The need to build highly resilient applications has caused microservices adoption to scale new heights. It is estimated that, until 2025, the cloud microservices market will grow at a CAGR of 22.5%.
This Service Oriented Architecture not only allows for efficient computing; it also helps organizations easily make changes and keep up with the pace of the evolving market. But, like any other approach to application development, microservices implementation brings with it its own set of challenges, that lead to increased complexity and effort in developing applications with a microservice framework.
There are several implementation challenges organizations need to contend with
Despite the fact that a microservices-based framework enables the design and development of loosely coupled services and components for improved scalability, manageability, and agility, there are several challenges in successfully implementing it:
- Determining the optimal design: One of the biggest challenges organizations face while implementing microservices is determining the design – especially for those using microservices for the first time. Understanding the size of every microservice, establishing the right boundaries and connection points, and determining the framework to enable integration don’t come easy. Since every microservice needs to be created within a bounded context, it is critical that organizations understand how each one of them encapsulates a specific responsibility.
- Establishing communication: Unlike monolithic applications where all components were part of a single architecture, in a microservices framework, every feature is built as a separate component. Establishing communication between every such component is extremely complex and time-consuming. Understanding what components need to communicate with each other and then choosing the most appropriate path from point-to-point, mesh, and event-driven communication doesn’t come easy.
- Establishing control: Given the fact that microservices are often deployed across several multi-cloud environments, the challenge of loss of control and visibility across various components is grave. Poor visibility often increases risks, since organizations do not have sufficient knowledge of vulnerabilities to be able to overcome them. In addition, since each microservice communicates with others across different infrastructure layers, it becomes extremely tough to test for these vulnerabilities.
- Testing each service individually: Testing each and every component in a microservices-based architecture is a Herculean task. Since every service performs a unique role while being tightly integrated with other services within the framework, organizations need to test each of them individually and independently to verify their performance. Additionally, they also need to test services in conjunction with other services in the framework – and ensure that issues in one component or service do not bring the entire framework down.
- Versioning services: Unlike traditional approaches to application development where teams work in a collaborative manner, microservices are designed, developed, and deployed independent of one another. This leads to several versioning problems as service compatibility can be lost. Microservices must support multiple versions of various endpoints, but teams often lack visibility into which versions are still being used – which makes coordinating decommissions and rollouts a Herculean task.
- Ensuring security: The distributed nature of microservices makes setting access controls and administering secured authentication a difficult task. Since so many different applications and users need to access different services, the attack surface is substantially large, compelling teams to implement the right security controls while ensuring data within the framework remains distributed and easily accessible.
But embracing certain best practices can lead to successful implementation and long-term viability
- Although adopting a microservices-based framework can result in unmatched agility, resilience, and scalability, the concept makes sense only for large and complex applications. If your application is too small, there is no major benefit you will achieve by breaking it down to even smaller components using microservices.
- Since different team members tend to work on different parts of the microservices architecture, imbibing a DevOps culture across the organization will set the foundation of agility, autonomy, and continuous delivery needed to deliver changes.
- To improve the success rate of your implementation, embrace automation to reduce cost and effort as well as enhance the operational efficiency of individual components.
- Since multiple services now make up the same functionality that was previously supported by a single monolithic application, use modern tools to monitor your microservices architecture, so it becomes easier to find the root cause of issues across a range of different services and components.
- Carry out robust resiliency testing and establish the right level of fault tolerance at the service/component level to reduce the probability of internal and external failures in one service or component bringing down the entire microservices architecture.
Given the volatile era in which businesses today are operating, the benefits of embracing microservices are many: from increased agility to better manageability, scalability, and more. But so are the challenges: determining the optimal design, establishing control, testing each individual service, and ensuring security can all seem extremely difficult. So, make sure to embrace implementation best practices and reap the benefits of the architecture for long-term growth and success.
This article was originally published at https://www.pcquest.com/top-challenges-implementation-microservices/