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Microservices Architecture and a Quick Introduction to Cloud: Why, What, and How

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Microservices Architecture and a Quick Introduction to Cloud: Why, What, and How

In this post, we give an introduction to the concept of the cloud and how it works with microservices development.

· Microservices Zone ·
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In this article, we focus our attention on the cloud. Why do we need the cloud?

You Will Learn

  • What the cloud is.
  • Why we need the cloud.
  • How the cloud provid auto scaling.
  • The advantages of the cloud.
  • The challenges of the cloud.

Introduction to the Cloud and Microservices: Challenges and Advantages

The Need For The Cloud

Loads on applications are not consistent throughout the year:

  • Consider a startup company, which could have the potential to grow very fast.
  • Imagine an online shopping portal, whose customer load varies throughout the year.
  • Other online business portals, such the insurance sector, which has a peak load at a particular time of the year, and very little load during other times.

If you provision your infrastructure to be able to handle the peak system lead, what would that infrastructure be doing the rest of the time?

Most of it would just be sitting idle, watching the fun.

That is exactly the problem the cloud wants to solve.

The cloud intends to make it easy to provision infrastructure when you need it, and just as easy to release it when you don't. This feature of the cloud has created a lot of buzz around it over the last decade or so.

Building Applications for the Cloud

The thing is, you cannot take any application and just put it on the cloud.

A lot of things need to be right, in order to make an application cloud-enabled. They are known as cloud-native applications.

There are best practices in place to develop such cloud-native applications, also known as twelve-factor apps. We'll discuss those in a seperate article.

Advantages of the Cloud

Auto Scaling and Agility

There is no longer a need to statically provision infrastructure to ensure availability for peak loads. You can do that on-demand.

Cost Reduction

There are significant cost reductions with using infrastructure from the cloud, because you only use what you need for the duration you need them.

Scalability and Elasticity

When applications are built well, they can auto-scale based on the load.

Reliability

Since your applications are cloud-enabled, they are designed to withstand certain kinds of outages. For example, applications with microservices architecture have fault-tolerance built into them.

Migrating Applications to the Cloud

It is not very straightforward to migrate your applications to be cloud-enabled.

The first step is to make them cloud-native. The next decision to make is choosing a platform to migrate the application to. You generally have a choice of platforms to migrate to, such as Microsoft Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud, among others.

Best Practices

The best practices listed for making applications cloud-native are often termed 12 factor apps. These capture the experiences of Heroku, with developing cloud enabled applications.

Challenges of Developing Cloud Applications

Security

Security is a major concern, as you do not own the infrastructure, and it can be dynamically acquired and released.

Application Compatibility

Most applications are not compatible with the cloud. Applications have to be enhanced to make them cloud native.

Manifestations of the Cloud

IaaS

Infrastructure as a Service is the first level of cloud. Here, cloud providers only provide the hardware needed to run applications.

PaaS

Platform as a Service is the next level of the cloud, where the cloud provider provides you a platform - an operating system or managed software (databases, programming languages, web application platforms) - on top of the hardware.

SaaS

Software as a Service is the third level of the cloud, where the cloud provider offers a software product on the cloud - like Google Docs.

Summary

In this article, we had a good look at the cloud. We saw that a cloud helps ease the infrastructure management of online businesses by making provisioning dynamic. A cloud could be public, or private. Using a cloud has many advantages to offer, such as agility, cost reduction, and reliability.

Topics:
microservices ,microservices tutorial ,cloud-based microservices ,cloud migration

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