Mesh Service Architecture – Explained
Microservices are everywhere now and have taken the software development landscape by storm. In a recently completed survey, 28% of those surveyed said they had used microservices for more than three years while 61% said they had used them for a year. Interviewees claimed that some of the biggest benefits of microservices are increased flexibility and responsiveness to changing technology and evolving business demands, as well as greater scalability as well as greater code refresh. . These advantages are becoming essential in today’s dynamic business environment to maintain a competitive advantage.
The microservices challenge
However, microservices, like everything else in life, also presents challenges and tradeoffs. While microservices bring multiple benefits, the biggest challenge they add is complexity.
This complexity stems from breaking down legacy monolithic applications into microservices and managing microservices in general. The complexity also increases as these applications begin to grow and require multiple microservices to communicate seamlessly with each other to improve performance. It becomes difficult even if a microservice is overloaded due to excessive traffic or if it receives too many requests too quickly.
This is where Service Mesh can step in and solve these challenges.
What is the Mesh service?
Service-to-service communication is what makes microservices work. This process of one service requesting data from many other services becomes complex as microservices evolve. A service mesh is a dedicated infrastructure layer that is integrated into an application and controls service-to-service communication in a microservices architecture. It automatically routes requests to the correct destination while optimizing how these parts work together. It enables regular load balancing, enables data encryption, and facilitates service discovery.
The logic that governs communication can also be directly encoded in microservices, but as microservices become more complex, a mesh of services becomes all the more valuable. For cloud native applications, a service mesh also becomes the path to understand several discrete services in a functional application.
The advantages of the Mesh service
The main drivers of Service Mesh adoption are security / encryption, service level observability, and service level control. A service mesh provides security for data in transit in a cluster and may be motivated by industry specific regulatory concerns. This too:
- Built in greater visibility on how workloads and services communicate at the application layer, especially in multi-tenant environments like Kubernetes or as more services are deployed.
- Enforce service level control and help determine which departments should communicate with each other and how. It also gives organizations the ability to implement zero trust models around security. Service Mesh provides organizations with an operationally simpler approach to manage microservice communication and improve security and communication and observability of applications.
- Solves complexities at the highly elastic, fast, and containerized end of the architecture spectrum. Organizations that have large-scale applications consisting of many microservices benefit from Service Mesh. As the complexity of applications increases, more and more sophisticated routing capabilities are needed to optimize data flow. This ensures that the application performance remains optimal.
- Allows developers to focus on driving commercial value and business logic when building each layer instead of wasting energy worrying about how one service communicates with another.
- Allows DevOps teams to have CI / CD pipelines to programmatically deploy applications and application infrastructure (Kubernetes) to manage source code and test automation tools like Artifactory, Jenkins, Git or Selenium. It also allows DevOps teams to manage security and networking policies through code.
- Makes applications more resilient. It allows organizations to continuously force authentication, encryption, and other policies on various protocols or runtime environments. The ability to redirect requests from failed services also helps increase application resiliency.
Where is Service Mesh in Kubernetes?
Kubernetes is now considered the de facto standard for container orchestration and allows service mesh to sit comfortably there. Using a service mesh when building applications on Kubernetes provides reliability, critical observability, and enhanced security features. The biggest advantage is that the application does not even need to implement these features or even know the mesh of services at work.
Kubernetes focuses on the management of the application while the service mesh aims to make the communication aspect more secure and reliable.
However, if organizations are not using Kubernetes, the adoption of cost of service mesh can accelerate as they must focus on evaluating their strategy to manage thousands of proxies by hand in the absence of underlying Kubernetes functionality. To solve this challenge, organizations must examine cross-platform service meshes. But that makes the cost-benefit equation quite different.
The network of services offers immense value
- When microservices are written in many different languages and don’t follow a common architectural pattern or framework.
- For organizations that integrate third-party code or interact with teams a little further away (for example, across the boundaries of partnerships or mergers and acquisitions) and need a common foundation to build on.
- If organizations are constantly solving problems, especially in utility code, have strong security, auditability, and compliance needs, or find that teams are spending more time locating and identifying problems than they are solve them.
For organizations that leverage microservices, it makes sense to implement a service mesh before they reach the tipping point where the libraries built into the microservices can no longer handle uninterrupted service-to-service communication.
The Mesh service is now becoming an essential and widely used component of the cloud native stack. This technology rapidly evolves and matures to align with the microservices goals of enterprises and enables them to connect, manage and observe microservice-based applications with behavioral insight
The opinions expressed above are those of the author.
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