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Innovation is part improvement over existing systems and part changes in the techniques and practices employed. Microservice architecture is a form of architecture pattern centered around the concept of an application as a collection of loosely coupled and independently deployable self-contained services. Each service is responsible for a specific task and connects with each other to provide a solution to larger business problems.

Continue reading this article to learn more about the benefits of Microservice architecture and how to get started with it. 


Benefits of Microservice Architecture



Since an application is made up of simpler independent components rather than as a complex monolithic entity, it makes it easier to understand, test, and develop. Such a design approach also makes it more robust against the effects of architecture erosion. In the case of an error in one service, the whole of the application is not compromised.



Microservices are easier to scale. A change in one part of the application only requires the rebuilding and redeploying of it versus the whole of its architecture.



A microservice design allows you to select a separate technology stack (programming languages, databases, etc.) for each individual service, granting you tremendous flexibility in comparison to a more standardized, one-size-fits-all approach.


How to Get Started with Microservice Architecture

To get started with the approach, the first thing to keep in mind is that there are no standardized set of principles that you can follow to more successfully implement it. However, in our analysis of numerous case studies, we have identified some common themes when it comes to the successful adoption of microservice architecture. The notable of which are discussed below.


1. Defining Services as Business Capability

A business capability is what your application does to provide value to your end-users. The first task towards successful microservice adoption is to identify the key business capabilities and define your service components accordingly.

As an example, the typical business capabilities of e-commerce application are as follows:

Within a microservice approach, the required service components will be separately built corresponding to each of the identified business capabilities.


2. Separate Teams

Different teams should be deployed to own each service. This can allow for greater team stability and the built-up of domain expertise within each team, vital for efficient and hassle-free scaling of the application.

Furthermore, as each service is an independent component, having separate teams can grant you the versatility of utilizing technologies best suited for the purpose. For instance, using our e-store example, the product catalogue service could be made in Java with a MySQL database and assigned to a team of programmers specializing in that language.


3. Streamlined Access

As microservice puts a heavy emphasis on the separating of services, it may seem rational to create entirely separate access for each one. However, doing so can complicate things and make it challenging to implement changes later on by making it harder to identify who is relying on what part of the services.

A better approach is to hide any unnecessary complexity and implementation detail in the communication flow between the services, setting protocols of passing through only what is needed for a smooth and streamlined access channel for the whole of the structure.


4. One Service, One Operating System

At a glance, deploying multiple services on a single operating system might feel more reasonable, having cut costs and saving time. However, the major drawback is that it severely limits your ability to change and scale services independently.

Thus, having one service per operating system is the more preferable choice. Container model-based virtualization can be employed to help with managing costs. Multiple OS packages can be provisioned within the same host. Since all of them run by a single operating system kernel, it is not as resource intensive as the more traditional hypervisor-based solutions and results in less increase of data sprawl.


5. Standardization

When there are multiple teams working on multiple services, there is a high risk that an unnecessary code would be written as each service might likely handle errors differently. To avoid such issues, standardization is needed. Guides on best practices and detailed documentation on each API should be created. Service design principles should be defined, and a single naming convention should be adopted. Also, API Gateways should be implemented to reduce the risk of problems associated with growing service dependencies.


6. Enhancing Resilience

While when compared to its traditional counterpart, a microservice architecture is far more resilient, it is not totally fool-proof. Failure in any one of its components can still happen, and the magnitude of the issue can grow multi-fold if there is a high level of dependency involved. Bugs in API, network timeouts, versioning differences are some other issues that can compromise the system.

To help enhance the resilience of the architecture, some of the most popular methods are bulkhead and circuit breaker. The former adds resilience by closing and isolating the compromised element of the application. At the same time, the later breaks communication with a component for a preconfigured after a failure reaches a certain threshold.


7. Log Aggregation

Because of the distributed nature of microservices, it can be difficult to go through and correlate logs of each service instance and figure out individual errors. Log aggregation can help overcome this problem, allowing a centralized interface to monitor logs and be notified of alerts. A similar approach can also be used to easily monitor the resource usage of each individual component, helping with performing health checks and ensuring the end product provides a more consistent experience to users in all its services.


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