As you may know that, traditionally, software and applications have been developed as monoliths. However, with the advancement in technology, these processes have become outdated and replaced by microservices. Different microservices are integrated through APIs and perform various functions to form a robust enterprise software or application.
Even though microservices have essentially streamlined operations and have enabled developers to create more impactful applications and enterprise solutions, they still come with their fair share of issues.
Debugging issues within a microservices architecture can be pretty cumbersome and problematic. With a monolithic structure, developers had free access to their codes and could trace back the bug to its execution. When an error occurred, engineers could write down their observations in a log and tackle them later as they knew the machine these programs were running on.
Microservices made it harder to debug issues, as developers didn’t know which machines they were running on. They are often engaged in time-consuming processes to figure out the bug and resolve issues. Such practices result in operational inefficiencies and lower levels of productivity.
Here are some ways to save time debugging microservices and will help you trace and debug any errors quickly.
Use Logging Frameworks
The first step to simplify your debugging process and save valuable time is to consider using a logging framework. You’d find various logging frameworks, as most of them are open-source software. All the popular software languages in the world have logging frameworks. Node-Loggly (Node) and Log4J (Java) are a few examples to consider.
However, before choosing a logging framework, you should consider some important factors. First, consider how easy it is to read the code. If you don’t have the relevant expertise to read complex codes, choosing a framework with an easy-to-read coding system is better.
Second, choose a platform that doesn’t cause any lagging or performance problems. You’re here to save time, and constant lagging issues will only leave you frustrated and waste a lot of valuable time.
Third, never choose a framework that you don’t understand, or your team is not familiar with. You need to work with your software department to decide on the best logging framework. If you’re confused between a couple of frameworks, it is always worth testing out both and choosing the one that provides optimum results quickly.
Focus On Data Integrity and Log-Structured Data
The first step to quickly debug microservices is to pay particular attention to the data integrity of your logs. The days of relying on extracting information from a physical machine are long gone, especially in a cloud environment. Furthermore, like any data, you need to have adequate backups of your logs.
There is no absolute way to create copies of your logs. It entirely depends on you. You can store information on an external database, hard drive, disk, or any other external source. The only thing you need to consider is that your data should be readily available when you want it, and the storage mechanism should be durable. The last thing you’d want is to spend needless time and money on buying new drives and creating backups.
Make sure to have log-structured data. Logging tools today create JSON documents for your logs instead of a rich text file. Having a JSON file makes it easier for log processing and collation tools to read the data and produce outputs immediately, thus saving time.
Correlation Identifiers Are Key
Correlation identifiers are key in saving time while debugging microservices. As soon as you receive a processing request, make sure to create an identifier that’ll help you trace everything, from the initial request to all the processing carried out in the later stages. If you use other microservices or components in your processes, make sure to have correlation identifiers every time you call them out.
Searchable Logs Are the Way to Go
It’s always good to have correlation identifiers and logs for your data. However, their efficacy depends on how searchable your logs are. You don’t want to spend needless time searching for a particular component in your logs. Your logs should be searchable, which means that you should be able to search, filter, and retrieve specific information on a single request.
Always Have a Dynamic Logging Level
Modern logging frameworks used by developers nowadays are quite detailed. They have multiple levels available. You’ll encounter a warning, error, debug, info, and verbose logging levels in a standard framework. Therefore, you need to make sure that your code is applied correctly.
Once in production, you’d probably use the info logging level. However, if you experience any problems in your software, your logging levels should give you the flexibility of changing your logging levels, according to the situation. This helps in getting accurate information to solve the particular problem.
As mentioned, microservices have transformed the way we create software and enterprise applications. However, they bring many complexities that weren’t seen in the monolith software days. The debugging and tracing process is entirely different for microservices and should be treated accordingly.
As microservices are usually deployed separately and work independently, it is crucial to have different logs for individual services rather than a one-size-fits-all solution. Encourage your software development teams to implement good debugging practices to save time and effort. Code reviews and other tools should be extensively used to eliminate errors and implement a robust debugging process.
Conclusion to Save Time Debugging Microservices
If you’re unsure about microservices and having trouble with efficient debugging, then it is always recommended to consult experienced consultants who can help you with your microservices needs. Cloud Computing Technologies is a service-disabled veteran-owned small business that has been operating for over 20 years.
As experienced software solutions consultants, we save time debugging microservices with extensive expertise in application rationalization and other areas of microservices, which will aid in your decision-making and help you migrate to the architecture that suits your business.
Their developers have combined experience in the best software development languages, including Java, Golang, and Python, which has helped them become industry leaders. Their significant expertise will help you implement a robust microservices architecture and provide a seamless transition from a monolithic application to a modern microservice mechanism. Visit our website to learn more.
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