Cloud Smart and Microservices: Changing the landscape | HCLTech

Cloud Smart and Microservices: Changing the landscape

Cloud Smart and Microservices: Changing the landscape
October 05, 2021

Evolution of Microservices

The Information Technology industry is extremely dynamic, with evolution occurring at every layer of the IT domain - core infrastructure, applications, and the network components.

With the advent of the cloud in the new millennium, applications and systems were simply virtualized and fork-lifted onto the cloud platforms. However, the true potential of the cloud platform was never leveraged. Since the cloud offered a seemingly inexhaustible supply of virtual hardware and a powerful net of customizable APIs, transitions were mainly driven by the desire to eliminate the hassle of procuring and maintaining hardware.

However, with the evolution of microservices, architectures and systems were disintegrated into small but manageable components which were independent and decoupled, leading to the evolution of cloud-native applications. With the help of the prominent cloud features, faster iteration cycles and automated processes came into existence. The era of smart cloud-integrated microservices had begun with the promise of greater agility, scalability, and resilience offered by the ‘backend’ capabilities of the smart cloud platform.

The landscape has, however, drastically changed. Microservices had evolved from the traditional monolithic architectures. Lack of flexibility and single failure points in a monolithic setup led to the evolution of the present microservices architecture. Let's now compare the architectures of monolithic and microservice systems.

Monolithic vs. Microservices architectures

Monolithic: During the early 2000s, each application, residing on a single server, comprised three prominent layers, viz. presentation, application/business logic, and the database layer. These layers were built and hosted on a single monolithic server, primarily in a DC, either physically or virtually. There were none to negligible cloud platforms available to host and customize architectures. Moreover, none of the available platforms offered large-scale customizations for the designs.  

Monolithic

Figure 1: Monolithic architecture design

Monolithic architectural designs had a series of single points of failure due to the limited and coupled hardware which could be fatal and result in massive interruption of services. Any code bug, hardware failure, or even software malfunction could bring in an outage. There were no concepts of ‘self-healing’. If any part of the structure or the overall system went kaput, it required either human intervention or a change in the associated hardware or software component. Additionally, any scaling operations would mean purchasing an entirely new server or fleet of servers.

Microservices:

Microservices are a collection of independent and standalone components that exist, collaborate, perform a function together, and allow individual deployment. This simply means that any microservice-based  architecture will require its components or services to handle its queries, requests, and metadata. However, due to the managed flexibility and independent nature of each component service, they all can effortlessly co-occur and, if required, with other architectures as well.

Microservices

Figure 2: Microservices-based architecture design

Changing landscape failure points: This is the most important sought-after change that has coincided with the rise of microservices and Cloud Smart platforms integrations for architecture or design. The failure points have become more independent, ensuring that the failure of any single component will not lead to the failure of the overall product, service, design, or architecture. The addition of self-healing features that can auto-correct or repair any function quickly without human intervention is transparent to the end-user.

Changing landscape deployment mechanism: With the emergence of containers, Cloud Smart-based platforms can offer a complete conglomeration of packaging and deployment constructs. Containers are more popular as they are more efficient than traditional VMs and allow the code (and required code libraries) to be deployed on any host system (or any OS that supports Dockers/Kubernetes containers). Containers are also the perfect deployment vector for microservices. They can be launched in seconds and can be redeployed rapidly after failure or migration.

Containers can be scaled quickly and scheduled easily, thanks to Cloud Smart features and microservices architecture. With Cloud Smart, it becomes relatively easy to schedule a specific number of containers.

HCLTech as a pioneer: HCLTech has been instrumental in the provision of microservices-based architecture and designs across a fleet of customers around the globe seeking a successful digital transformation journey. With the espousal of microservices as the base core and at the heart of an architectural design, HCLTech has commissioned and entitled its elite set of clients across various and significant industry domains. Incorporating industry-standard practices and functions, such as requirements gathering, assessments, design process, testing-POCs, and builds in the core set of architecture, HCLTech has positioned itself as an industry leader in microservices-based application setups.

HCLTech was named one of six leaders in The Forrester Wave for Application Modernization and Migration Services in 2021. In its report, Forrester acknowledged HCLTech as one of the top leaders, thanks to its organization-based digital transformation offerings for accelerating the development and modernization of cloud-native applications.

HCLTech has defined the Cloud Smart Microservices architectural approach as one of the cloud-native application principles. Its microservices ecosystem has been designed to run on the basic components of monitoring, logging, and tracing. HCLTech has a dedicated Cloud Smart Offering along with an IP and framework, named “CONTAINERIZIT”, which helps automate the I&O lifecycle for cloud-native applications.

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With cloud-native services requiring platform-based APIs for the functioning and processing, HCLTech Cloud Smart has provided a customized set of APIs which can be tailor-made for any cloud-based architecture, thereby laying a strong foundation for every digital transformation journey.

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