November 29, 2021

3 min

Meet the Cloud-Native Ally: Microservices

Microservices enable applications to be globally available and prevent widespread failure.

When organizations adopt cloud computing, they move business functions into resources that are scalable, available and resilient. A company can grow business on demand by having resources available in the cloud, accessible from anywhere. 

The reason this can occur is because cloud computing breaks applications into the smallest possible units. Doing this involves the implementation of microservices.

Microservices are really a change in the way applications are developed. Originally, organizations developed business applications as a user interface, a business logic layer and then a data layer. This construct was very limiting in that, if anything changed — hardware requirements, for example — the organization would have to alter the entire application.

Breaking Applications into the Smallest Units

Microservices is a philosophical change to approaching architecture. With microservices, organizations code and align an application with resources at the smallest level. 

The benefit of using microservices is that a business can apply resources where they’re necessary. For example, in the past, if data integration for a business consumed too many server resources, the company would have to undertake a rewrite of the entire application, invest in new hardware, perhaps invest in a new network or maybe even relocate an entire facility depending upon the importance of the application.

But with microservices in the cloud, an organization can grow one piece of an application and scale it as necessary. Organizations can apply resources, increase data and increase capacity for a single aspect of an application instead of overhauling the entire application or system.

Because microservices contain the smallest part of an application, they can scale capacity through the addition of more microservices. They also work to ensure applications are available globally upon demand, spreading the workload through microservices to maintain uptime. And because microservices are segmented, failure within one part of an application will not spread into other parts maintained by additional microservices, providing organizations with tremendous resiliency. 

A New Way of Thinking About Resources

Microservices are essential to real-time integration of natural language processing, artificial intelligence and machine learning, allowing businesses to respond to customer demands and business opportunities in real time. Microservices avoid pitfalls such as requisitions or authorizations for workflow changes. There is no need for staff to manually approve transactions, thanks to microservices. 

Organizations that have traditionally been averse to cloud adoption may be swayed by the power of such automation. Traditionally, an organization might consider moving a server into a cloud environment. But the advent of microservices introduces a new paradigm. Organizations instead can rethink how resources are consumed. With microservices, an application doesn’t simply run from a server; rather, it consumes resources in the cloud without the need to purchase hardware. 

The adoption of cloud resources for any organization is a daunting proposal. Microservices allow organizations to gain complete control over that effort. Many organizations believe cloud migration is a simple lift and shift over to a virtual environment. But the truth is, microservices provide organizations with an entirely new way of doing business.

Story by Erik Ross