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Key Benefits of Microservices

Learn more about microservices at Streaming Media East 2020.

Read the complete transcript of this clip:

Tanu Aggarwal: Microservices architecture, for me, is yet another evolutionary step in the world of distributed systems. That's how I look at it. If we go by the definition of what a microservice is, it's about creating small services that do one thing and they do that thing really, really well. So, they're single-purpose, single-focused. They do not share the data with anyone. They do not have any dependencies. They're very well self-contained, self-independent.

What that means, is that you're able to build them, able to test them and deploy them with complete independence, without disturbing any other part of your product. So, what do they really bring? What are the advantages? There's a slew of advantages that microservices bring, but I want to highlight three of them.

The first of them is the ease of horizontal scaling. If you have a monolith that you're trying to, as a product, that you're trying to scale. Now, what happens is if you need to scale it? It needs to scale vertically. If you're able to break that monolith piece of code into smaller pieces of code, each with their own functionality, then you're able to scale only the pieces horizontally that need to be scaled. I'm going to give you an example from a past life where I was working on cloud recording system, and this was a microservices-based system. And there was a need to increase the number of channels on this cloud recording system. The number of customers or the playback was going to remain constant. So, instead of having to scale up by adding more boxes vertically for the entire product, we were able to just scale up the manifest channel/manifest reader or any microservices that were per channel. And so, here's an example of horizontally scaling out things. So, I think that is one big advantage. A

Nermeen touched on the second advantage about agility. Because your developers are working on small products, small things and they can work on them independently, you're able to get things faster. You're able to make changes much faster turnaround.

And lastly, I want to point out another byproduct of microservices-- again, referring to the pets and cattle example that Nermeen brought up. How do microservices make our systems more resilient? It's because the architecture paradigm is based on the fact that these microservices are fragile and they can fail anytime. System designers now think about, not figuring out, "How do I prevent failure from happening?" but they figure out, "How do I recover from the failure?" which is a lot easier. So now, what you are doing as a service, your small service, is deciding, "Okay, if I have to make these requests outside and if these requests don't come in time, what is my behavior going to be? How am I going to gracefully recover?"

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