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Community Blog Cloud-Native and Application Management With Ease – Part 6: Microservices

Cloud-Native and Application Management With Ease – Part 6: Microservices

Part 6 of this 7-part series discusses using microservices to centralize the iteration process.

By Shantanu Kaushik

Traditionally, applications were a combination of services all mashed into one. At the time, this scenario was simple got the work done. Businesses’ needs have evolved over time, and the technology must follow suit. With the introduction of cloud computing architecture, application development and deployment developed a faster approach. The time taken between release cycles was cut down, and the new features the businesses demanded were added to the applications.

The traditional approach of developing and deploying applications followed a traditional software development lifecycle where developers hand over the code to testers and debuggers before it is packaged and shipped. In the past, this entire cycle was inefficient and took up a large amount of time between release cycles.

Microservices brought changes. With the Microservices model, you can optimize the overall architecture to centralize the iteration process. Let’s take a look at how microservices work on the Alibaba Cloud platform:

1

Microservices are a collection of services that make up an entire solution, and each one can have multiple parts. Multiple microservices can form an independent distributed system. Microservices are independent and provide superb scalability and reliability. Microservices enable you to deploy applications with redundancies and Auto Scaling to handle elasticity with resource scaling.

The cloud-native microservices can leverage the complete extent of resources provided by the cloud architecture to increase the availability, security, and elasticity level of your applications. The cloud-native architecture offers the convenience and stability of the cloud architecture with the microservices framework to reduce the application architecture complexity.

2

A Recommendation on Architectural Inclusions for Microservices

Microservices offer more operations flexibility than traditional methods for application development and deployment. However, microservices require more O&M than the traditional architecture. There are specific parameters to follow when designing a microservice. Let’s discuss these features to create a perfect design structure for the microservices environment:

1.  Individual Microservice Considerations

  • Microservices must include features that are independent of each other with clear and functional design elements. Microservices offer the independence of choosing programming languages that provide the best solutions to support your business needs.
  • Unlike the traditional model, this enables the use of multiple programming languages irrespective of the microservice deployment environment. The micro in microservices denotes the functional modules that are split for reusability and independence.
  • Microservices should be designed for reusability, with a single focus on the execution of one function or completion of a single task. If one microservice is used to complete multiple tasks, the independence scenario is lost.
  • Microservice modification should be considered as a stand-alone task that should not affect other microservice modules. If microservices aren’t loosely coupled, the solution will become unstable even if there is a single microservice module under maintenance.

2.  Microservices Interactions Control

  • A good microservice solution defines clear boundaries between the microservices. You should move on to defining the microservice interactions and focus on how discoverability between the microservices work.
  • Discoverability refers to one microservice that automatically locates another microservice within a network. This ensures that a microservice will not be affected or require restarting if any changes are made to the scale or structure of other microservice.
  • Microservices must follow some policy controls to interact with each other. Programming languages usually utilize remote call protocols to interact with each other, and the same principles apply to microservices. You can use the REST protocol for microservices to interact with others, but IDL-based binary protocols are recommended for high-performance microservices environments.
  • Making sure the microservices chain doesn’t get too long for you to implement security protocols is also important.
  • Failure recovery scenarios must be kept in place while designing a microservices system to increase the resilience of the entire system and enable load balancing based on real-world metrics.

3.  Data Storage and Container Scheduling

  • Microservice design should abide by the standards set by the data storage segmentation (DSS) principle. This principle assigns the data exposure as private to microservices. The data is only accessible through APIs provided by microservices.
  • Container scheduling has an erratic impact on the infrastructure. We advise using stateless designs wherever possible.
  • Making the upper layer of the infrastructure independent helps you freely schedule microservices with different containers.
  • If you are designing stateful microservices, you need to separate the storage and computing resources and enable data transmission towards distributed storage. This will help enable some form of stateless design.

4.  Considerations for Large-Scale Microservices

  • If you are building a complex microservices system, you need to think about O&M. A comprehensive set of observability features must be integrated into the system to gather and analyze data from multiple dimensions.
  • A centralized monitoring scenario must be implemented to facilitate the proper functioning of the entire system.
  • The O&M process should be tightly controlled to maintain the microservices-split functionality, where single nodes split to make multiple nodes.
  • An automated CI/CD pipeline should be set up to enable faster build-to-delivery cycles. These cycles have to match the business requirements and feature releases to extract maximum development efficiency.
  • Multiple rollout strategies, such as canary release or grey release, can be implemented to work with the business stability requirements.

Wrapping Up

Alibaba Cloud introduced the cloud-native architecture alongside industry-leading tools and open community support. In Part 7 of this series, we will differentiate the stages of microservice evolution and the frameworks. We will also talk about major microservices-based technologies and what makes their design scenario work so efficiently.

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