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Microservices architecture became popular for its ability to create applications that are flexibly scalable, resilient and independently deployable. But despite the on-paper benefits, not all organizations will gain much from microservices adoption, due to the inherent operational complexity of these architectures. That's what makes it important to make the transition to microservices a strategically planned, gradual process.
Learn how to determine if your software team is ready for microservices adoption, and how to achieve a successful migration.
Five questions to ask about development
To see if your team is ready to use microservices, address these fundamental questions:
- What is your current software team culture?
- Do you have defined standards for code reviews?
- Is CI/CD a part of your development workflow?
- Do teams regularly perform unit and integration tests?
- Does your organization demand faster releases?
These answers indicate technological maturity and readiness, business need and how well the team can change how it works.
Organizations should also identify the applications most suitable for a microservices migration. For instance, a monolithic application that has become too heavily interdependent to manage, modify and deploy is a surefire candidate for microservices adoption. Then, identify the next platforms, frameworks, tools and other technologies needed for their microservices approach.
And if a given project doesn't demand microservices, don't make the switch -- only use microservices for complex systems that can't sustain under monolithic management.
Gauge and improve skills
An enterprise that moves to microservices will need software professionals with microservices-related skills, such as componentization, decentralized data management, infrastructure automation and the ability to build for resilient fault tolerance.
You also need to build vertical teams that work on certain services. Put automated deployment and monitoring processes in place, and invest in training for the team to use them.
Cultural and organizational shifts
Microservices architecture is not the panacea for all monolithic-related challenges, but if implemented carefully, it can empower teams to achieve agility and scalability over time. Given the complexity of microservices, and the possible need for more DevOps-focused processes, organizations should expect some sort of cultural shift.
Organizations should proactively identify any software team processes that are past their due date and will clash with microservices-based workflows. For example, microservices architecture best suits small autonomous teams that independently build, test and deploy applications. This means that you may need to restructure your Agile team roles and responsibilities that were once geared toward monolithic application development.
Prioritize gradual team culture changes instead of abrupt ones, and remember to continually monitor how teams are adjusting to the new workflow processes.