Microservices movement fueled by DevOps and containers

A new IDC report by Al Hilwa provides an in-depth look at how microservices are driving the future of IT. DevOps and container technologies are both closely-related elements of microservices, but microservices isn’t a specific tool or practice. Microservices is about breaking IT down to its most granular, modular components.

I wrote a post about the IDC report and the future of microservices and IT:

There is a lot of focus on DevOps and container technologies these days. Both are very strong trends in IT on their own, but each is also proof of a larger shift in IT culture to a microservices architecture. A new report from IDC titled “The Emergence of Microservices as a New Architectural Approach to Building New Software Systems” takes a closer look at the evolution and impact of microservices.

Let’s start with the obvious question: What exactly is microservices? “Microservices is an architectural approach that draws on long evolving experience in software engineering and system design, including the SOA efforts of the last two decades,” said Al Hilwa, research director, Application Development Software at IDC. “Microservices architecture is enabled by a spectrum of tools categories but is primarily an architectural approach to system design that also requires considerable organizational and cultural adjustment to execute successfully.”

Put another way, microservices is an umbrella term that applies to breaking systems and applications down to a more granular, modular level. Containers are an example of taking an application and making it into a self-contained component, and DevOps provides the framework for developing, deploying, and managing the container ecosystem.

By some interpretations microservices and containers are somewhat synonymous. In other words, microservices is just another way of saying that an organization is using container technologies for app development and deployment. IDC classifies microservices more broadly, saying it is based on an approach to organizing software development—more of a concept and less of an actual product or technology.

The Wikipedia definition of microservices sums it up like this: “In computing, microservices is a software architecture style, in which complex applications are composed of small, independent processes communicating with each other using language-agnostic APIs. These services are small, highly decoupled and focus on doing a small task.”

Although the concept of microservices is broader than the underlying platforms or tools it uses, IDC acknowledges that the advancements in software development and deployment methodologies—namely DevOps and container technologies—has played a pivotal role in elevating microservices to where it is today.

Learn more about the new era of microservices at DevOps.com: Microservices define the next era of IT.

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