Top Challenges of Microservices

Architecture Apr 08, 2020
Top Challenges of Microservices

Microservices architecture has been a hot topic among software developers for the past few years. Maybe your organisation has adopted this approach fully, maybe they're on their way, maybe they're curious about it or maybe they're reluctant to do so!

But is your company doing enough to take the most out of the microservices architecture? What are the challenges that your team will encounter? Even though this new pattern brings greater efficiency and collaboration, it also creates new challenges that must be overcome to take the most out of this architecture. Let's find that together!

What exactly is a microservices architecture?

Let's start by defining what we're talking about. Microservices is a modern architectural approach to building applications. This architecture implies that the code is split between various microservices, that interact with each other. Within the app, microservices are distributed and loosely coupled, so that a team can build a feature or update parts of code without breaking the entire application. Big tech companies such as Netflix or Uber contributed to make this framework popular and have pushed the concept very far: Uber currently operates approximately 4,000 microservices.

Many companies have now adopted this framework, which is therefore becoming a standard. Recent studies have showed that by 2022, 90% of applications will be built using microservices.

Stakes and Challenges of Microservices

Microservices can definitely be a relevant answer to organisation and collaboration issues. But with a new framework comes new challenges. Jumping into a distributed architecture without thinking at the implications for your team and your productivity might not be the most efficient strategy... Simply copy-pasting your usual processes and organisation will not allow you to fully benefit from what microservices has to offer.

Here are listed a few elements to pay attention to before going more deeply into microservices.

Culturally, microservices can represent a huge shift for your team

Your team might need time to adapt and might not yet fully understand this new approach. Although there is a great chance that the Ops team might be familiar with this way of operating, it can imply some important changes in the way they do their job on a daily basis. For the development team, this might even be more challenging. Writing microservices is completely different from adding code to a monolith, and developers might need some time and training to be fully efficient and productive. In the worst case, this might even cause resistance to change.

Managing microservices might also be a big challenge

Because they're based on dependencies, it might quickly be difficult to understand what's going on between microservices and their interactions. Your team should be able to handle the pressure coming from the need to manage many microservices simultaneously.

Diagnostics and monitoring

While it's easy to identify issues within a monolith, finding the actual source of an incident in a microservices architecture can be more complex, since the interactions between microservices make it hard to get the roots of an issue.

Has your team solved these issues? If not, maybe it's time to open the discussion with your team, and think of the best way to improve your productivity.

Conclusion: Microservices are amazing, but you need to be equipped to get their full potential

Don't jump on the microservices hype but think carefully about their implications. Thinking that you can copy-paste your old processes into this new framework means that you do not get their full potential. This is a great opportunity to re-invent the way your team operates and improve your productivity and efficiency.

Think upskilling of your team, process automation, improved tooling, ... These elements might be part of the answer to the challenges.

We built Strio to help you get the best from microservices. It allows your entire tech team to get more control over your microservices architecture, to make the best infrastructure and deployment choices, and monitor your code easily. Check it out here!

Lise Pleyber

Co-Founder @ Strio

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