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Using the right tool makes microservices a hit

Developers aiming for microservices success want a Swiss army knife rather than a hammer

Jane Elizabeth
microservices
© Shutterstock / Oleg GawriloFF

Microservices: there are many paths, but the goal is always the same. A recent survey from Red Hat suggests that developers aiming for microservices success are looking for a Swiss army knife rather than a hammer. In any case, the benefits of doing so appear much sooner than you’d think!

When microservices became a thing, they initially meant building an app as a collection of smaller, interconnected services rather than one single monolith. But as a recent survey from Red Hat finds, it also has come to encompass reworked software applications as well.

According to Red Hat, a record 69% of companies are using microservices for both new applications and for re-architecting existing ones. This data suggest that microservices are more than a one-trick pony. Microservices bring value to users in differing stages of their IT transformations, whether it’s updating a current application to creating brand new initiatives.

Using the right tool for the task

One of the more surprising findings from the survey shows that DevOps developers have little loyalty to a particular technology, runtime, or framework. Instead, 45% of respondents believe in using the “right tool for the task”.

Furthermore, a whopping 87% percent of respondents indicated that they are using or considering multiple technologies for developing microservices.

“These responses show that multi-technology solutions are becoming the norm and that more and more organizations simply want to use the right tool for the right task,” said Red Hat. “Not all technology projects function the same and most do not thrive on using the same tools.”

Developers aren’t using a hammer for everything: they’re gathering a series of very specific tools within their toolkit to make sure their approach is a success.

SEE MORE: Containers, microservices and the power of modern IT

Clear benefits

Adopting a microservices approach can be tough. But respondents to the Red Hat survey show that there are clear, identifiable benefits to switching over to a microservices architecture for applications new and old alike.

In particular, they noted these six benefits:

  1. Continuous Integration (CI) / Continuous Deployment (CD)
  2. Agility
  3. Improved scalability
  4. Faster time-to-market
  5. Higher developer productivity
  6. Easier debugging and maintenance

What’s more, respondents said that they saw dividends to switching over almost immediately.  33% saw clear benefits to a microservices approach within two to six months after first implementing the changes.

This shows that the ramp up time is quite short and companies can count on seeing positive improvements within a quarter or two.

SEE MORE: Microservices: From a monorepo to a microplatform

Challenges

However, microservices alone won’t solve all your problems. Sometimes, they even cause some challenges that need to be overcome. Red Hat identified four key areas of concern:

  1. Corporate culture and organizational challenges
  2. Microservices management
  3. Diagnostics and monitoring
  4. Time and resources

None of these are particularly surprising. After all, we’ve been warning about corporate culture as a challenge to implementing microservices for some time now. There is a light at the end of this tunnel, though!

Red Hat was also kind enough to identify four ways to help mitigate these challenges, namely:

  1. Developing/implementing in-house microservices tooling
  2. Re-organization
  3. Working with vendor subject matter experts / Using a vendor as a trusted advisor
  4. Purchasing or using a microservices platform / solution

In general, having a clear plan for reorganizing the corporate culture to embrace a microservices architecture was one of the most important ways to get over these challenges. Respondents suggested due diligence on vendors as well as a clear understanding of the project at hand and what it required.

Author
Jane Elizabeth
Jane Elizabeth is an assistant editor for JAXenter.com.

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