Cloud and the Microservice Architecture – A Match Made In Heaven

Cloud and the Microservice Architecture – A Match Made In Heaven

in May 16, 2021

A couple of weeks ago, we wrote about why the cloud is the best choice when it comes to enhanced service availability and resilience, data transparency and security, and the ability to optimize both costs and computing resources. In that post, we compared the cloud to other popular contenders like microservices.

So, what about that quirky title up there? Did we have a sudden change of heart about microservices?

Not quite. We were always on the side of microservice architecture as opposed to the monolithic. However, cloud solutions and cloud nativity are generally the best choices any business can make when investing in its digital future.

On the other hand, an excellent microservice architecture provides many valuable benefits that overlap with the cloud. What’s more, it is the most cloud-ready architecture out there; it’s designed to click with most cloud solutions in an “instant,” making integration a lot smoother.

And as you will see just now, implementing microservices inside the cloud will significantly boost their combined, already extensive advantages.

Microservices within the Cloud

In our last installment on cloud solutions, we mentioned that by applying the Refactoring strategy during a cloud transformation project, you could further implement a microservice architecture to further enhance operations and business agility.

Since microservice architecture is a variant of the service-oriented architecture, it organizes an application to collect loosely coupled services. Within its framework, code is broken into independent services. Although these services run as separate processes, their output is used as input in a system of independent, communicating services.

Moving to a microservice architecture within the cloud can be a huge turning point in your organization’s life. As always, business goals should be the determining factor when deciding to adopt a microservice architecture; however, combining Refactoring with this architecture gives you the ability to decouple the domain functionality into smaller, more manageable groups –a huge benefit that leads to easier development and maintenance as well.

The Advantages of Microservice Architecture

To help you see the bigger picture, here’s a quick rundown of the main advantages a microservice architecture will provide your organization with:

Reduce costs

Changing an application in a monolithic architecture is bound to be expensive. As all parts interact in a monolith, a change cascades throughout the architecture. Consequently, it leads to more and more time, money, and energy invested into just a single update. And with each update that builds on the previous one, the monolith becomes more and more bloated, increasing the number of resources needed to maintain it. With microservices, you can laser-focus on a single change without dealing with — and pay for — modifications spilling over to other applications.

Considerable ROI reduced TCO.

Your teams can work on separate services concurrently, leading to quicker deployment. Simultaneously, as the developers’ code generally becomes more reusable, development time will also decrease. Furthermore, the decoupled nature of microservices means that you will no longer have to resort to expensive machines to operate your systems — even primary x86 machines can do the trick. Besides the reduced infrastructure costs, the increase you gain inefficiency results in less downtime, too.

Continuous delivery

If there’s an ideal architecture for ensuring continuous delivery, it is through microservices where each application is situated in a separate container along with the environment it needs to run. As such, we can avoid accidental meddling with other applications when editing an app within its container. In addition, with a microservice architecture, you can quickly update your software – that means a simplified troubleshooting process and no downtime for users.

Faster deployment

Microservice architecture can also accelerate deployment while simultaneously increasing app reliability because the containerized environments that the apps are running in can be moved anywhere without affecting their environments. This leads to a faster time-to-market.

Increased resilience

A single failure’s impact can cascade out to all other services or functions in a monolithic architecture. But thanks to the decentralized, decoupled nature of microservices, if an update to one container breaks something, it won’t spiral out of control, affecting all the other separate containers. So even when several systems malfunction or are brought down for maintenance, the users won’t notice anything.

Adaptation to changing market conditions

Since the microservice approach leads to quicker update deployment and testing, your organization will follow new market trends better and adapt its products faster. There’s also the benefit of enabling innovation. Developers no longer have to fear to experiment since the apps are isolated. So, if a dev changes something in one app container, that change won’t affect all the others. With the ability to innovate more freely, your organization is bound to get ahead of competitors and create new revenue streams.

Enabling developers

Developers gain access to modern tools to build higher-quality software products. With the containerized approach, developers can build apps using multiple components and then code each component in the language that is best suited to its function. In a monolithic architecture, they would have to make sacrifices and choose a single language for all apps, leading to suboptimal results. The depth of optimization available within microservices can significantly increase software quality.

For instance, a microservice architecture based in Amazon Web Services will provide us with the following benefits:

Elasticity The ability to acquire resources as you need them and release resources when you no longer need them. In the cloud, you want to do this automatically.
Scalability Successful, growing systems often see an increase in demand over time. A scalable system can adapt to meet this new level of need.
High Availability It describes systems that are dependable enough to operate continuously without fail. They are well-tested and sometimes equipped with some redundant components.
Resilience The ability for a system to recover from a failure induced by load, attacks, and failures.
Flexibility Using a small, template-based approach at the code level, we can ensure more efficient version handling and flow separation.
Autonomous Services By achieving a complete separation at the service level, the system can avoid consuming other services’ memory.
Decentralized Governance Each microservice would be governed independently, allowing each team to choose the best tool for the job.
Failure Isolation By allowing each service to be responsible only for its failures, we can minimize dependencies.
Auto-Provisioning By allowing predefined/automatic sizing for each microservice based on load.
Continuous delivery through DevOps By leveraging Terraform templates, automated test scripts, load tests, and improved deployment quality assurance cycles.
It’s Important to Remain Cautious

A good microservice architecture implemented within the cloud can be a total game-changer for your business. Still, it’s worth keeping in mind that not every business can benefit from this, as some organizations are unfortunately not prepared or equipped to make it work.

It’s better to check some crucial considerations as your organization is getting ready to move operations to a microservice architecture:

First, you need to be equipped.

This architecture requires rapid provisioning and app deployment to capitalize on its advantages. Developers must be able to provision resources instantly, and that is quite draining in the long run. It would help if you kept both humans and IT resources fresh and capable of managing fast and frequent deployments — and bearing the pressure that comes with it.

Robust monitoring is crucial.

As your teams work simultaneously on separate services using their preferred language, platform, and APIs, you will need an efficient monitoring system to oversee and manage the entire infrastructure.

Embracing DevOps culture

Learning and adopting DevOps practices is vital if you want cross-functional teams to work and cooperate effectively. In DevOps, the development and operations teams are no longer focused on their tasks; their work becomes intertwined, and both groups are responsible for service provisioning.

More complex testing

The dependencies of services are more widespread in a microservice architecture. As new features are added, not only does the complexity of services increase, but the number of dependencies also goes up. As such, resilience testing and fault injection become essential tools for your testers, as they must make sure that service unavailability, database errors, caching issues, or network latency do not take down an entire service.

Be prepared for failure.

Every organization must be ready to handle failure issues such as system downtime, unexpected responses, or slow service. In case of failures, the impacted service should still run in a degraded functionality without crashing the entire system.

Would you like to build a microservice architecture in the cloud but mitigate the risks and failures involved? Of course, the first step is always creating an effective cloud strategy; however, the consequent step requires an experienced overview of which cloud solutions are most compatible with your current – or desired – business model. And last, a specific roadmap for implementing the exact solution that will provide the best ROI.

At Blue Guava, we help businesses unlock their true digital potential by assisting them to undergo complete cloud transformation. As longstanding Amazon Web Services (AWS) partners, we help companies achieve massive economies of scale, reduce capital investment costs, and empower them to take their business to a global level through comprehensive cloud solutions. We have found AWS to provide the best outcomes in establishing a resilient global presence for your business, functions with high availability and simplified architecture, and leads to cost optimization across all areas.

The scope of cloud-based possibilities achievable within AWS is not limited to cloud migration: we can also assist you in cloud-native app development, application refactoring or redesign, business workflow optimization as well as the automation of your current development pipeline.