Welcome!

Machine Learning Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Rene Buest

Related Topics: @DevOpsSummit, Microservices Expo, @CloudExpo

@DevOpsSummit: Article

The Two Faces of #Microservices | @CloudExpo @JPMorgenthal #AI #DevOps

Microservices (μServices) are a fascinating evolution of the Distributed Object Computing (DOC) paradigm

Microservices (μServices) are a fascinating evolution of the Distributed Object Computing (DOC) paradigm. Initial design of DOC attempted to solve the problem of simplifying developing complex distributed applications by applying object-oriented design principles to disparate components operating across networked infrastructure. In this model, DOC “hid” the complexity of making this work from the developer regardless of the deployment architecture through the use of complex frameworks, such as Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA) and Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM).

Eventually, these approaches waned in popularity as the distribution frameworks were clumsy and the separation of responsibilities between developer and operations did not meet with the promised goals. That is, developers still needed to understand too much about how the entire application behaved in a distributed mode to troubleshoot application problems and the implementation was too developer-centric to allow operations to be able to fulfill this role.

One aspect of this early architecture that did succeed, however, was the concept of the Remote Procedure Call (RPC). The RPC represented a way to call functionality inside of another applications across a network using the programming language function call constructs such as passing parameters and receiving a result. With the emergence of declarative syntaxes, such as XML, and then JSON, marshalling—the packaging of the data to and from the RPC—became simpler and the need for specialized brokers were replaced with generic transports, such as HTTP and asynchronous messaging. This gave rise to the era of Web Services and Service Oriented Architecture (SOA).

To make a long story short, Web Services were extremely popular, SOA, required too much investment in software infrastructure to be realized on a massive scale. Web Services was eventually rebranded Application Programming Interface (API)—there is really no difference architecturally between a Web Service and an API—and JSON became the primary marshalling scheme for Web-based APIs.

Apologies for the long-winded history lesson, but it is important to understand μServices in context. As you can see from this history the more we moved away from the principles of object-oriented toward a more straightforward client/server paradigm there was a rise in adoption. The primary reason for this is that architecture takes time, satisfies needs of longer-term goals, and requires skilled individuals that can often be expensive. With the growing need for immediacy driven by the expanding digital universe, these are characteristics that many business leaders believed were luxuries where speed was essential.

Needless to say, there was an immediate benefit of rapid growth of new business capabilities and insight into petabytes of data that was previously untouchable. Version 1.0 was a smashing success. Then came the need for 2.0. Uh-oh! In the race to get something fast, what was ignored was sustainability of the software. Inherent technical debt fast became the inhibitor to deriving 2.0 enhancements at the same speed as 1.0 was developed. For example, instead of envisioning that three applications all implemented similar logic and developing that once as a configurable component, it was developed three times each specific to a single application.

Having realized the value of architecture and object-oriented design that was dropped in favor of speed, the vacuum created was for a way to use the speedy implementation mechanics while still being able to take advantage of object-oriented design paradigm. The answer is μServices.

While Martin Fowler and others have done a great job explaining the “what” and “how” of μServices, for me the big realization was in the “why” (described herein). Without the “why” it’s too easy to get entangled in the differentiation between this and the aforementioned Web Services. For me, the “why” provided ample guidelines for describing the difference between a μServices, an API and a SOA service.

For simplicity I’ll review the tenets of OO here and describe their applicability to μServices:

  • Information hiding – the internal representation of data is not exposed externally, only through behaviors on the object
  • Polymorphic – a consumer can treat a subtype of an object identically to the parent. In this particular case, μServices that implements a particular interface can be consumed in the identical fashion
  • Inheritance – the ability for one object to inherit from another and override one or more behaviors. In the case of μServices, we can create a new service that delegates some or all behavior to another service.

The interesting thing about these tenets as a basis for μServices, and subsequently the basis for the title of this article, is that answering the mail on this does not necessitate complete redevelopment. Indeed, in many cases, existing functionality can be refactored from the 1.0 software and packaged up using container technology delivering the exact same benefit as having developed the 2.0 version from scratch as a μService.

Let’s revisit our earlier dilemma that similar logic was developed three different times into three different applications. For purposes of this blog, let’s assume that is a tax calculation and was written once each for US, Canada and Europe. Each of these has a table implemented in a database. It would not take much work to take these different implementations, put them into a single  μService with a single REST interface using a GET operation with the region and providing the necessary inputs on the query string. That new μService could then be packaged up inside a Docker container with its own Nginx (Web Server) and MySQL database with required tax tables for each region. In fact this entire process could probably be accomplished, tested and deployed in the span of a week. Now, we can create four new applications that all leverage the same tax calculation logic without writing it four more times.

This works great as long as the tax tables don’t change or we don’t want to add a new region. In that case, additional development would be required and the container would need to be re-created, tested and re-deployed.

Alternatively, we could develop a reusable tax service and deploy this new μService in a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). Assumedly, we could extend this service with new regions and changes to tax tables without impacting any other region, having to regression test the entire tax service, or take the μService out of service during the redeployment period. Moreover, the new region would be available simply by modifying the routing rules for the REST URL to accept the new region.

The diagram below illustrates these two different options. The .WAR file represents the deployable tax calculator. As you can see one or more containers would need to be either patched or re-created to deploy new functionality in the Deployment Architecture model, whereas we could continue to deploy multiple .WAR files in the PaaS Architecture, which would handle routing off the same URL-based interface giving appearance of being a single application.

Thus, the two faces of μServices are those create through deployment and those created through design and development. As a lifelong software architect, I recognize the pragmatism in getting to market faster using the deployment architecture, but highly-recommend redesign and development for greater sustainability and longevity.

If you found this article useful, please leave a comment.

More Stories By JP Morgenthal

JP Morgenthal is a veteran IT solutions executive and Distinguished Engineer with CSC. He has been delivering IT services to business leaders for the past 30 years and is a recognized thought-leader in applying emerging technology for business growth and innovation. JP's strengths center around transformation and modernization leveraging next generation platforms and technologies. He has held technical executive roles in multiple businesses including: CTO, Chief Architect and Founder/CEO. Areas of expertise for JP include strategy, architecture, application development, infrastructure and operations, cloud computing, DevOps, and integration. JP is a published author with four trade publications with his most recent being “Cloud Computing: Assessing the Risks”. JP holds both a Masters and Bachelors of Science in Computer Science from Hofstra University.

@CloudExpo Stories
Join us at Cloud Expo June 6-8 to find out how to securely connect your cloud app to any cloud or on-premises data source – without complex firewall changes. More users are demanding access to on-premises data from their cloud applications. It’s no longer a “nice-to-have” but an important differentiator that drives competitive advantages. It’s the new “must have” in the hybrid era. Users want capabilities that give them a unified view of the data to get closer to customers and grow business. The...
21st International Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Me...
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to w...
The current age of digital transformation means that IT organizations must adapt their toolset to cover all digital experiences, beyond just the end users’. Today’s businesses can no longer focus solely on the digital interactions they manage with employees or customers; they must now contend with non-traditional factors. Whether it's the power of brand to make or break a company, the need to monitor across all locations 24/7, or the ability to proactively resolve issues, companies must adapt to...
In this presentation, Striim CTO and founder Steve Wilkes will discuss practical strategies for counteracting fraud and cyberattacks by leveraging real-time streaming analytics. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Steve Wilkes, Founder and Chief Technology Officer at Striim, will provide a detailed look into leveraging streaming data management to correlate events in real time, and identify potential breaches across IoT and non-IoT systems throughout the enterprise. Strategies for processing massive ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy named "Bronze Sponsor" of 21st International Cloud Expo which will take place October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloud Academy is the industry’s most innovative, vendor-neutral cloud technology training platform. Cloud Academy provides continuous learning solutions for individuals and enterprise teams for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most popular cloud com...
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Andi Mann and Aruna Ravichandran have been named Co-Chairs of @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo Silicon Valley which will take place Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "DevOps is at the intersection of technology and business-optimizing tools, organizations and processes to bring measurable improvements in productivity and profitability," said Aruna Ravichandran, vice president, DevOps product and solutions marketing...
In his session at Cloud Expo, Alan Winters, an entertainment executive/TV producer turned serial entrepreneur, presented a success story of an entrepreneur who has both suffered through and benefited from offshore development across multiple businesses: The smart choice, or how to select the right offshore development partner Warning signs, or how to minimize chances of making the wrong choice Collaboration, or how to establish the most effective work processes Budget control, or how to ma...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enzu will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st Int\ernational Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Enzu’s mission is to be the leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions worldwide. Enzu enables online businesses to use its IT infrastructure to their competitive advantage. By offering a suite of proven hosting and management services, Enzu wants companies to focus on the core of their ...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
We build IoT infrastructure products - when you have to integrate different devices, different systems and cloud you have to build an application to do that but we eliminate the need to build an application. Our products can integrate any device, any system, any cloud regardless of protocol," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named "Platinum Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business - from apparel to energy - is being rewritten by software. From planning to development to management to security, CA creates software that fuels transformation for companies in the applic...
Amazon started as an online bookseller 20 years ago. Since then, it has evolved into a technology juggernaut that has disrupted multiple markets and industries and touches many aspects of our lives. It is a relentless technology and business model innovator driving disruption throughout numerous ecosystems. Amazon’s AWS revenues alone are approaching $16B a year making it one of the largest IT companies in the world. With dominant offerings in Cloud, IoT, eCommerce, Big Data, AI, Digital Assista...
Multiple data types are pouring into IoT deployments. Data is coming in small packages as well as enormous files and data streams of many sizes. Widespread use of mobile devices adds to the total. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists looked at the tools and environments that are being put to use in IoT deployments, as well as the team skills a modern enterprise IT shop needs to keep things running, get a handle on all this data, and deliver...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Lachapelle, CEO of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), provided an overview of various initiatives to certify the security of connected devices and future trends in ensuring public trust of IoT. Eric Lachapelle is the Chief Executive Officer of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), an international certification body. His role is to help companies and individuals to achieve professional, accredited and worldwide re...
Both SaaS vendors and SaaS buyers are going “all-in” to hyperscale IaaS platforms such as AWS, which is disrupting the SaaS value proposition. Why should the enterprise SaaS consumer pay for the SaaS service if their data is resident in adjacent AWS S3 buckets? If both SaaS sellers and buyers are using the same cloud tools, automation and pay-per-transaction model offered by IaaS platforms, then why not host the “shrink-wrapped” software in the customers’ cloud? Further, serverless computing, cl...
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
The taxi industry never saw Uber coming. Startups are a threat to incumbents like never before, and a major enabler for startups is that they are instantly “cloud ready.” If innovation moves at the pace of IT, then your company is in trouble. Why? Because your data center will not keep up with frenetic pace AWS, Microsoft and Google are rolling out new capabilities. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Don Browning, VP of Cloud Architecture at Turner, posited that disruption is inevitable for comp...
Wooed by the promise of faster innovation, lower TCO, and greater agility, businesses of every shape and size have embraced the cloud at every layer of the IT stack – from apps to file sharing to infrastructure. The typical organization currently uses more than a dozen sanctioned cloud apps and will shift more than half of all workloads to the cloud by 2018. Such cloud investments have delivered measurable benefits. But they’ve also resulted in some unintended side-effects: complexity and risk. ...