Microservices

Visualizing Istio service mesh with Kiali

Observe what your Istio mesh is doing with Kiali

The Istio service mesh is a powerful tool for building a service mesh. If you don’t know about Istio yet, have a look at the Introduction to Istio series of articles or download the ebook Introducing Istio Service Mesh for Microservices.

The power of Istio comes with the cost of some complexity at configuration and runtime. To help this, the Kiali project provides observability of the mesh and the services in the mesh. Kiali visualizes the mesh with its services and workloads. It indicates the health of the mesh and shows hints about applied configuration options. You can then drill in on individual services or settings to view details.

This post describes how to use Kiali to observe what the microservices in your Istio service mesh are doing, validate the Istio configuration, and see any issues.

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The rise of non-microservices architectures

This post is a short summary of my recent experiences with customers that are implementing architectures similar to microservices but with different characteristics in the current post-microservices world.

The microservices architectural style has been around for close to five years now, and much has been said and written about it. Today, I see teams deciding not to strictly follow certain principles of the “pure” microservices architecture and to break some of the “rules.” Teams are now more informed about the pros and cons of microservices, and they make context-driven decisions respecting team experience and organizational boundaries and accept the fact that not every company is Netflix. Below are some examples I have seen in my recent microservices gigs.

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Asynchronous communication between microservices using AMQP and Vert.x

Microservices are the go-to architecture in most new, modern software solutions. They are (mostly) designed to do one thing, and they must talk to each other to accomplish a business use-case. All communication between the microservices is via network calls; this pattern avoids tight coupling between services and provides better separation between them.

There are basically two styles of communication: synchronous and asynchronous. These two styles applied properly are the foundation for request-reply and event-driven patterns. In the case of the request-reply pattern, a client initiates a request and typically waits synchronously for the reply. However, there are cases where the client could decide not to wait and register a callback with the other party, which is an example of the request-reply pattern in an asynchronous fashion.

In this article, I am showcasing the approach of asynchronous request-reply by having two services communicate with each other over Advanced Message Queuing Protocol (AMQP). AMQP is an open standard for passing business messages between applications or organizations. Although this article focuses on the request-reply pattern, the same code can be used to develop additional scenarios like event sourcing. Communicating using an asynchronous model can be very beneficial for implementing the aggregator pattern.

I will be using Apache QPid Proton (or Red Hat AMQ Interconnect) as the message router and the Vert.x AMQP bridge for communication between the two services.

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Eclipse MicroProfile and Red Hat Update: Thorntail and SmallRye

During the last three months, there have been some changes regarding Eclipse MicroProfile at Red Hat. If you haven’t been following the details, this post recaps what’s changed and introduces Thorntail and SmallRye.

Bye-bye WildFly Swarm! Hello Thorntail!

You may have missed this important news. Our MicroProfile implementation changed its name two months ago.

After a lot of feedback from the community, we decided to rename “WildFly Swarm” to Thorntail. While the former name was nice, we found that the “Swarm” term was a bit overloaded in the IT industry and could be confusing. It’s the same for the “WildFly” part; sharing this name with our Java EE application server was a source of confusion for some users, making them think it was a subproject of WildFly.

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Next DevNation Live: Advanced Microservices Tracing with Jaeger, June 21st, 12pm EDT

A significant challenge of moving from a traditional monolithic application design to a microservices-based architecture is the ability to monitor the business transaction flow of events throughout your entire distributed system. Join us for the next online DevNation Live on June 21st at 12pm EDT for Advanced Microservices Tracing with Jaeger, presented by Red Hat software engineers Pavol Loffay and Juraci Paixão Kröehling.

In this session, we’ll examine in detail the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) OpenTracing API, a consistent, expressive, vendor-neutral API for distributed tracing and context propagation. We will also analyse Jaeger, an open source distributed tracing system inspired by Google Dapper and OpenZipkin.

Join us to gain an understanding of Jaeger’s open source distributed tracing system and how it can help you monitor and troubleshoot microservices-based distributed systems.

Watch the video of the recorded session:

Session Agenda

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Announcing .NET Core 2.1 for Red Hat Platforms

We are very pleased to announce the general availability of .NET Core 2.1 for Red Hat Enterprise Linux and OpenShift platforms!

.NET Core is the open-source, cross-platform .NET platform for building microservices. .NET Core is designed to provide the best performance at scale for applications that use microservices and containers. Libraries can be shared with other .NET platforms, such as .NET Framework (Windows) and Xamarin (mobile applications). With .NET Core you have the flexibility of building and deploying applications on Red Hat Enterprise Linux or in containers. Your container-based applications and microservices can easily be deployed to your choice of public or private clouds using Red Hat OpenShift. All of the features of OpenShift and Kubernetes for cloud deployments are available to you.

.NET Core 2.1 continues to broaden its support and tools for microservice development in an open source environment. The latest version of .NET Core includes the following improvements:

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How to install Python Flask on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7

I recently got my zero-dollar developer copy of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL, version 7.5) and built a virtual machine (VM) to run it. There it was, on my PC, running in VirtualBox…a gleaming, shiny, brand-spanking-new VM running RHEL. Whatever shall I do with it?

Then I got the idea: I’ll install the Red Hat Container Development Kit (CDK) and build some Python-based containers. I’ll use Flask, a terrific microframework that makes building RESTful services easy.

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Red Hat Summit signage: Keep Exploring

Red Hat Summit: Lowering the risk of monolith to microservices

Christian Posta, Chief Architect at Red Hat, presented the story of a fictitious company1 moving a monolithic application to microservices.

When considering risk, we think we know the bad things that can happen and the probabilities of those bad things actually happening. Christian defines a monolith as a large application developed over many years by different teams that delivers proven business value while being very difficult to update and maintain. Its architecture, elegant at one point, has eroded over time. That makes it difficult to assess the risk of migrating a monolith.

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Red Hat Summit signage at Moscone South

Red Hat Summit: An Eventful Tour from Enterprise Integration to Serverless

Red Hat Senior Architects Marius Bogoevici and Christian Posta recently presented an overview of event-driven architecture, taking the audience from the basics of enterprise integration to microservices and serverless computing. Standing in front of a packed room at Red Hat Summit, their talk addressed four basic points:

  1. Event-driven architectures have been around for a while. What are they, why are they powerful, and why are back en vogue?
  2. Messaging is often used as a backbone for event-based distributed systems. What options do we have for cloud-native event-driven architectures?
  3. Integration is necessary for any organization. How do streaming, cloud-native architectures, and microservices fit in?
  4. Are Functions-as-a-Service (FaaS) the next utopian architecture? Where do functions fit in a world of microservices?

The entire session was done with three enterprise concerns in mind. First is the divide between agile systems and purpose-built systems. While the purpose-built system is optimized for a small set of use cases, it is very difficult to change if new use cases arise or the old use cases become irrelevant. We have to be agile to adapt to a constantly changing environment. Another concern is resource utilization. We want to eliminate waste and get the most out of our systems and resources, although the cloud in general and containers in particular make more distributed architectures practical. Finally, Christian made the observation that we cannot build complex systems from complex parts. The components we develop must be as simple and understandable as possible.

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Moscone West graced with the Shadowman logo

Red Hat Summit: Containers, Microservices, and Serverless Computing

You’re in an IT department. How does the rest of the organization see you? As a valuable asset whose code and APIs make a difference in the marketplace, or as a necessary evil that should be trimmed as much as possible? Containers, microservices, and serverless computing can make you more responsive, flexible, and competitive, which in turn makes your organization more effective. And that puts you solidly in the asset column.

After sprinting through the streets of San Francisco from the stage of the opening keynote at Red Hat Summit 2018 (replay available here), Burr Sutter hosted a packed house in Moscone South to talk about these technologies. Containers are widely accepted (see the announcement from Red Hat and Microsoft for an example), microservices are increasingly popular as an approach to modernizing monolithic applications, and serverless computing is emerging as an important new programming model.

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