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Microservices architectures (MSA) break down domain-level problems into independent modular capacities so they become easier to manage and deploy, which is great for many situations. When that system is organized around events — an event-driven microservices architecture (EDM) — you are streamlining microservices into event-defined clusters, which then function faster and with improved productivity than they did in a monolithic formation. This event-driven microservices architecture offers benefits that you won’t find in other MSA patterns.
There are challenges, too, however. Scaling an MSA, for example, is more complex than scaling a monolith because the microservice design has so many more moving parts. While you may want to simply duplicate your entire function in a new setting, you may also only need to scale elements of it. Both cases require a careful analysis of how the scaled elements will impact the existing system so you can design around their particular concerns.
- Multiple subsystems must process the same events.
- Real-time processing is required with minimum time lag.
- Complex event processing is needed, such as those projects that involve aggregation over time-windows or pattern matching.
- There is a need for swift processing of high volumes and velocities of incoming data.
Further, its high level of optimization and ease of use let users “tune” how they want their events emitted, collected and consumed, and its immediacy gives them control over what’s happening in their system.
Its scalability is also an added boon, even with the challenges that it poses, because the scaling solution must be as unique as the EDA itself. For example, a retailer may want to scale its entire operation in another location, which would suggest duplicating the entire EDA. Conversely, a seasonal retailer may need only to scale their sales programming during peak seasons. A scaled EDA in both situations requires a careful analysis of load balances, system resources and intended outcomes to achieve its intended goal.
The unique organization of events and microservices generates a host of benefits that are unattainable with point-to-point processing, including the following:
Ultimately, an EDM enhances enterprise integration, which has been the goal all along of evolving enterprise-level computing systems. Reducing system functionality to its integral events and eliminating the web-like maze of connections between a myriad of corporate applications, EDM also eliminates the resulting confusion. As a middleware solution, EDM can integrate the entire organizational infrastructure into a more functional system.
The emerging EDM brings forward the benefits of each style of legacy system, while leaving their challenges behind. It provides users all the services they’ve come to expect from today’s modern computing sector:
4. Independence and autonomy
5. Decentralized governance
6. Failure isolation
8. Continuous delivery through DevOps
The benefits of an EDA, when coupled with microservices, are many, including lower up-front costs, reducing time-to-market and a reduction of the need for invasive refactoring or disruptions of existing application development efforts. Designing one to match and optimize your enterprise will require significant preparation and analysis of how your organization presently functions, which may not be within the scope of possibility for some businesses. It’s important to decide whether this added effort is worth the benefits that come with an EDM — before you jump into the thick of it.
POST WRITTEN BY
Director, Digital Modernization | Principal Architect | Technology Evangelist for Sage IT Inc.