Serverless computing is widely adopted by businesses as they move from traditional application development to cloud-based platforms. Serverless computing also helps scale infrastructure. AWS Serverless Computing can adjust quickly with business demands, unlike traditional architecture. In the age of cloud computing and robust platforms like AWS, microservices architecture has distinct advantages.
Microservices Architecture vs Monoliths
Serverless applications can be developed with both monolith and microservices approaches. Monolithic applications combine user interface, business logic, and data access code into a single program that is independent of other applications. While this architecture may work well for applications like word processors, for applications that require constant scaling and additional features, it can become inadequate. Scaling the entire architecture to meet the demand of a single component is not exactly an optimal or cost-effective approach to application development. Furthermore, monolithic application are more likely to cause maintenance and security issues.
Microservices architecture is an SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) in which an application comprises of a small, independently deployable collection of services that are fine-tuned and communicate between each other over well-defined APIs. The complexities of each component are limited to itself and are not visible to the other components. Thus, scaling individual components and adding features does not affect functionalities of other components or involve working on the entire application. Furthermore, each component has its own view on data models, leading to decentralized data management which offers flexibility and risk management benefits. The ownership of services can be controlled by small teams working independently which increases agility and helps the organization scale successfully.
Benefits of Microservices Architecture
Because the components of the application function independently from one another, scaling them up or down based on demand is easier for the development teams. If necessary, more components can be added to the pool during the horizontal scaling process and the application does not have to face downtime.
Easier and Faster Development
With microservices, small and autonomous teams can develop, deploy, and scale the components they have ownership of without being concerned about the entire codebase. They can implement new ideas or roll them back using continuous integration and a continuous delivery approach which is well supported by the microservices architecture.
In a microservices architecture, there is no single point of failure. As the components are deployed independently, failures only effect a particular functionality instead of leading to a cascade of failures and crashing the entire application.
Legacy System Modernization
For businesses running on legacy systems, microservices offer an excellent way modernize their applications and migrate from a monolithic architecture. As this architecture is component-based, the transformation can be done incrementally. Adopting this architecture brings increased productivity, agility in the development process, and less maintenance and security concerns.
Why AWS is Suited for Serverless Microservices
Amazon Web Services offers a wide range of solutions that assist deploying microservices-based software. This includes SDK packages as well as PaaS, SaaS, and IaaS solutions which can support applications of varying complexities. Here is how AWS solutions serve specific purposes:
- Storage: For cloud storage, Amazon S3 and Amazon ElastiCache can be used.
- Computing: Amazon Elastic Container Service and AWS Lambda provide excellent serverless compute services.
- Database: AWS has a host of database services like Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon Aurora, and Amazon RDB which can be used with microservices architecture.
- DevOps Support: AWS offers DevOps tools like Amazon Container Image Repository for enabling CI/CD workflows.
- Networking: AWS has a range of services such as Amazon API Gateway, AWS Elastic Load Balancing, AWS Route 53, Amazon Service Discovery, and AWS App Mesh.
- Monitoring: AWS CloudTrail can be used for infrastructure monitoring. Amazon CloudWatch is a perfect service. for API monitoring.
- Messaging: Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS) send notifications while Amazon Simple Queue Service (Amazon SQS) provides a message queuing feature that's helpful for microservices and serverless applications.
AWS Services that Work with Serverless Microservices
Amazon Web Services offers a host of services to aid Serverless Microservices architecture. While most of the services offered by AWS can be used with Serverless Microservices, here are few key ones.
- Amazon API Gateway: Creating, deploying, and maintaining APIs can be a complex and time-consuming task. This operational complexity is eliminated by API Gateway which uses its configurable RESTful APIs as a service. Developers can create APIs programmatically to cater to specific needs. With API Gateway as the interface, all calls and interactions are sent to components and any applications running on on-premises environments.
- Amazon Lambda: AWS Lambda is the Serverless platform that runs code in response to events and manages its computing resources while balancing the load. API Gateway makes synchronous calls to Lambda making the application function as serverless.
- Amazon DynamoDB: Is a fully managed AWS NoSQL database, that allows the database to scale automatically. In Serverless Microservices architecture, using AWS Lambda can store and retrieve data from DynamoDB.
- Amazon S3: S3 is an AWS object storage web service that can be used by AWS Lambda to store static data such as log files in an S3 bucket and the same can be used to monitor performance.
- Amazon Cloudwatch: For monitoring the performance of the application in a serverless environment, AWS Cloudwatch can be used. Cloudwatch stores both numerical metrics and textual information in its logs which can be used to monitor services in real-time.