Do you know what’s common to Amazon, Netflix, and NASA? All three of them use DevOps.
Amazon uses it to deploy new software to production at an average of every 11.6 seconds!
Netflix uses it to deploy web images into its web-based platform. They have even automated monitoring wherein they ensure that in the event of a failure in implementing the images, the new images are rolled back, and the traffic is rerouted to the old version.
NASA, on the other hand, used it to analyze data collected from the Mars Rover Curiosity.
It’s become such that every organization that focuses on quick deployments of software and faster go-to-market uses DevOps.
Statista reveals that 17% of enterprises had fully embraced DevOps in 2018 as compared to 10% in 2017.
Given the advantages, these numbers will only grow every year as companies transition from the waterfall approaches to develop fast, fail quickly, and move ahead on the principles of the agile approach.
But for DevOps to deliver to its fullest potential, companies need to move from the monolithic architecture of application development to microservices architecture.
What is Microservices Architecture?
Unlike monolithic architecture, where the entire application is developed as a single unit, Microservices structures applications as a collection of services. It enables the team to build and deliver large, complex applications within a short duration.
How can Microservices Work with DevOps?
Microservices architecture enables organizations to adopt a decentralized approach to building software. This allows the developers to break the software development process into small, independent pieces that can be managed easily. These developed pieces can communicate with each other and work seamlessly. The best part about microservices architecture is it allows you to trace bugs easily and debug them without leading to redeveloping the entire software. This is also great from the customer experience perspective as they can still use the software without any significant downtime or disruption. It’s a perfect fit for organizations that use DevOps to deploy software products.
No wonder organizations like Netflix, Amazon, and Twitter that were using a monolithic architecture have transitioned towards a microservices architecture.
Let’s look at the benefits of Combining DevOps with Microservice Architecture:-
- Continuous Deployment: Remember the Netflix example we gave at the beginning about how Netflix reroutes the traffic to the old version of web images if they are not deployed on time? Imagine if Netflix still used monolithic architecture or the waterfall method of software deployment, do you think they would have been able to give the same kind of customer experience you witness today? Most likely, not! Microservices architecture coupled with DevOps enables continuous delivery and deployment of software, which means more software releases and better quality codes.
- More innovations and More Motivation: Imagine working on a product for 2-3 years and then knowing it is not acceptable to the market! It becomes hard to pivot too. Often you realize that there are several bugs, the process has become unnecessarily lengthy, and you have no clue which team is working on what. Wouldn’t it lower your morale? However, those days have gone. Today, organizations have transitioned from a project to a product approach. There are smaller decentralized teams of 5-7 people that have their own set of KPIs and success metrics to achieve. This allows them to take ownership of “their” product and it gives them better clarity on the progress. It also gives them the freedom to innovate, which boosts their morale.
- High-quality Products: With the power of continuous deployment and the freedom to experiment and innovate, organizations can continuously make incremental changes to the code leading to better quality products. It allows teams to mitigate risks by plugging the security loopholes, make changes to the product based on customer feedback, and reduce downtimes.
As you can see, using DevOps and microservices architecture together will not only boost the productivity of the team, but it will also enable them to develop a more innovative and better quality product at a faster pace. It helps product teams develop products in a granular manner rather than taking a “do it all at once” approach.
However, to embrace DevOps and microservices, you have to ensure that your teams understand the core benefits and make the most of the change.
Teams usually work in silos – the development team works independently, the testing team does its job, and so on. There is an obvious gap in communication, which leads to a delay in completing development and testing. DevOps and microservices require teams to work in tight collaboration. You will have to foster an environment where there are cross-functional teams of testers and developers communicating and working together to complete a task. This will help the teams to accelerate the process of developing, testing, and deploying their piece of work at a faster pace.
Of course, it is not easy to introduce a culture of collaboration, given that people are accustomed to working in silos. Hence, it is essential to reduce friction before starting the initiative. Once everyone shares in the vision and understands their own role in getting there, developing products with DevOps while leveraging a microservices architecture will become much easier.