You may well be aware that, in general, applications and software are developed to be monoliths. Still, as technology has advanced, these processes have been replaced by Microservices since they are now outdated. There are various Microservices used to form an API, which helps perform different functions and build a strong enterprise application or software.
Microservices have allowed developers to create more impactful enterprise solutions and applications and have streamlined operations, but they still have some issues that need to be dealt with appropriately. One of the most significant issues with Microservices, which can be problematic and cumbersome, is the debugging problems one would face in Microservices architecture.
Developers could access their codes freely in a monolithic infrastructure, as they could easily trace the bug back to its execution. Therefore, whenever there was an error, the engineers would be able to write down what they observed in a log and then deal with the problem later since they were aware of the programs running on the machines.
Debugging issues are more complex in Microservices since developers had no idea what machines ran the Microservices infrastructure. It would take them a long time to find the bug and then resolve the issue. These practices resulted in low productivity levels and operational inefficiencies. That’s why we are sharing some of the best practices that will help you save time when it comes to debugging Microservices.
1. Use a Logging Architecture
You should think about using a logging architecture as the first step to debugging Microservices and saving valuable time. Many logging frameworks are available, and most of them run on open-source software. The best part is that all the popular software languages in the world right now have their own logging framework. A few examples that you can consider are Elasticsearch, Fluentd and Kibana (EFK).
However, before you choose a logging framework, there are some essential factors that you should consider first. You want to find a framework with easy-to-read code, especially if you don’t have the relevant experience or expertise to read complex codes. Therefore, you should choose a framework with a coding system that can be easily read.
You also want to choose a framework that doesn’t cause performance problems or has lagging issues. Your goal is to save time, but if you’re constantly dealing with lagging issues, you will be wasting your time on unnecessary delays, leaving you frustrated.
You should also not choose a framework that your team isn’t familiar with, and you don’t know properly. You must work with your software department to find a suitable logging framework that allows you to do your best work. If you can’t make up your mind between two frameworks, it is always best to test both frameworks and select the one that offers you the best results quickly.
2. Focus on Log-Structured Data and Data Integrity
If you want to debug Microservices quickly, the first step is to pay attention to your log’s data integrity. Everything is in the cloud environment nowadays, so the days you extract information from physical machines are over. Apart from that, you must back up your logs securely, like any data. There’s no easy way to create log copies as that depends on you.
Most people store their information and data on external databases, disks, hard drives, or other external sources. You should pay attention to your data being readily available whenever you need it, and you must have a durable storage mechanism. You don’t want to spend your money needlessly creating backups and purchasing new drives. It’s a waste of time and resources, and you’re much better off doing other stuff.
Your data should also be log-structured. Plenty of logging tools can build JSON documents for the logs rather than creating a rich text file. When you have a JSON file, it becomes easier for you to process logs and collation tools for reading the data and producing outputs immediately, which would save you time.
3. The Key is Correlation Identifiers
If you want to save time debugging Microservices, the key lies in finding correlation identifiers. So, whenever you receive a request for processing, you must create an identifier, which helps you trace everything back from the initial request to all the processing carried out in the latter stages. If there are other components or Microservices in the processes, you should ensure that you have correlation identifiers that can help you make the most of these services.
4. Logs that Are Searchable Hold the Answer
It’s an excellent idea to have logs and correlation identifiers for your data. However, their effectiveness will depend on the searchability of your logs. You don’t want to waste time searching for data or another component in the logs. You must ensure that the logs can be searched easily, meaning that you should be able to retrieve, filter, and search for a specific piece of information from a single request.
5. Your Logging Level Should Be Dynamic Always
Developers that use current logging levels ensure that they are incredibly detailed and come with multiple levels. You will come across an error, debug, warning, information, and lengthy logging levels in any standard framework. Therefore, you must ensure that your code is appropriately applied. When they are in production, you must use the logging level information. Even if you experience any difficulties in the software, your logging level should allow you to change your logging levels based on the situation. That would help you get accurate information to resolve any problem you are facing.
Conclusion to Best Approach to Troubleshooting Microservices
We have already mentioned that Microservices can transform how we create enterprise and software applications. However, they bring about several complexities that weren’t around in the monolith days of software. The tracing and debugging process for Microservices is entirely different, and it should be treated in that manner. Contact us for services related to the best approach to Troubleshooting Microservices.
Further blogs within this Best approach to Troubleshooting Microservices category.