Microservices Use Cases
The benefits of microservices are irrespective of the domain. Read what industry experts say about microservices use cases.
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To understand the current and future state of microservices, we spoke to 25 IT executives from 21 organizations. Consistent with the early adoption of the technology, the answers to our questions were diverse. We asked respondents, "What are some real-world problems being solved with microservices?" Here's what they told us:
- The biggest and most relevant use case is fraud detection. Build out ML models and put them in line with microservices, load balancing and deploy multiple models within the rendezvous model for ML and model deployment.
- We deal with many domains financial, healthcare, telecommunication. Provide a digital experience for the end user. Have a consistent view for everything they are dealing with. Healthcare is using IoT to connect and communicate with devices, remote patients, and clinics. Make decisions based on the information they’re getting back. E-commerce has quite a few. The benefits are irrespective of the domain.
- We are focused on solving workflow automation challenges. Consider that while microservices are designed to focus on a single business capability and to be developed and deployed independently of other services, core end-to-end business processes typically span multiple microservices. These multiple services need to collaborate to achieve the desired business outcome. For instance, an e-commerce company that’s fulfilling a customer order needs to process a payment, then fetch items, then ship the items--and each of these different steps might be carried out by a different microservice. The company’s users and customers get what they want only when the end-to-end process is completed successfully. A modern workflow engine that orchestrates long-running, cross microservice workflows while also giving visibility into these flows addresses a critical gap in current tooling. It’s important to note that it’s possible to run such a workflow engine embedded in each microservice and to split a business process defined in BPMN into the respective parts owned by each service. Using an embedded engine, you’re sure to avoid introducing a BPM monolith into your architecture--we believe this concern is one reason developers avoid orchestration even though it can ultimately make their lives much easier. This orchestration pattern is one that applies to many different use cases in many different industries, and here are some specific examples. Zalando, one of the largest e-commerce companies in Europe, uses us to orchestrate their order fulfillment process. MEDIAGENIX, a provider of a broadcast management platform used by media companies such as Disney, Discovery, Viacom, and the BBC, uses us to orchestrate content onboarding for a video-on-demand product.
- The Miami HEAT app is a prime example of how microservices “done right” creates an amazing experience in the real world. Operationally, the Miami HEAT benefits from the speed and efficiency that microservices bring to their mobile solution and its deployment cycles. For their primary audience – their fans – the Miami HEAT have been able to create a highly engaging app that uses microservices for everything from personalization to analytics. The app blends physical and digital services and uses our unique, microservices-driven integration architecture to create this award-winning fan experience.
- The real challenge is the agility around making an easy change to a process -- like the creditworthiness of a customer. Data scientists can make changes to model quickly versus entire SFDC. With microservices, as long as don’t violate the contract, four variables in one answer out, you can make changes in hours. Take one service, expose it, you’re able to make changes in hours versus months.
There is an API enablement use case. The ulterior motive organizations have today is do as much possible in one go. API-first initiative converts everything to microservices. We can use microservices as a vehicle to get to digital transformation. We wrap a core transactional platform with a new set of technologies and statically analyze microservices code.
- We are mostly using microservices internally for more effective development at our small start-up. We are effectively developing from scratch in just under a year. Applying microservices to the OS itself allows us to do defense in depth. What we’re doing on a device we guarantee customers if one device is compromised it does not compromise the entire system. We use microservices to isolate functionality from a security standpoint. Every microservice is a unikernel running in the hypervisor, communicating via the hypervisor.
- We now have the ability to do horizontal clustering effort. We are an on-premise product. We store data people are uncomfortable putting in the cloud, clustering horizontally without configuration. We focus on application functionality versus scaling. Big gains are being made by greenfield applications as it allows them to accelerate development and write better code from scratch. Some customers are taking a hybrid approach. They can wrap microservices API layers around mainframe style architecture and code modern apps on top of that. We can do a lot of things fast without interruption. People layer APIs between pieces of large applications, one by one chipping away at things you want to modernize (Martin Fowler). You can run these things with hundreds and thousands of services. There are more moving parts. You have to be good at testing. Forces you to get it right. Not burdened by legacy code that isn’t testable. Can always improve the process make it easy to evolve, add functionality, it's easier to fix a problem when applications are loosely coupled. Encourage people to start coding right.
- In the financial industry, the ways microservices help are to increase visibility into the organization with 30-year-old technology, highlight redundant or unused systems, complex ways to talk to each other, get visibility through marketing.
- Most successful organizations focus less on this is microservices and are focused on improving the performance of teams. Proxy metrics are 1) number of deployments per day, 2) how quickly you can get a code change from Git commits to production, 3) MTTR, 4) how often are you experiencing failures. Successful teams are the ones looking at those metrics. Take an iterative approach to improve the process to improve KPIs. Testing, the capability to do deployments more confidently and promote from one environment to another, how do we monitor, how do we improve implementation and go faster. Make improvements from a delivery capacity. Then they get to a point where they feel comfortable with their changes and think they can build new services that can live around this system. Platform capabilities improve cycle time for the monolith.
- Our customers run the gamut from just beginning their microservices journey to operating relatively sophisticated architectures delivering real efficiencies. The most interesting are large financial institutions that deliver all new functionality using microservices while maintaining and continuing to leverage legacy applications through API-based integrations. They’re able to provide new, all-digital products and services because they can better respond to customer needs, without needing to rip and replace.
Here’s who we spoke to:
- Heikki Nousiainen, CTO, Aiven.io
- Chase Aucoin, Technical Evangelist, AppDynamics
- Assaf Mizrachi, Head of Software and Amit Ziv-Kenet, Backend Developer, Augury
- Bernd Ruecker, Co-founder and Developer Advocate, Camunda
- Jaime Ryan, Senior Director, Product Management and Strategy, CA Technologies
- Brian Dawson, DevOps Evangelist and Viktor Farcic, Senior Consultant, CloudBees
- Chip Childers, CTO, Cloud Foundry
- Gwen Shapira, Chief Data Architect, Confluent
- Matthew Baier, COO, Contentstack
- Anders Wallgren, CTO, Electric Cloud
- Priyanka Sharma, Director of Alliances and Andrew Newdigate, Infrastructure Architect, GitLab
- Ben Sigelman, CEO, LightStep
- Jim Scott, Director, Enterprise Strategy & Architecture, MapR
- Ariff Kassam, Vice President, Products, NuoDB
- Jim Walker, VP of Product Marketing, OverOps
- Bich Le, Chief Architect, Platform9
- Mike LaFleur, Global Head of Solution Architecture, Provenir
- Christian Posta, Chief Architect, Cloud Application Development, Red Hat
- Setu Kulkarni, V.P. Strategy and Business Development, Whitehat Security
- Asanka Abeysinghe, V.P. of Architecture – CTO Office and Kasun Indrasiri, Director, Integration Architecture, WSO2
- Roman Shaposhnik, Co-founder, Zededa
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