- The shift towards microservices architecture
- Microservices delivery
- Delivering containerized applications to Kubernetes
- A viable solution
The shift towards microservices architecture
With microservices architecture enterprises can now break down a complicated monolith with several functionalities piled together into smaller microservices that are dedicated for each functionality. The benefits of microservices include..
- Better fault isolation
- Fluidity in choice of languages, infrastructures, and technologies
- Scalability and flexibility
- Ease of building and maintenance
While practices like continuous delivery and the rise of web as a platform drastically slashed application delivery cycles, the shift in application architecture itself from large monoliths towards microservices is shifting delivery from a dedicated activity to ubiquity.
Containers are becoming the dominant choice for delivering microservices.
It is well known that Virtual machines offer virtualization of hardware as well as the OS to create an efficient, isolated duplicate of a real machine. In case of containers, only the OS is virtualized and not the hardware, creating a lightweight environment that houses the application and the dependent assets. Because it isn't an either or choice between VMs and containers, enterprises need to arrive at an optimal mix and figure out streamlined ways to deliver both.
It is important to know how application delivery differs between VMs and containers.
|Category||VM delivery||Container delivery|
|App updates||Running VMs need to be updated and reconfigured using scripts||Container Images are rebuilt and redeployed automatically as needed|
|Scale of updates||VMs are updated individually and manually||Containers are auto-updated as needed. Over 95% of containers live less than a week.|
|DevOps workflow||Setting up VMs with OS and app stack - Build, deploy, configure app artifacts on a running VM||Create a single container image pre-built with config and app artifacts|
|Fixing issues||Bugs need to be fixed by logging into each VM and modifying it individually.||Containers need not be modified while fixing bugs, instead, they get replaced from a new image that contains the fix.|
|Volume of operations||VMs are limited in number as multiple microservices can be mounted on a single VM.||Containers are generated in a large number as every microservice needs a separate one.|
Delivering containerized applications to Kubernetes
Kubernetes allows businesses to deploy and manage cloud-native apps by making them portable across different environments. This makes it a great solution for development, testing and production use. It enables users to ramp up app instances quickly when demand spikes up using a system that’s highly efficient and more lightweight than virtual machines.
- Eliminates infrastructure lock-ins
- Better app management
- Multi-cloud app delivery
- Auto horizontal scaling
- Self-healing - can bring replicas back if destroyed
- Automated decoupling and load balancing
- Easy app version control
The dynamic duo of containers and Deploying Kubernetes can help you achieve continuous app delivery. But, there are a few roadblocks faced by app development teams.
- Time-consuming to manually build, deploy, and manage containers at scale
- Learning Kubernetes terminologies and trying to create Kubernetes manifests for delivering to Kubernetes is also challenging for developers
Considering that containerization and Kubernetes delivery is a time-consuming and a cumbersome process for bulky application, regular iterations and revisions are difficult. That is why one needs an elaborate system in place that can standardize and automate the delivery pipeline and in the process achieve continuous delivery.
Continuous delivery for microservices
A viable solution
App delivery platform or DevOps services
There are 2 alternatives to achieve continuous delivery. One can set up an efficient DevOps team that is skilled to handle app delivery to Kubernetes at scale or look for an app delivery platform that is custom-built keeping in mind the shortcomings faced by the software development teams. Irrespective of what one chooses, the solution should offer 3 significant features:
Things to look for:
- Automation: Automation of the containerization process is the first step towards a smooth app delivery. The need to manually create Docker images for every single app service should be eliminated.
- Standardization of process: In order to reduce delays caused while trying to accommodate each custom process and tool, there needs to be one process standardized across teams for delivering applications to Kubernetes.
- Self-service delivery experience for developers: All the delays caused due to the DevOps friction can be eliminated if service-centric delivery is enabled by letting developers handle the DevOps configuration all by themselves.