OMDIA, in its report 2020 Trends to Watch: Cloud Native Development, highlighted the importance of having foundational pieces in place for organizations who want to move to microservices, containers and Kubernetes. Large enterprises have complex legacy systems and face the challenge of optimally integrating new technology with what is already in place. OMDIA gives a “walk before you can run” recommendation that includes building on a foundation of Agile methodologies, DevOps and the importance of creating continuous delivery pipelines that make deploying microservices in containers possible at scale.
At xScion, we agree that adopting Agile methodologies is an excellent first step in transitioning to a Cloud-native model. The next best step is to consider the application architecture that best suits your organization and the applications intended to become Cloud-native. It is imperative that your organization understands the entire impact of a move to microservices, containers and Kubernetes. Microservices is a completely different architectural style from the monolithic architectures of many legacy applications.
If the scalability of an application is of no concern, monolithic architecture is an option especially where it is already in place. Monolithic applications can operate on their own, are simple to deploy and can be scaled horizontally.
Microservices require interaction with other services and applications to provide benefits. They are incapable of performing useful work by themselves. But the "Single Purpose” mechanism of microservices is the secret sauce for Cloud-native scalability. Microservices provide a great deal of flexibility and adaptability to integrate with new technologies while eliminating long-term reliance on any specific technology stack.
While microservices enhance scalability, resilience and flexibility, it is not necessarily the magic solution to every Cloud application problem. Miniservices combine more than one microservice into a service interface and fit as a more pragmatic, middle ground between difficult to scale monolith applications and the complexity of microservices.
Laying a solid foundation before jumping headlong into Cloud-native includes thinking strategically about your application architecture whether it’s monolith, microservices or miniservices. Start with a clear understanding of what’s driving the change and the problem you are trying to solve. Then consider your existing technology, organizational capability and the business impact of your architectural decisions. Finally, create a solid transition plan detailing a straightforward and easy to execute migration from legacy technology and your current state to a future state that optimizes your Cloud capabilities.