Microservices break down complex application architectures into a collection of services operating on single-function modules or containers with well-defined integration between each container.
Each container is relatively self-contained, deployed with the necessary system requirements and allocated with the required system resources (CPU, memory and storage) for the service it is supporting. This significantly improves the ability to approach complex and large application workloads with a continuous delivery/deployment methodology, allowing an organisation to rapidly evolve its technology stack to directly address business or organisational needs.
Using microservices or microservice architecture essentially structures the application, whether simple with only a couple of services, or complex and large with many interlinked services, into a pattern or blueprint. This also allows for elements of the application to more rapidly scale out as areas of the application come under increased load due to higher resources’ utilisation, as additional modules or containers can be deployed to support the load as required.
As microservices are maturing, the capability to implement highly robust network and service-level security, also referred to as micro-segmentation, are also rapidly developing. Having real-time monitoring, reporting and alerting to activity within and between the containers allows the organisation to rapidly respond to both system failures as well as cyber events.
Whilst certainly not a magical solution to application woes, microservices provide a highly scalable, flexible and efficient framework that is transportable across cloud platforms in a hybrid on-premises, private and public cloud environment.