopt.
Web service is a specific case of a service-oriented architecture (SOA). It exposes functionality of one application to another, without a user interface. It basically exposes an API over HTTP, as a service.
The web service performs a specific function in an application, where it is deployed and enables the applications developed in different programming languages to communicate with each other through common formats like XML, Jason, etc.
Web services are not specific to any particular OS or development technology. They work a similar way both in a Java based application as well as in an iOS application. They are not bound to any environment.
|It helps in better service reusability||It is more focused on decoupling and self-contained environment.|
|The existing monolithic architecture can be modified to include web services.||The monolithic architecture has to completely change to create new services.|
|It uses the Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) for communication.||It uses less elaborate and simple messaging systems.|
|It allows for multiple message protocols||It uses HTTP, REST or Thrift APIs, which are lightweight protocols.|
|It deploys all the services into a common platform||Generally, the cloud platform is used for deployment. Application servers are less used.|
|Integration with containers (Dockers), is less common||The container integration works very well with the microservices.|
|The services share common data storage.||Each microservice has dedicated data storage.|
|It works on common standards of governance.||It employs relaxed and decentralized governance, with more focus on team collaboration and freedom of choice.|
The web services and microservices have come a long way from the monolithic architecture. Both are developed with better advantages over the monolithic architecture. Hence, it is difficult to say, which is better over the other. However, each one can become the best choice for a particular scenario.
Microservices are best suited for mobile applications, which require more control over the features and have distinct service demands. The web services are easily adaptable in cases where the application is migrating from monolithic architecture and has certain functionalities, which cannot be assembled into an independent service unit.
Like any other software development model, microservices also has some challenges that are due to its way of modeling. Some of them are mentioned below:
In order to avoid the common losses that incur during migration and adaptation to microservices, here are a few best practices that need to be adopted.
Owing to the diversity of programming languages and technologies that can be adopted during the development of services in microservices, there is no specific technology requisite that can be mentioned.
Though the Microservices architectural style is gaining optimistic popularity day by day, there are some trade-offs for this method, like any other. Developers now have to handle an ecosystem of smaller services of the varied code base, than a single monolithic architecture. Consequently, if you do not possess certain competencies required for this, then the microservice is not the architectural domain for you. Some of these competencies are described below:
To handle the microservices thoroughly, you should be competent enough to fire up a new server rapidly. This is something more natural with cloud computing, but this can be done without full cloud service. To cope up with such rapid provisioning, you may have to deal with a lot of automation. Though not much automation is needed to start with, you will need it to do some serious microservices.
Since the environment is bubbled with a lot of services that are loosely coupled in production, you should be ready with an efficient management team that can detect the fails fast and works on its fixes. Though the common problems might refer to the technology fails, you have to be well aware of management lapses as well (which includes the drop in the orders), etc. Continuous monitoring of such system is demanded in microservice architecture.
Rapid Application Deployment
Since the number of services to deploy is more and varied, you need to be quick in deploying them both to the test environments as well as to the production environments. Generally, Development Pipeline is used to deploy, which does the task within a few hours. Some manual intervention will be considered in the initial stages however, things should be automated for better efficiency in the future.
These capabilities are not focused on an individual but point to a collaborative environment of both the developers and the operations. With this kind of set up, a good number of services can be deployed at the early stages. With experience in continuous monitoring and failure management, the system can be scaled to include a number of services more.
There are many firms in the market that are offering courses to gain microservices developer certification
Mindmajix is one such institution that is aiming at providing the best online course for the Microservices. It includes all the essential tools to be certified as a Microservices Developer.
Once you are accredited from Mindmajix as a Microservices developer, you will be well equipped with the theoretical expertise along with the practical mindset to scale to become a successful Microservices professional.
The general job roles available for the work related to "microservice" are:
Below represents the average salary of some of the common microservice job posts in the US according to latest statistics.
The microservices is already playing big in the market. The scope of the microservices in future is, as a serverless and functions as a service. It is worked on to bring more decentralization and progress towards more intelligence-driven microservices. Real-time data science and analytics with in-memory computers are the areas looked upon in the future. Overall, the development in microservice is focused on to bring more business value and seems to be the architecture of the future systems.
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