Dual Role Emerges For Microservices
Microservices, the agile architecture on which applications are built as a collection of different smaller services rather than an entire application, are being used to rework existing applications along with new IT initiatives, a vendor survey found.
Red Hat, an early proponent of the lightweight approach through its OpenShift and JBoss middleware platforms, polled customers in November 2017 to determine how they are using microservices. It found that 69 percent are deploying microservices architectures for new applications while reworking existing apps. (Dual use was even higher for OpenShift users at 79 percent.)
Hence, the company (NYSE: RHT) claims the agility advantages of microservices can be used for everything from "updating a current portfolio to introducing brand new initiatives.
The approach involves writing software where applications are broken down into their smallest components, independent from each other. Each of these components, or processes, constitute microservices.
The Red Hat survey also reveals that harried IT teams hustling to get applications out the door are being drawn to agile microservices. As such, the survey also found that users want to leverage different runtimes and frameworks to deliver enterprise applications faster. Fully 87 percent of those polled said they are either using or considering multiple approaches to developing microservices.
"These responses show that multi-technology solutions are becoming the norm and that more and more organizations simply want to use the right tool for the right task," the company said.
"Not all technology projects function the same and most do not thrive on using the same tools."
The Holy Grail of continuous integration and deployment was cited as the top benefit delivered by microservices, following by IT agility and the ability to scale.
Based on the survey results, Red Hat also argues that those benefits can be achieved within six months of implementation. Still, the roll out of microservices architectures remains complex. Along with the usual cultural issues such as organizational resistance to change, respondents said management issues remain along with diagnostics and monitoring challenges. With IT budget squeezed and DevOps teams often overwhelmed, budget and staffing also remain key challenges.
For companies making the leap into microservices architectures, Red Hat and other suppliers contend that the best way to meet these challenges is to rely on vendors when implementing agile service delivery. That approach can be supplemented by developing custom in-house tools.
"It is critical to have a plan in place to evaluate microservices solutions that are available in the market and do due diligence to select the one that best fits individual requirements," the Red Hat survey concludes.
As the number of microservices vendors grows, market analysts note that the agile architecture is among the fastest growing IT technologies used to implement cloud infrastructure. For example, 451 Research recently estimated that the application container segment of the microservices market would grow at a 40-percent compound rate over the next four years to $2.7 billion.