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Managing Microservices? Why You Need Autonomous Cloud Management

Max 3 min

Suresh Mathew

 This is the first in a four-part series about Autonomous Cloud Management.  

Managing and maintaining all of the microservices in your cloud environment can be costly, tedious, and time-consuming. But what if there were some way to simplify cloud management with always-learning, always-available technology?

Thankfully, such technology exists. Let’s take a closer look at today’s microservice-rich environment and discover the benefits of deploying an intelligent autonomous cloud management solution to manage your microservice architecture.

The Rise of Microservices

To understand where we are, technology-wise, we must first understand where we’ve come from. If you rewind 20 or 30 years, enterprises relied on a handful of huge applications to run every aspect of their business. But this monolithic approach had one big downside; something that should’ve been as simple as fixing a bug or updating a few lines of code required developers to create and release a whole new build. 

Over time, enterprises have shifted their technology to embrace microservices — a collection of business capability-driven services that can be deployed independently. Microservice architecture allows for more agile, scalable development and deployment of applications, meaning that fixing bugs and updating code can happen quickly and easily. 

The Challenges of Microservices

The rise in microservices has created a new issue for businesses: it’s complex and cumbersome for an enterprise’s ops team to manage a massive volume of small applications. Additionally, concerns about availability, performance, and cost also make microservice management challenging:

  • Availability: Because microservices serve as the foundation for all processes, they all must work together. Developers must ensure that a single microservice failing doesn’t bring the entire system to a screeching halt.
  • Performance: The distributed nature of microservices means that traditional logging techniques aren’t as effective. As a result, tracking down errors — and then having enough information to fix them — can be difficult and time-consuming.
  • Cost: Getting microservices set up can be a costly endeavor, but the costs don’t end there. Ensuring that you have staff available to respond to issues or downtime is also potentially expensive. 

Defining Autonomous Cloud Management

Autonomous cloud management may be a solution to effectively harnessing microservices’ power, but what exactly is it? In essence, an autonomous cloud management solution ensures applications deployed on the cloud can satisfy service-level objectives (for availability, performance, and cost) without human intervention. Autonomous cloud management achieves this by understanding the cloud’s topology, behavior, and health, second by second. 

Autonomous Cloud Management Maximizes Microservice Benefits

It’s clear that to remain agile, businesses are moving from monolithic applications to microservices. It’s also clear that leading businesses understand that adopting an autonomous application management solution is imperative to reaping all the benefits that a microservices architecture offers.

What happens if you try to manage microservices manually? For starters, you may run into availability issues: consider what happens if your payment processing microservice experiences a drop in availability —  during the time that you cannot process payments, you will be giving sales to your competition. Additionally, to keep performance issues at bay, you must ensure you have coverage around the globe in multiple shifts, increasing costs. As your business grows and the number of microservice you use increases, your support team must also.

Adopting autonomous cloud management alleviates the issues associated with managing microservices manually — and offers a host of other benefits as well.

  • Scalability: Because your cloud applications are being managed autonomously, your business is able to scale more quickly and easily — and with more controllable costs.
  • Innovation: With your ops team freed up from constant monitoring and optimization tasks, they’re able to focus their time on higher-value efforts. 
  • Performance optimization: Autonomously managing your cloud means that there’s a gate between your microservices and the world. By employing autonomous cloud management, you ensure you’re pushing quality code and have the right service level objectives (SLOs) in place — in essence, you’re ensuring release intelligence.
  • Compliance: Autonomous cloud management allows you to define compliance and security policies and feel confident that your system will alert you to any issues.

Microservices are Here to Stay

Microservice architecture is here to stay, and businesses that effectively manage microservices will be more agile and competitive. And companies that adopt intelligent autonomous cloud management can improve scalability, boost performance, foster innovation, and reduce security risks. 

In future blog posts, we’ll take a closer look at how to use intelligent release pipelines to deliver software faster and safer; will talk about how to best autonomously manage service level objectives; and explore the topic of auto remediations and feedback.

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