A microservices approach is a significant departure from traditional software development models in which applications are built and deployed in monolithic blocks of tightly coupled code. These legacy approaches can make updating applications time-consuming, increase the potential for updates to cause bugs, and often limit how easily and quickly an organization can share or monetize its data, functions, and applications.
Microservices, in contrast, are fine-grained, single-function component services that can be scaled and deployed independently, enabling organizations to update or add new features to an application without necessarily affecting the rest of the application’s functionality.
Microservices can help a business achieve unprecedented levels of agility, empowering development teams to innovate faster by building new features and services in parallel. But these benefits come with some costs. Managing the complexity of large numbers of microservices can be a serious challenge; doing so demands empowering developers to focus on what microservices do rather than how they are doing it. For this, enterprises are increasingly using a “service mesh”—an abstraction layer that provides a uniform way to connect, secure, monitor, and manage microservices.
The service mesh reduces many challenges associated with complexity but does not provide an easy way for enterprises to share the value of microservices with new teams or with external partners and developers. For this, an enterprise needs managed APIs. APIs and API management help expand the universe of developers who can take advantage of microservices, while giving organizations governance over how their microservices are used and shared. Whenever a microservice is shared outside the team that created it, that microservice should be packaged and managed as an API.
Put simply, if an enterprise is serious about its microservices strategy, it needs both a service mesh to help simplify the complexity of a network of microservices and API management to increase consumption and extend the value of microservices to new collaborators.
In the recently published eBook, "Maximizing Microservices," we explore:
- The role of a service mesh in simplifying complexity intrinsic to microservices architectures
- How APIs enable the value of microservices to be scaled and shared with additional teams, developers, and partners
- Why an enterprise’s ability to secure, monitor the use of, and derive insights from microservices relies on properly managing the APIs that make microservices accessible
- How a comprehensive microservices strategy combines both a service mesh and API management to manage complexity and securely increase consumption.