In our previous blog post, we introduced the not-so-new concept of a microservice architecture. This type of architecture allows developers to focus on one task of the application development process. Each service, or component of the application, works independently from each other. Furthermore, the process enforces scalability and quicker time to market. With this type of architecture in place, a service mesh is necessary.
A service mesh uses APIs to ensure efficient communication between containerized environments, like a microservice architecture. More specifically, a service mesh works well with a microservice because it has all of the following capabilities, all of which allow for fast and secure communication between independent services:
- Service discovery
- Load balancing
With multiple containers to manage, a service mesh uses APIs offers a more efficient and practical way to offer scalability and security. Since a microservice architecture combines multiple, independent systems, a service mesh can offer a stable form of communication between containers. In addition, a service mesh lends itself to a multi-cloud infrastructure despite which platform you’re using. This possible because of the combination of Docker and Kubernetes.
One of the many advantages of a microservice architecture is the fact that each component operates separately from the others. So if a bug affects one container, others will be safe. With a service mesh, you can optimize your microservices system’s visibility, thanks to the mesh’s ability to reroute traffic. This allows the development team to pinpoint the source of failure and improve the failed service’s performance.
Finally, a service mesh makes communication between services efficient. So when its time to move the application to a new data center, you won’t have to waste time re-establishing security measures. Communication through the mesh handles the necessary restrictions and authorizations, so you won’t need to move around security assets when you move around your application. This also means that security and communication within the microservice are independent of internal systems. Security updates can be applied at the application level thanks to the mesh, and you can forgo completely rebuilding each service in the case of a failure.
If you’re going for a microservice architecture, a service mesh is almost certainly necessary. With so many separate pieces working in this type of environment, a service mesh can take care of communications, scalability, and security. And when it comes time to move applications around, having that service mesh in place can optimize the DevOps process – add that to your value stream map!