CA Technologies: Why micro services are important

In the manufacturing world, and the software development lifecycle (SDLC) that uses some of its concepts, batch manufacturing had evolved into assembly line manufacturing and then onwards into something called continuous delivery (CD) according to CA Technologies (CA).

Its APJ Vice President of Application Delivery Ashok Vasan said, “It’s a software delivery model that doesn’t release every six months but much more frequently. Features, bug fixes, enhancements are checked in and depending on whether it is accepted, will deploy as quickly as they are tested.”

CA had recently acquired Rally Software for its platform capabilities that put Agile methodologies into practice. Ashok described, “If you are in a situation where you have new ideas that need speed, and want to use Agile (methods) to conceptualise, build out and release, Rally is the starting point.

“Once conceptualised, you would move into development and DevOps comes into play for development and operations to collaborate tightly and release apps faster in CD mode, and with common metrics.”

Micro services

Very key to enabling continuous delivery (CD), are micro services, which enable agility, are loosely coupled together and independent.

CA Technologies’ APJ CTO Stephen Miles described micro services as than 1000 lines of code; they could be added to an application to effect logic change, but not affect the resiliency of the whole application.

“The advantage of micro services are that they are core components broken down into smaller meaningful services that can be linked together with APIs. They can be changed and won’t impact the rest of the application,” he explained.

But the reality is that most organisations have big, complex and monolithic applications, and will likely continue having them. These calls for them having to refactor their IT environments; basically identifying which part of a monolithic app, can be broken into smaller micro services, and when.

This calls for eventually evolving the environment into a bi-modal or hybrid environment. “Bi-modal realities will prevail. Think of marrying agile and waterfall environments together.”

Mile also said, “Micro services is proving to be a winning strategy for companies.” He shared that benefits from micro services include having 30 times more app deployments, 200 times faster lead times, needing 50-percent less infrastructure, and achieving 60-percent change success rate, among other things.

Upcoming trend

According to Miles, API technology supports the whole ability for enterprises to move to micro services.

Ashok commented about API’s importance, “There is a tremendous amount of traction for APIs. It is very relevant for organisations.” There are potentially three very key enablers that software companies would need – ability to develop APIs, service virtualisation (which CA offers) and a robust way to manage test data.

Currently, one popular view of API is that they provide secure gateways that connect mobile to legacy data. “API is about protocol translation and gives mobile applications access to backend data,” Miles added.

But it does not stop there.

Miles opined that the next big trend for APIs is that it enables micro services to connect to each other on a communications fabric level.

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