microservice architecture best practices

Microservice Architecture Best Practices and Patterns

Database per Microservice

After organizations switch from monolithic systems to smaller microservices, they still choose to go along with a big central database. Although this method provides advantages in the short term, it will prove to be problematic in the long term. That’s because microservices have a close relation with the database layer. Thus, the purpose of creating microservices will be defeated.

A much better way is to give all microservices their own data stores. This will prevent strong coupling in the database layer between services.

From the physical perspective, microservices will be using the same database resource. However, the database will be divided logically to avoid strong coupling between microservices. When microservices utilize separate tables, collections, and schemas, then appropriate segregation will exist between these microservices.

There are a few downsides to this method. First, breaking down a big central database into smaller logical components can be a daunting task and requires careful design. Even sharing data between services can also become more intricate.

Further information available at Microservices Agile Software Driving Business Value.

Event Sourcing

Within the microservice architecture best practices, data exchange is necessary between microservices. For a fault-tolerant systems, there should be asynchronous communication through the exchange of events. Atomic operations are preferable under such circumstances.

If you need distributed transactions with high data volumes for SQL databases, you cannot rely on two-phase locking since it won’t scale. For distributed transactions with NoSQL Databases, use of 2PL is not possible since most NoSQL lack support for 2-phase locking.

Under such conditions, you may resort to event-based architecture using event sourcing. In conventional databases, the Business Entity is directly stored with the present’ state’. For event sourcing, state-changing events or other important events will be stored rather than entities.

Build Teams Based on Microservices

Microservices behave as independent applications, and so should teams. Therefore, there should be different teams for managing different microservices.

Consequently, it is necessary to ensure that all such teams have the requisite skills for managing, deploying, and developing microservices themselves. In addition, teams should be sufficiently large and versatile so that minimum time is spent on communication.

Communicate with All Stakeholders

Migration to microservices from monolithic architecture is painstaking and onerous. The ramifications are not just confined to the development team.

All stakeholders should pay heed to the expertise, resources, and time needed for infrastructure changes that will be implemented. The engineering team will be most affected by this since it will be the user and the implementer during the transition.

Assess the Feasibility of Microservices Architecture

Before going ahead with something as arduous as migrating towards a microservices architecture, you should fully analyze the situation and determine how such a project will benefit your organization. Don’t just along with it simply because everyone else is doing it.

Make a list of all your requirements and see how you can break them up into functions that offer value. You should do your due diligence in ascertaining how the operability and core features of the application will be affected if it is divided into microservices.

Keep Business Functions Separate from Microservices

By following this best practice, you will be able to avoid creating microservices that may be too small or too large. If the microservices are too large, then there will be reduced or not benefits from this exercise. On the other hand, with microservices that are too small, there will be a rise in operational complexity together with cost. Plus, the returns will not justify the higher costs and complexity.

Design Microservices Ensuring They Are Loosely Coupled

Make sure that microservices are loosely coupled since this will reduce inter-dependency.

You should also aim for high cohesion. For this purpose, you should adopt the principle of single responsibility. This principle implies that service has only one key function. So restrict all microservices to a single function each and ensure that they do their main function well.

Your services should be designed to be domain-specific. Pay attention to domain-specific models and key details of the domain. This is helpful for domain-driven design.

Use Events and APIs for Inter-Service Communication

There should not be direct calls between services. Rather, you should implement the API gateway that can manage responses, requests, and authentication. When an API gateway is deployed, redirect traffic towards the updated version from this API gateway when changes are made to the service.

Pay Attention to Security Issues in the Microservice Architecture

For a highly secure microservices model, you should make use of the DevSecOps model. However, Microservices may be more vulnerable to security issues since they have a distributed nature. Due to this reason, microservices require a different framework for security for which DevSecOps is ideally suited.

Consistency in Development Environments

Virtual machines should be the development environment for services. This will help developers to begin work quickly and adapt easily.

Database and Data Stores for Microservices

Choose the database that is in accordance with the requirements of the microservice in question. Then, modify the database infrastructure to adapt if for the use of that microservice alone. This allows services to remain independent of each other while providing strong cohesion.

Deploy Microservices Separately

Deployment of microservices should be kept separate to save time and to facilitate coordination with different teams during upgrade or maintenance. No service should consume an excessive amount of resources, for this can negatively impact others.

The use of dedicated infrastructure is recommended for hosting each microservice. This approach will help to keep microservices separate from faults from other components. This will help to avoid a full-scale breakdown and improve fault tolerance.

Containerize Microservice Architecture Best Practices

Microservices and containers are strongly linked. Containerized microservices can work without disrupting each other.

Containers also allow for interoperability and platform independence which is the key objective of the microservice architecture.

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