What comes first? Micro Services or Micro Segmentation?

It reads like the chicken and egg story only in the case of Micro Services and Micro Segmentation it is very easy to think that they come as a package deal and thus confuse the two. Micro Services

As we have often discussed on the Captain Dash blog, Micro Services refer to a set of services or mini applications making up the application architecture of an organization.

An organization can either break apart an existing Monolithic application to create Micro Services or it can create its architecture as a combination of several Micro Services from scratch.

Micro Segmentation

Micro Segmentation on the other hand deals with breaking up of a network itself. This could be done for several reasons, foremost of which is security.

The point to note though is that when a team uses the Micro Services approach to their architecture a natural bifurcation of the network occurs thus leading to Micro Segmentation. This is also the reason why there can be confusion between the two.

Another significant use for Micro Segmentation is that aside from taking the pressure off of one large network is that it isolates disruption when services need to be changed or upgraded. In case of a single large network one change can have domino effect on the whole network.

Micro Services and Micro Segmentation

In brief these are both methods of segmenting a Monolithic architecture in different domains and turning them into smaller, more scalable and secure components.

Just because a team uses one approach it doesn’t automatically mean that the other follows. Though it is best practice to employ both for optimization.

While one cannot say which one comes first, as a general rule it has been observed that if a team uses Micro Services then Micro Segmentation is quick to follow. On the other hand the employment of Micro Segmentation does not necessarily result in the use of Micro Services by a team.

If your organization has made the switch to Micro Services or to Micro Segmentation we would love to hear which came first for you.

To stay updated with our series on Micro Services architecture follow us on twitter or subscribe to our blog.

Written By: Meghna Verma

Three architectural strategies for Micro Services APIs

A good house is built on a strong foundation. The same holds true for systems architecture. How you build your Micro Services determines what they turn into.

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Micro Services - A Case for the Sidecar

One of the most fascinating traits of Micro Services is that they are polyglot or as we like to say here at Captain Dash – they are a Google translate that works.

There are obvious advantages of such an architecture, the biggest being that we can use the best tool for getting a job done.

On the other hand it has its fair share of challenges, the most prominent one being that separate libraries need to be maintained for each language used. While such an overhead seems acceptable for 2-3 languages, what happens when we are dealing with 6-8 of them?

Organizations traditionally used virtualization to tackle this issue but with the arrival of Docker on the scene most have moved to containers because of lower overheads. But, containers in Micro Services do exactly what they do in a home – they hide the mess not get rid of it! In this case the libraries still need to be built to facilitate communication except they are containerized.

Here is where sidecars come in. Named after the sidecars on a motorcycle a sidecar is a second application that runs alongside the Micro Service it is attached to and provides a language neutral interface for the micro service to communicate with. It can be said that a sidecar is a glue code that allows for the assembly of various Micro Services components.

Many teams are currently employing sidecars successfully for example Netflix and AirBnB.

They do, of course, come with certain disadvantages. The most obvious being that in process communication is smoother and less prone to bugging. Another issue being that sidecars cannot effectively access all the information inside the parent application.

There is also the point to consider that eventually sidecars will become obsolete because the Micro Services systems are evolving even as speak. Until that happens though the sidecar pattern is a great tool to add to your Micro Services set to facilitate communication and language neutrality.

To stay updated with our series on Micro services architecture follow us on twitter or subscribe to our blog.

Written By: Meghna Verma Meghna Verma is the CMO at Captain Dash.  You can reach her on Twitter @M3GV3RMa .

 

Micro Services are not a Silver Bullet

if you can’t build a well-structured Monolith, what makes you think you can build a well-structured Micro Services system?

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Micro Services - Reasons For Partitioning?

A few posts back we spoke about how Microservices affect organizational structure and how the structure of an organization mirrors the structure of its architecture. By structure of an architecture we basically mean partitioning of that architecture and hence the organization.

So, now we are faced with the question of why should one partition the system? The simple answer, of course, is agility. The biggest reason for any organization to switch to Micro services is to be agile.

And agile is all about individuals; how they decide to work together and build software that are aligned with their business goals.

There are a few broad reasons why businesses partition either their organizational or their software structure:

Comparative Rates of Change

Different parts of a system often have different rates of change relative to each other. Some portions might need to be changed on a weekly basis while others annually. In a case such as this a partitioning is usually required so as to make the more frequently changed parts to be more independent.

Autonomy of Teams

Sometimes it is easier to split up teams and systems so that different teams can work independently on different parts of the system without being affected by each other’s work and speed. Here the teams are usually created so as to mimic the independently partitioned system parts.

Domain Boundaries

A complicated system often calls for extremely strict and independent boundaries of its business domains. This is to make it possible for each business unit to be completely self-sufficient and thus be independent of the functioning of any other unit. This is usually what we called decoupled business units. Having separate teams and modules taking care of these domains is usually a good idea.

Non-Functional Facets

Usually different parts of a system will have differing non-functional facets, which put them at odds where, needs and resources are concerned. This is the reason that Monoliths are difficult to scale since the entire system needs to be scaled even if only one single component needs it. This is another reason businesses consider partitioning their systems since doing so helps them to better assign their resources and invest their energies.

The bottom line? No matter what the reason for the partitioning maybe the goal is agility!

To stay updated with our series on Micro services architecture follow us on twitter or subscribe to our blog.

 

Written By: Meghna Verma Meghna Verma is the CMO at Captain Dash.  You can reach her on Twitter @M3GV3RMa .

4 great videos to watch on Micro Services

1. Practice Considerations for Micro Services Architecture By Sam Newman, tech consultant @ ThoughtWorks

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A great talk on the practical aspects of the Micro Services architecture. Sam Newton talks about things you need to learn along with the challenges you can face and how to go about navigating your team through the implementation of such architecture. He talks about his own experiences and what he learnt from his own failures.

2. Services and Rails: The Shit They Don’t Tell You

By Brian Morton , software engineer @ Yammer

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Brian Morton from Yammer talks about how to build services and integrate them into rails. This talk looks into mistakes made, solutions that worked for Yammer, monitoring cost versus viability, teams and how Yammer has ben able to move quickly. Overall a comprehensive talk that is easy to follow even for non-engineers.

3. Microservices

By Martin Fowler, programmer @ ThoughtWorks

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A video by Martin Fowler has to be included in this list. This video discusses what are Micro Services, what they do, how they differ from monoliths and whether they are such a new concept after all or not. This is a basic, introductory talk on the subject by one of the people who has explored it in great depth. His blog is a great read too for someone interested in further information.

4. The Business Benefits of Micro Services

By Russ Miles, chief scientist @ Simplicity Itself

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A short, to the point video on how Micro Services can benefit a business beyond the dev team. This talk is for everyone whose company has invested in or is thinking of investing in a Micro Services architecture. It helps people who are the most removed from technology in an organization understand exactly how Micro Services can help a business compete and stay alive.

To stay updated with our series on Micro services architecture follow us on twitter or subscribe to our blog.

 

Written By: Meghna Verma Meghna Verma is the CMO at Captain Dash.  You can reach her on Twitter @M3GV3RMa .

Monolith to Micro Services - Refactoring a Monolith

So how does one refactor a Monolith? It is not often that we are awarded the opportunity to start with a blank page where service architecture is concerned. In fact some of the most successful Micro Service based architectures that we see today started out as Monoliths!

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Micro Services - Google Translate That Works!

To put a layman’s twist into this let’s say that micro services are a Google translate that actually works!

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Micro Services - De la Fast Fashion à la fast data

Zara a révolutionné le monde de la mode en passant de la slow fashion à la fast fashion. Les Microservices vont changer le monde en passant de la slow data à la fast data.

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How Micro Services Change Organizational Structure

A breakdown of silos in functionality automatically results in easy communication across the team, higher collaboration, cutting down the budget approval trains and making it possible to take spot decisions thus making these teams more result oriented.

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Pourquoi les Micro Services sont Votre Botox !

Certains Ayatollah des Micro Services prétendent qu'il n'existe qu'une alternative en termes de Micro Service : soit vous travaillez exclusivement avec, soit vous prenez le risque programmé de devenir très vite obsolète. Pour les tenants du full Micro Services, les choix d'architecture entre Micro Services et Monolitique sont trop radicalement opposés pour pouvoir cohabiter ensemble.

Ce n'est pas notre point de vue.

L'enjeu n'est pas de jeter à la poubelle l'ensemble de votre architecture pour la remplacer par des Micro Services. Non seulement changer d'infrastructure est une opération longue, complexe et coûteuse. Mais surtout, lorsque vous pensez Micro Services, ce n'est objectivement pas nécessairement utile.

Il est totalement possible de construire autour une architecture Monolitique un exosquelette constitué de Micro Services qui communiquent entre eux au travers d'APIs.

C'est exactement ce que nous faisons avec Captain Dash. Nos clients utilisent tous des architectures Monolitiques. Nous n'intervenons jamais sur l'architecture existante de nos clients, nous n'y apportons aucune modification. Nous nous contentons d'injecter, pour rendre le système tout entier plus agile et modulaire, des petites doses de Micro Services qui communiquent entre eux grâce à des APIs.

Botox-Injection-Picture

C'est un peu comme faire des piqures de botox juste aux endroits où les rides doivent être effacées plutôt que d'opter pour une opération de chirurgie esthétique de très grande ampleur.

Et nous pensons que c'est précisément là que se situe le caractère révolutionnaire des Micro Services. Permettre de faire cohabiter deux mondes et faire rajeunir les applications Monolititiques à moindre frais.

Les Micro Services sont aux architectures Monolitiques ce que le Botox est aux rides. Une cure de jouvence à moindre coût.

Note : Captain Dash commence une nouvelle série d’articles sur les Micro Services. Certains sont techniques, d’autres moins. Notre objectif est de considérer cette forme d’architecture que nous utilisons et de la rendre compréhensible pour le commun des mortels. Ces articles seront publiés tous les dimanches. Donc suivez-les sur Twitter ou abonnez-vous à notre blog et recevez votre mise à jour hebdomadaire sur cette fabuleuse architecture qui est en train de changer la façon de faire des affaires !

Micro Services Allow us to Innovate!

In our two last posts on Micro Services we have discussed anti-fragility and the ability of Micro Services to survive failure.

 Related to both these qualities is innovation. Micro Services facilitate innovation at a very fast pace, thus making it possible to not only be disruptive but also remain so.

20120830_samsung_innovate

A traditional Monolithic application does not give us much opportunity for innovation. Due to the way it is built, changing things and experimenting can be risky due to the fact that the changes potentially affect every aspect. Thus, any kind of innovation is limited.

 Micro Services, on the other hand, respond very well to changes. The decoupled nature of this structure makes it possible to change each individual service in any way that works best for that particular service. The fact that this is a polyglot architecture gives the designers the freedom to work in the language that works best for a particular aspect of the system. This is not to say that the languages have to be different for it to work but just that the options are available.

Another feature that helps to keep the innovation constant and fast paced is the size itself. A small set of code is definitely easier to change and mould as need be compared to a larger set of codes. Smaller services are also easier to test and deploy thus making it possible to innovate and change faster.

The size and modularity of Micro Services ensures that even if a particular change brings down the application the entire architecture is not affected by the failure. This feature, especially, is what gives the teams the confidence to experiment and play with ideas without the fear of a complete shut down.

Anti-fragility, the ability to survive failure and finally the freedom to innovate is why we, at Captain Dash, consider Micro Services to be our secret sauce. They make it possible for our team to offer innovative, completely customised solutions for our clients – solutions that work!

To stay updated with our series on Micro Services architecture follow us on twitter or subscribe to our blog.

Written By: Meghna Verma Meghna Verma is the Content Manager at Captain Dash.  You can reach her on Twitter @M3GV3RMa .

Quels oeufs de Paques se cachent dans votre architecture ?

Pendant la période de Pâques, observez bien les œufs en chocolat.

Pâques vient de passer. Rappelez vous des oeufs en chocolats dans votre jardin.

Pourquoi diable les œufs, vous demandez-vous ?

Simplement parce que c'est une belle allégorie de ce que pourrait être votre architecture informatique.

Commençons par le traditionnel œuf de Pâques auquel tout le monde pense, le gros oeuf en chocolat. Cet œuf, c'est votre architecture Monolithique standard.

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C'est une grande quantité de chocolat, très appétissante au début, mais qui se révèle finalement indigeste, vous fait grossir et vous ralentit, car il faut la manger en une seule fois sinon elle se gâte.

Les Micro Services en revanche, sont comme de minuscules oeufs de Pâques. Ces oeufs sont constitués de la même quantité de chocolat que le gros œuf , mais sont beaucoup plus petits et nombreux. De cette façon, vous pouvez les manger au rythme qui vous plaît. Selon votre appétit, sans vous rendre malade ni grossir. Et la quantité de chocolat que vous consommez suffit à vous apporter un regain d'énergie.

mini-eggs-002

A l'image des petits oeufs éparpillés dans votre jardin, les Micro Services fonctionnent de manière indépendante et peuvent être utilisés comme on veut. Ces programmes poids-plume procurent à votre activité la souplesse et l'extensibilité nécessaires pour rester compétitive et pertinente.

La prochaine fois, n'oubliez pas de prêter un peu d'attention à cet œuf en chocolat que vous êtes sur le point de consommer !

Note : Captain Dash commence une nouvelle série d’articles sur les Micro Services. Certains sont techniques, d’autres moins. Notre objectif est de considérer cette forme d’architecture que nous utilisons et de la rendre compréhensible pour le commun des mortels. Ces articles seront publiés tous les dimanches. Donc suivez-les sur Twitter ou abonnez-vous à notre blog et recevez votre mise à jour hebdomadaire sur cette fabuleuse architecture qui est en train de changer la façon de faire des affaires !

Micro Services Vs Monolithic Architectures

In the last 3 weeks we have outlined in different posts the salient points of what is a Micro Services architecture and a Monolithic Architecture. This week we bring to you the main differences between the two.

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To stay updated with our series on Micro Services architecture follow us on twitter or subscribe to our blog.

 

Written By: Meghna Verma Meghna Verma is the Content Manager at Captain Dash.  You can reach her on Twitter @M3GV3RMa .