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Microservices and Containerization: The Ultimate Duo for Digital Transformation Projects

There was a time when the term ‘digital transformation’ was just an ambitious concept. But now, a lot of businesses are concerned that they are moving too slow to keep up with the pace of digital transformation trends. The strive for efficiency and need to remain relevant in this increasingly competitive market is motivating businesses to consider the potential of emerging technologies and accordingly reorganize their existing workflows and IT infrastructure.

As the adoption of cloud computing continues to grow remarkably, orchestration services like microservices and containerization are also gaining much attention from enterprises that are looking forward to a more Agile and transformative framework for their business growth.

Defining Microservices

Microservices is a distinctive method of developing software systems where large applications are built in various modules, unlike monolithic models. In this approach, multiple modules are packaged in a manner that they can be deployed, scaled, and terminated independently. Each independent module is responsible for performing a particular task and can connect and communicate with other modules using simple APIs.

According to Red Hat 2017 Microservices survey, 33% of businesses indicated that they realized benefits of microservices within two to six months of implementation and 34% of businesses within six months to one year period.

Microservice architecture has quickly become the preferred method for many big names including Amazon, Netflix, eBay, PayPal, and Twitter. Embracing microservice architecture has allowed these businesses to expand their digital offerings without compromising on customer experience. While monolithic architecture is still modular, it is difficult to manage, challenging to scale, and has slower response rates. On the other hand, microservice architecture is here to break up those sluggish traditional models and convert them into sleek and powerful systems.

The Concept of Containerization

Microservices can run sufficiently well on Virtual Machines (VMs), but there is a better approach – containerization. Containers are an efficient and compact alternative to Virtual Machines that permits microservices to keep increasing in speed. Containers are separate execution environments residing on a single OS, which can be used to run individual microservice. Containers act as convenient and lightweight envelopes to ensure software remains portable in the real sense.

As stated by IBM, “Adoption of container development resulted in 59% improved application quality and reduced defects as well as 57% reduced application downtime and costs.”

Containers run on top of OS kernel, so they are really lightweight and use quite lesser memory for boosting the entire OS. For each microservice, containers can be created and terminated automatically depending on the load. This automation can provide businesses with higher scalability options for microservices, as more containers can be created as and when needed. In case of containerization, contents of one container cannot interfere with the contents of any other container. Thus, containers give the ability to run software anywhere while also providing the security of an isolated package.

Microservices and Containerization are a perfect match

When the power of microservice architecture is combined with containers, it enables developers to dissociate software into smaller functional fragments and further extend this software from the underlying hardware. Microservices and containers both are modular in design, making them the perfect pair for digital transformation.

Role of microservices and containerization duo in digital transformation

Together, microservice architecture and containers can revamp three aspects of enterprises: business operations, customer experience, and business models. Here are some of their combined benefits:

Increased speed

As microservices are self-contained and lightweight, their execution is quicker. Also, when containers are used with microservice architecture, they support quick execution as the operating system is always running, reducing the time required to prompt the OS to start up.

Higher scalability

Each system component can be easily scaled in order to improve the functionalities. On top of that, updates and repairs are also made speedy and efficient.

Optimum resource utilization

As containers are compact in size, they are ideal for running lightweight modules of microservices. This implies that there is more processing power from hardware and enterprises are not bearing the cost of space that they aren’t utilizing.

Improved customer experience

Microservices are independent, so if one module is offline, it doesn’t affect the operations of other modules. Moreover, if there’s a problem with one of the modules, they do not hamper the overall efficiency of the system and can be easily dealt with. In such case, problems won’t be apparent to customers as most of the other services remain intact.

Conclusion

As businesses are moving towards the concept of cloud computing, microservices and containerization can significantly help enterprises to attain their competitive goals. By having access to this dynamic duo, organizations can realize the immediate benefits of digital transformation that includes faster delivery time for applications and portability within multiple environments. To plan digital transformation for your organization, get in touch with us.

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