Big software outfits are looking to define microservices, the concept of decomposed applications enabled by containerisation.
Microservices advocates suggest that monolithic applications that run as a single process are on the way out. Instead, they imagine that different bits of an application will run as discrete processes, all with open APIs and all swapping data furiously.
Doing so is said to be a good idea because it means each microservice can be updated as and when needed, which is rather easier than updating bigger applications and therefore offers the chance for more frequent enhancements. It's also a very DevOps way of doing things.
Docker is big news in microservices circles, because containers look a grand place in which to run a microservice. Google's Kubernetes, which helps to orchestrate containers and define where they run, is also often mentioned when conversation turns to microservices.
In early January, VMware convened a meeting to discuss what it's called “a common, totally open application blueprint definition.” The attendee list was impressive: Amazon, Cisco/Noiro, Cloudsoft, CoreOS, Docker, Gigaspaces, Google, HashiCorp, Mesosphere, Microsoft, OpDemand/Deis, Pivotal and Telematica all reportedly showed up.
On the agenda was how to define a blueprint that “.... specifies all the components of an app, how they’re stitched together, network and storage requirements, other service dependencies, and more” with the aim of making it possible for “the same blueprint … to provision an app on a developer’s laptop, in a staging environment, in an on-premises virtualized datacenter, and in a public cloud.”
VMware seems to be paying special attention to microservices, as it popped out this Tweet last week.
Doing #microservices development or production deployments? We want your feedback on our upcoming stack. Microservices at vmware dot com— Cloud Native Apps (@cloudnativeapps) January 17, 2015
VMware has already announced a partnership with Docker and collaboration around Kubernetes, but we asked if the “upcoming stack” is more than that.
We were told that “.... our Cloud Native R&D team is exploring new use cases and techniques where a software-defined approach could help customers build, run and operate the emerging set of cloud-native applications” and that “it is an area that we are exploring.”
We also know that Microsoft is thinking about microservices for .Net, because Microsoft's .Net supremo Jay Schmelzer. told us so.
Between Redmond's and Virtzilla's efforts, and the interest of the other outfits listed above, microservices look to be well and truly on the industry's radar.
And ours. ®