Cloud-Native Application Development for AWS – Imbibing microservices approach through container-based and Serverless architecture

Introduction to Microservices:

Microservices are certainly a revolution that has taken the industry to the next generation with its matchless performance and productivity. It essentially bifurcates a complex problem into structured counterparts in the form of a collection of services.

Advantage of Microservices:

The complex scenario, when decomposed into smaller sections, adds up a considerable level of testability, maintainability, organized layout that can be deployed easily independently with ease.

Deployment option: Serverless v/s Containers: 

Serverless and Containers have been acknowledged to deliver significant benefits and are regarded to be trendsetters among the development technologies. Individually, each of them offers a multitude of benefits that can be easily exponentiated upon combining the two giants into one segment.

Containers and Serverless are known to be competitor developmental technologies delivering a distinct set of benefits to the end-user and are opted depending upon the situation in hand.

Let’s have a look onto the insights:

Microservices using Serverless technology:

Serverless microservices are yet another breakthrough in the developmental domain. ‘The technique builds an entire system without the need to manage a server, thus discarding the usage of traditional practices focusing on the central entity’ – “the server”.

The serverless technology is on a boom in the industry and is much appreciated by the tech giants namely Google, Amazon, and Microsoft. It offers numerous benefits for both the developers and the business.

PROs/Top reasons to employ serverless microservices:

  1. Major cut in operational cost: Serverless, as the name implies, means the execution of all operations without the need for a physical server. The very fact minimizes the cost incurred in outsourcing a server or managing the server and associated databases.
  2.  Faster deployment: The fact that serverless technique deals with the creation of code only for any particular task instead of stressing on the infrastructure in hand makes it a preferred choice for application deployment. With serverless, you can deploy any application in a matter of a few hours/days rather weeks/months.
  3. Enhanced scalability: Having a notion of future expansion is not feasible by any means, which turns out to be a decider on the infrastructure in hand. The major asset of going serverless is to feel free in the event of any future additions to your applications since it offers easy up-gradation of the applications without bothering the complications of expanding the underlying infrastructure.
  4. Green Computing: Hosting data centers on your very own server can be preferable but costly affair since it deals with the basic requirement of being up all the time. This very factor results in tremendous power consumption. With serverless technology, you can simply purchase the servers as and when needed which results in cost-cutting along with greener hosting.
  5. Satisfied end users: Cutting down the waiting times for the users in the event of high traffic can be annoying. Serverless micro-processes technology amplifies the satisfaction level of the consumers and minimizes the waiting period for new and improved infrastructure. With serverless, your orientation transforms from being infrastructure-centric to process/logic-oriented wherein you can concentrate solely on the logic of the problem.
  6. Pay per request: By using the server only at the time of requirement minimizes the expenses of running a server 24*7 and offers a considerable boost to your savings.

Opting serverless microservices could be a promising decision for your organization empowered with a multitude of benefits. It is a smart technique that is request-driven and brings in a tremendous cut down in the operational costs.

Cons of Serverless Architecture:

  1. Expensive: The architecture is known to comprise several operational and maintenance overheads hence making it an expensive affair.
  2. Less portable: Several offerings from Serverless architecture such as AWS DynamoDB, Azure CosmosDB showcase difficulties in transporting.
  3. Difficulty in troubleshooting: The troubleshooting complexity in the serverless applications are known to increase with their expansion.

Microservices using Containers:

Containers, as the name signifies, are pretty much similar to the physical containers wrapping up all the essential components needed to execute a service. Being an autonomous bundle offering complete execution space to software makes it a highly portable unit that significantly adds up to the execution speed.

Microservices, on the other hand, is a lightweight fragment of the problem in hand which is divided into several counterparts where each of the segment performs a distinct function and produce the ultimate result upon knitting up as one.

Keeping in mind the microservices are a bunch of services executing to achieve the combined results running them simultaneously on a single interface could result in serious conflicts and could mess up the entire execution cycle into a slow loading and complex scenario.

Why rely on containers for implementation of Microservices:

Containers are a big asset to building up a microservice architecture in the AWS framework. Being lightweight, they can easily deploy a runtime environment for the microservices ensuring smooth execution combined towards a significant boost over the execution of the entire process.

PROS/ Top reasons to use containers:

  1. Smooth execution: Containers offer isolation of the execution right at the operating system level ensuring multiple application execution over a single operating system in a seamless manner. The whole idea revolves around freeing up of resources adding up the system efficiency to handle a myriad of tasks in a flawless way.
  2.  Refined processing: Executing microservices via containers result in the implementation of numerous execution environments over a single instance of the operating system. Additionally, it frees up the programmers from the overhead of creating separate VM’s for different applications and simultaneously offers you enhanced processing from single hardware ensuring no interference among the processes.
  3. Better workload management: Containers offer super quick initialization and can start in a fraction of a second. The flash starts up amplifies its workload handling capability in contrast to inefficient handling of applications by Virtual Machines (VM’s) in events of heavy traffic load.

Executing the microservices via the container is essentially an evolution that offers significant performance boost at far less cost along with streamlined usage of system resources merged with efficient traffic handling capability. The ultimate benefit of employing containers maps the sole aim of running a business i.e. enhanced user satisfaction.

Cons of Container Architecture:

  1. Security: Keeping in mind the fact that containers share the kernel, components of host operating system and they possess root access. Any sort of vulnerability in one kernel can greatly affect the security of other containers as well.
  2. Networking issues: The containers face serious deployment issues while maintaining a network connection and the procedure is regarded to be tricky in the application.
  3. Limited flexibility in Operating Systems: Executing multiple containers with varied operating systems can be a difficult task requiring a startup for a new server every single time.

Summary:

In a nutshell, both the serverless and container technique promotes better computing with minimized infrastructure overhead. Both the approaches deal with fragmenting a complex problem into fairly simple modules running independently towards a common goal.

The users need to choose wisely between the two approaches assuming preference to a serverless technique in case the application needs frequent iteration along with non-consistent usage/traffic and opting the container technique in case the requirement lies across migration of legacy applications to the cloud.

Additionally, there can be hybrid architecture, in case your requirements match up to the use cases of both the segments. Choosing the combo would help you reap the perks of both the approaches as each of them complement each other and takes care of each other’s limitations in true sense.