One of the most important questions ever to be addressed in a business setting is: “Does your business model support Growth?” While many businesses strive to achieve higher performance and ultimately grow into a better, yet bigger business, only a few are able to successfully deliver. Initially, it all comes down to a business venture’s ability to function in the consumer market without its IT infrastructure breaking down. In other words, the key player in this game is none other than scalability. However, often times businesses confuse the term scalability with growth, rendering their strategies useless as they strive to achieve something fundamentally flawed. While scalability does lead to growth, growth without scalability will almost always be short term. More often than not, these challenges are faced by startups, growing tremendously over a short period of time and succumbing to slow growth sprouts due to their inability to manage and deliver excellent performance in the existing and ever-growing workload.
Failing to comply with existing market demand could result in a lost opportunity. Therefore, a business must upscale all its activities to cope with the market demand, starting with its IT Infrastructure. The decision of upscaling a firm’s IT infrastructure comes with its fair share of challenges and risk. While high performance is a product of a firm’s ability to support a large number of users, investing in a large IT infrastructure without using it to its potential can also be catastrophic to the firm. (https://elastisys.com/2015/09/10/scalability-design-principles/) as a business venture to truly remain competitive in the market, it must comply with the scalability design principles. Moreover, decisions about the hardware capabilities are ultimately left to be addressed by the firm. The deployed system must be consistent, available and partition tolerant. Needless to say, a firm making use of web services should indeed focus on that the number of users currently viewing their content, plus one, are able to see consistent results. One of the challenges faced by the firm in its quest to attain scalability is none other than management and governance, with the million-dollar question being
“Who will control and manage the firm’s IT infrastructure?”
Whether the firm’s IT infrastructure should be centrally controlled or whether the control should be given to individual departments, in addition to outsourcing all poses as a rather daunting decision. Ultimately, a firm’s decision to choose the appropriate tactic will hence determine whether the business will grow to become a giant like Facebook or wilt away before it even gets a chance. The next question to the surface is,
“How much should the firm spend on infrastructure?”
This question further addresses whether a firm should purchase and maintain its own IT infrastructure components or rent them from external suppliers, including those offering cloud services? This eventually boils down to firms rent-versus-buy decision. Greatly influenced by the total cost of ownership.
What’s more, is more challenges surface as the implementation begins:
The software placement/implementation challenges, which, after adoption can microservice architecture synchronization enabling a firm to continuously deliver and deploy large-scale applications without being subjected to overloads and downtimes.
The orchestration middleware challenges regard the need for design and development of orchestration mechanisms working towards the proper execution of applications over programmable infrastructure. The orchestration middleware challenges address the programmability of the infrastructure as well as the reconfigurability of the applications’ execution context.
The software quality challenges refer to the need for adoption of approaches that will facilitate the development of qualitative software, such as collaboration driven software development and testing processes ensuring interoperability and user acceptance. While the challenges go on forever, there are multiple options available to achieve scalability:
As a startup business initially works its way up to the top, they do not have a comprehensive idea of what to do and what not to do. Especially when it comes to deploying an array of devices, microservice can be the answer to all the problems! Microservices are device- and platform-agnostic, which provide consistent services across various platforms. Key offerings include providing stable interfaces, HTTP, JSON and REST. With HTTP being the standardized interface over the internet. With JSON being a simple data representation format. And with REST being the mastermind behind HTTP and JSON to build adaptable microservice interfaces.
- Regardless of the size of the firm, MicroServices can still prove to be of significant value. By following the modern day approaches firms to have a greater chance to enhance their overall performance and utilize their IT infrastructure in a fruitful and yielding manner:
- Decentralization, a key component in making entities act individually is another resilience providing an offering of microservice. This frees software engineers from the hassle of facing a large scale malfunction over a flawed piece of code like most monolithic architecture software.
- Individuality is also a luxury that comes easy with the implementation of MicroServices. As we have already talked about scalability, it is safe to say, enabling a single component to scale up would prove to be more fruitful than scaling up the entire system. Moreover, multiple serves can be used to deploy services critical for business functioning without affiliating them with other services.
- Customization and flexibility become a byproduct of MicroServices. “As each service can use its own language, framework, or ancillary services while still being able to communicate easily with the other services in your application.”
- Liberation from rewrites, as microservice is fundamentally a loosely coupled services, modification or addition of features is not dependent on rewriting of codes. With each increment being testable, the time to market is drastically accelerated. Moreover, smaller modules pave way for error-free delivery by deploying the use of frequent tests.
- The unique nature of microservice enables continuous delivery, as a continuous delivery model is set into motion by cross-functional Moreover, the concept of continuous delivery also favors continuous development. A key demand of most growing firms. As developers, operations, and testing teams have the options to work simultaneously on a service, operations become instant. This feature enables firms to use incremental development to their advantage instead of reinventing the wheel.
Interested in API strategy, architecture, and design. Working to improve the quality and usability of information on the Web. CTO @OrfiumMusic