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

Micro Services – Dealing With The Turf Wars

This past year we have witnessed how many companies have successfully integrated Micro Services into their architecture. In fact, 2015 has been touted as the year for Micro Services. It is all very fine for certain visionaries in an organization to push for Micro Services adoption from a strategic point of view but it is often found to be difficult to get people on board. Now, if it is indeed that great of an idea then why is it so difficult to convince teams to adopt them?

The answer is very simple – Turf!

Mostly the data in organizations exists in silos and is utilized as such. The problem that Micro Services present to such a way of functioning is that they represent a different way of doing things where managers often have to loosen their hold on their data. Thus, turf wars come into play.

There are some measures that can be taken to make a smooth transition in such a case:

  • Start by creating Micro Services for new application features to begin with. As development progresses work on refining and making changes where they need to be made.
  • To begin with keep the teams working on Micro Services separate from the team working on the monolithic architecture.
  • Provide the time and support to various teams to explore how Micro Services work and incorporate them into their work process.
  • As the Micro Services structure progresses encourage the teams to intermingle, have exchanges and facilitate cross training of skill sets.
  • As the skill differences become smaller and the comfort level of various teams increases start the breakdown of silos – both in terms of teams and data utilization.
  • As the Micro Services architecture expands start sliding slowly from the monolith to micro services.
  • Create standardized templates for development to make the creation of Micro Services easier.
  • As the architecture and the culture it brings get accepted across the organization start pruning the older Micro Services and replacing them with finer, more current ones.

While, it may be difficult to get everyone in an organization on board with Micro Services it is well worth a try as it can not only create better, more scalable software it can also help build better team dynamics.

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

Written By: Meghna Verma

4 Slideshare Posts About Micro Services In Practice

As mentioned earlier by us, Micro Services are the real revolution in the world of data. There are many big organizations using the Micro Services architecture out there; some which have been using it for as long as 3 to 5 years. In this post we share with you 4 slideshare posts that talk about the use of Micro Services by some of the bigger players out there:

1. Scaling Gilt: from monolith ruby app to Micro Service scala service architecture

This was a talk given by Gilt Lead Software Engineer Yoni Goldberg at the NYC Tech Talks' January 14, 2014 meetup at Gilt.

2. Nike's Journey into Micro Services

This presentation will discusses the journey Nike undertook to move to a completely 100 percent cloud native architecture and the decisions behind making it happen.

3. No Free Lunch, Indeed: Three Years of Micro-services at SoundCloud

In this talk the SoundCloud team share the toolkit and strategy SoundCloud uses to keep its micro-services explosion manageable.

4. MicroServices at Netflix - challenges of scale

Sudhir Tonse and Nitesh Kant discuss the challenges faced by Netflix while using Micro services at large scale.

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

Written By: Meghna Verma

 

Micro Services - Code Small Enough To Remove

As a general rule the delivery rate of all commissioned software is pretty low when we take into account the total amount that are commissioned versus the amount that are actually accepted and used by a somebody. Over that when it comes to business software in particular the average life is about 5 years before it becomes obsolete – dead! When software is created one usually ends up with big hulking monoliths that have very tightly coupled components, thus, making them difficult to deploy. To ease that developers add layer after layer of complexity until we are left with a system that is too big and too complicated to actually function.

One can say that most of the work created a software engineer’s lifetime is sooner or later non-existent. The reason behind this is that historically most software has been so difficult to change that it is easier to kill it and start anew.

This killing of software systems is a strange thing considering that the world we live in is made up of extremely complex systems that thrive and function for years. The biggest example of that is the human body.

With everything one puts the human body through it should not survive for years at end and yet it does. Why is that? The answer is that it is self-regulating. The human body constantly discards cells that are irrelevant, old or have lived out their lifetime and replaces them with newer cells.

If we want software that lasts for our entire life times then it needs to be easy to change and should weather the changing technological environment. For this we need our software to mimic the human body!

In order to do so we would have to discard parts that are becoming obsolete and replace them with newer and better parts. For us to be able to do this with a systems architecture we would need Micro Services.

Why?

Because these parts would have to be small, very loosely couples components that can easy to discard because they aren’t coupled and replace because they are not long and complicated.

For these parts to be high performing the best route to go would be for them to be written in the language that works best for each individual part. Additionally it is difficult to tightly couple components that are written in different languages.

This decoupling of components leads to failure. The good thing about knowing that you have increased chances of failing is that you are prepared to fail, thus making it easier to recover and create better codes.

These are all factors that Micro Services make possible. Micro services make it possible for us to create code small enough that we can remove it without fear and systems that can live forever.

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

Written By: Meghna Verma

Micro Services - Preparing for the Transition

We have often talked about how working with Micro Services brings about changes at many levels in an organization. Today we will tackle the how to prepare for these changes to come and the transition can be made smoother.

The 3 main things to consider are services, dev-ops coordination and security.

Services:

Aside from changing network speed and construction, Micro Services tend to have a huge effect on the services associated with the applications. Given the loose coupling necessary to obtain a functional Micro Services architecture the dev and operations teams need to divide their network services between those directly associated with applications and those that are not.

Service discovery needs to be implemented as well. The tool used for this needs to be equally dynamic on and off cloud. The service discovery has a direct impact on your infrastructure since it affects how the services interact.

In addition to all this the rise of containerization services has led to a need for compatible management services to make the workflow smoother.

Dev-Ops coordination:

Making the transition to Micro Services is not especially easy on teams and because of this the development and operations teams need to work in synchronization to facilitate this transition.

Ideally in a Micro Services structure exclusively one team from start to finish handles each application, but often, if your team is small this does not happen. Instead the team is handling multiple applications and sometimes working with other teams. In such a scenario the operations and development schedules need to be synched to perfection to make for smooth deployment.

Security:

Security is not something one thinks of first hand when considering transitioning to Micro Services. The biggest advantage of this infrastructure is the agility it affords and every malicious attack that your security blocks, is one less stress on your application. Thus, a sound security system helps your applications to perform stress free and with the required agility.

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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Nous aimons l'échec

Echouer est le meilleur moyen de réussir. Notre choix d’architecture reflète cette philosophie.

Dans tout service il y a des erreurs. Qu’il soit monolithique ou construit à l'aide de micro services, il peut tomber en panne à tout moment. Le travail d'un éditeur est de détecter ces erreurs et les réparer rapidement.

La structure monolithique est complexe. Elle est par essence difficile à tester, déployer et maintenir.

Les micro services sont eux construits pour supporter ce type d’échecs. La pluralité des services minimise leur interdépendance. La panne de l’un ne fait pas tomber l'ensemble du système.

Une architecture de micro service est structurellement sous surveillance. On peut ainsi, comme le fait le programme Simian Army de Netflix, tester ses limites et l’améliorer infiniment.

L'écriture minimaliste du code, la vitesse de déploiement, la capacité à réparer et modifier chaque application individuellement nous donne la flexibilité nécessaire pour innover et tester aussi souvent que nous le voulons.

Cette flexibilité nous permet d'assumer l'échec. Et l'échec est la source vive de l'innovation. Nous pouvons innover, tester, nous tromper sans perturber l’ordre des choses.

Ne pas avoir peur de l’échec permet aux équipes de repousser les limites et les normes et de réaliser l’impossible.

C’est cette capacité à accepter l'échec qui nous fait aimer les micro services.

Note : Captain Dash commence une nouvelle série d’articles sur les Microservices. 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 - 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

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 15.59.38

 

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

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 16.08.49

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

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 16.01.44

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

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 16.02.24

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 .

Micro Services - Communication Between Services

Applications change with time and need but the business capabilities stay the same. Aligning our services and thus, the teams around our capabilities help us ensure that communication is not a hindrance.

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Le côté obscure des Micro Services

the-dark-side1Les Micro Services fonctionnent car ils réduisent la friction; ils permettent flexibilité et innovation.

Mais ils augmentent aussi le risque !

Avec les Micro Services, les responsabilités sont multipliées.

Les équipes doivent travailler sur des produits plutôt sur sur des projets. Les ingénieurs doivent être bien renseignés en outils de DevOps.

A priori lorsqu'une structure informatique est divisée en une multitude de micro-applications les choses sont plus simples.

A première vue seulement, car connecter entre elles et produire les interfaces liant ces composants peut recréer une complexité conceptuelle et technique. Il suffit que le processus ne soit pas bien pensé et manque de réversibilité pour que surviennent des latence dans le réseau, des problèmes de synchronisation et des pannes contextuelles.

Avec les Micro Services il faut rester simples. L'informatique est par essence complexe. Il ne sert à rien d'inventer des services superflus ou de modifier des éléments qui fonctionnaient correctement.

Le vrai risque des Micro Services est d'exporter la complexité d'une informatique Monolitique en dehors du système, la rendant ainsi plus dure à contrôler et superviser.

Une approche pragmatique, orientée "produit", peut limiter les problèmes posés par les micro-services. L'enjeu est de penser "produit" et "métier" avant de penser "services" et "informatique".

Chez Captain Dash nous adorons travailler avec des micro-services et croyons qu’ils représentent la vrai révolution de la data. Mais nous ne perdons jamais de vue la vision du client et le but final car c’est ce qui est le plus important au final.

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 !

 

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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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 .