Friday, April 10, 2015

The Case for Microservices in the Enterprise

Since my last post exploring the platform shift happening in today’s datacenter, the question I’ve been asked most often is, “sure, microservices, distributed architectures and containerization might make sense for the Google’s and Facebook’s of the world, but what about everyone else who doesn’t operate at Web scale?”

It’s true that the never-before-seen scale requirements thrust upon this generation’s consumer Internet companies necessitated a redesign of applications and their underlying systems, but scale is only part of the explanation. Rather, the wholesale changes seen at the infrastructure and code levels and across the software development lifecycle were born out of the fundamental desire to win, which ultimately comes down to delivering the best software to millions (or billions) of end-users fastest.

Scalability is top-of-mind, but just as important is creating organizational and software development structures that support innovation, agility and resilience. After all, I would argue that Facebook became Facebook because Zuck was maniacal about 1) maintaining hacker culture to buoy innovation which enabled the company to bring superior software to market faster than the competition and 2) eliminating downtime which he knew would be a growth killer. Without this focus on agility and resilience, Facebook’s ability to scale would be moot.

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