How Containers Enable You To Use Microservices in DevOps
Find out the shortcomings of using microservices for DevOps and how containers work in conjunction with them to offer faster DevOps deployment cycles.
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Both containers and microservices are gaining immense popularity and becoming industrial norms for enterprise organizations. According to a study conducted by Statista, 19% of respondents said that containerization is already playing a strategic role for their business. Whereas, according to a survey on microservices adoption, 92% of respondents say that they had some success with microservices. But what exactly do we mean by microservices and containers? Let’s find out!
In the IT industry, a microservice architecture means breaking down software into chunks of loosely coupled services. Lately, organizations are relying heavily on microservices for their DevOps needs. According to research conducted by market analysis, the synergy between microservices and DevOps will grow globally at a CAGR of 16% by 2022.
Containers, on the other hand, are lightweight alternatives to VMs. They provide an isolated operating environment for the workloads. A survey conducted by Red Hat showcases that 88% of respondents adopted Kubernetes for their container orchestration in 2021. Mainly containers are used to run individual microservices.
Challenges in Using Microservices
To succeed in DevOps delivery, you need proper design and implement the right technology stack to support your software architecture. But, with organizations trying to shift from monolithic architecture, this transformation is not smooth.
Microservices Design Challenges
Although the organizations start with the right intentions, it is not feasible to bust all monolithic systems and split them up into pieces. For achieving this, one needs a delicate combination of software architecture, automation testing, and development methodology. All of the parameters are closely related to agile and DevOps. Failure to achieve these things can go haywire.
Managing microservices in the real world could pose to be tricky. You will be challenged to deal with hidden dependencies, rigid systems that are not so loosely coupled. Adding to the existing problem, the development teams use inconsistent technology stacks, frameworks, and tools. This makes it very difficult to build a cohesive application for the enterprise.
A DevOps delivery pipeline consists of seven different stages. Before entering the final stage of production, the software is tested using tools for performance monitoring, log aggregating, scanning, etc.
Throughout the process, you have to deal with many microservices, all of which have different source codes. Running each of the individual services in parallel could be extremely resource-intensive. In order to achieve faster delivery, you would need computational resources to run continuous monitoring of microservices in parallel. Containers are used in conjunction with microservices to solve these challenges. Let’s take a brief look at how containers are helping organizations to solve this notorious problem.
How Are Containers Solving the Problem?
Microservices are owned and managed by different teams, changed at different rates, and built with multiple frameworks, tools, and languages. Furthermore, they may run on different operating systems or have different resource requirements for scaling. With the help of container technologies such as Docker, you can build fully assembled application images that can be granted adequate resources in terms of CPU, RAM, and storage needed to run the app. Containers can be used mainly in three different ways in DevOps.
Firstly, containers are used as tools. For example, if you are using Jenkins as a build server, for every build Jenkin can launch a “Jenkin agent” Docker container. You can leverage it to launch more than one Docker container for any additional tools that you may need. Example - Gradle, NPM, Selenium, etc. This will grant you easy scalability with the same version of tools in the entire pipeline.
Secondly, containers are used in infrastructure. Monitoring and logging tools are easy to launch, scale, and upgrade with the help of containers. Organizations can run their security services, auditing, and other scanning tools on containers to leverage the same benefits.
Thirdly, containers and microservices enable developers to deploy each service independently, which helps in fault isolation. All the services can later be integrated into an enterprise product.
The combination of microservices, containers, and DevOps has great potential to transform IT enterprises. Using microservices with containers supports DevOps in achieving increased deployment frequency. Is your organization leveraging the benefits of containers yet? Let us know in the comments below.
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