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The Importance Of Microservices In Digital Transformation

What are they and why the biggest companies are looking to them

10Jan

Today’s organizations live in constant fear of becoming another dinosaur. New disrupters are coming into every industry and they are turning everything upside down.

Customers are more demanding than ever and will abandon the service that is too slow to respond. Everything is needed yesterday to make your customers happy.

Now, there is no time for organizations to implement huge enterprise applications which take months and years.

What they need is, more agile, smaller, hyper focused teams working together to innovate and provide customer value.

This is where Microservices have gained momentum and are becoming fast go-to solution for enterprises. They takes SOA a step further by breaking every component into effectively single-purpose applications.

Microservices show a strategy for decomposing a large project, based on the functions, into smaller, more manageable pieces. While a monolithic app is One Big Program with many responsibilities, Microservice based apps are composed of several small programs, each with a single responsibility

Microservices are independently developed and deployable, small, modular services. Each component is developed separately, and the application is then simply the sum of its constituent components. Each service runs as a unique process and communicates with other components via a very lightweight methods like HTTP/Rest with Jason.

Unlike old single huge enterprise application which requires heavy maintenance, Microservices are easy to manage.

Here are few characteristics and advantages of Microservices:

  • Very small, targeted in scope and functionality
  • Give developers the freedom to independently develop and deploy services
  • Loosely coupled and can communicate with other services on industry wide standards like HTTP and JSON
  • API based connectivity
  • Every service can be coded in different programming language
  • Easily deployable and disposable, making releases possible even multiple times a day
  • New Digital technology can be easily adopted for a service
  • Allows to change services as required by business, without a massive cost
  • Testing and releases easier for individual components
  • Better fault tolerance and scale up

There are also a number of challenges, including:

  • Cost of the testing at system integration level
  • Need to configure monitoring and alerting and similar services for each Microservice
  • Service calls to one another mean tracing the path and debugging can be difficult
  • Each service communicates through API/remote calls, which means higher overheads
  • Each service generates a log, so there is no central log monitoring.

A number of large companies are doing Microservices brilliantly. Netflix has a great Microservice architecture that receives more than one billion calls every day, from more than 800 different types of devices, to its streaming-video API. Nike, the athlete clothing and shoe giant & now digital brand, is using Microservices in its apps to deliver extra ordinary customer experience, while Amazon, eBay, and GE’s Predix are other great examples of Microservices architecture.

If your IT organization is implementing a microservices architecture, some examples of an operating system are Linux, Ubuntu, CoreOS; Docker is a good container technology,  scheduler(Swarm, Kubernetes), and a monitoring tool(Prometheus).

Given technical demands of digital transformation all front/back-office systems that seamlessly coordinate customer experiences in a digital world is achieved by Microservices as the preferred architecture.

Microservices help close the gap between business and IT & are fundamental shift in how IT approaches software development and are absolutely essential in Digital Transformation.

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