Moving to a microservice architecture is an innovative way to deliver software while lowering risks quickly. It is a top priority for many future-focused companies. When your business is ready to make the transition, it’s important to know exactly what its application needs are to ensure you achieve the right quality of service, scalability, flexibility and business success.
Looking at the business benefits of microservices can help your enterprise identify its unique goals for the move and ensure you have the support in hand to manage the added complexity of moving to a containerized architecture.
Why Move to Microservices?
Any business knows that in the traditional monolithic way of building applications, the larger their applications are, the more difficult it is to deploy new features or make changes or improvements. This is the pain point behind the creation of microservices and the containers in which they run.
With microservices, all your applications are broken down into the smallest possible parts instead of everything being built into one piece. These are kept independently from one another, which means that each process, or microservice, can be built, tested, deployed or updated as a part of the whole, without disruption to the overall application.
The Business Benefits of Microservices
Working with companies to establish their road map and goals for the change to a containerized architecture, we have seen incredible growth and success from a best practice approach to the move. Some of the most common benefits for businesses are:
- Making changes to legacy applications is risky, as changing one process could negatively affect another. In contrast, with loosely coupled microservices, updates can be performed independently of the rest of the application. This leads to quicker application development and version rollouts so that companies can “fail fast” and stick to agile product timelines.
- Full understanding and visibility of network dependencies are essential in microservices, as well as consistent access and security for each microservice. Utilize deep knowledge of container scanning and cluster networking, and apply service mesh to ensure your environment is using all possible tools to stay on top of security.
- Microservices can be scaled horizontally, with two machines running alongside each other, rather than making the existing machine larger. This means you can scale up and down exactly when and how you need, saving money and improving the user experience.
- If and when problems arise, one small piece of your application is affected, not the whole thing. This provides better performance for end users and eliminates downtime while IT is troubleshooting and restoring service as usual.
- Many businesses make a move to a containerized infrastructure because of the need to scale. When automated and templatized, microservices are easy to manage and simple to replicate or remove. This means you have a consistent approach to scaling, orchestrating and managing your application.
Will Microservices Save Money?
We often get asked whether using containers will have a positive effect on a business’s bottom line. Like any IT environment, best practices are key. Many companies have jumped in headfirst to a microservices environment that they do not fully understand and, as a result, find it impossible to manage effectively. If this is the case, then like any other environment, containers can be expensive and wasteful. However, if you take the time to architect, maintain and optimize your new environment with care, you’re likely to see a positive impact on your budget as you lighten the load for your business and maximize the use of your resources.
Increasing Business Agility With Containers
One way to ensure you get the most out of microservices is to use industry-best technology to guide your move. Kubernetes is a container orchestration tool that adds to the efficiency of running your microservices and can help your containers and applications communicate in an automated and streamlined way. It adds simple portability to your applications, allowing you to move them to various cloud or internal environments. Kubernetes also encourages best-in-class security, providing a consistent approach to access and management even across a hybrid environment.
Making the most out of containers and microservices comes with embracing an agile way of thinking. This includes adopting DevOps pipelines and embracing automation across your environment. For these goals, Kubernetes is a must-have. However, as an open source technology that improves all the time, setting up and managing Kubernetes is a skill in itself. Finding a partner to guide you through this process is key.