Lead Image © Alexey Shkitenkov, Fotolia.com

Lead Image © Alexey Shkitenkov, Fotolia.com

A service mesh for microarchitecture components


Article from ADMIN 54/2019
Istio facilitates communication between the many small microcomponents that need to communicate with each other in modern applications.

One of the disruptive innovations of recent years, which shifted into focus only in the wake of cloud computing and containers, is undoubtedly the microarchitecture approach to computing (see the "Finally Agile" box). Microarchitecture application developers, however, are faced with the task of operating all of the separate microservices and components and maintaining them as part of their application.

Finally Agile

When only virtual machines (e.g., KVM, Qemu) were available for virtualization, it would have been unwise to operate microcomponents on individual virtual systems. The resource overhead that would have resulted from many almost empty virtual machines (VMs) would have wasted CPU and RAM capacity on a grand scale.

Containers, however, do not burn up CPU cycles just because they are running. At the end of the day, a container is only a combination of several isolation techniques at the Linux kernel level that enclose an application in a virtual environment. Because the Linux kernel is running anyway, additional resources are hardly needed.

Developers welcomed the container approach, which lets them work in a more agile way than before. When the task of the day was bundling as much workload as possible into a VM, it did not make sense to distribute the load across many small components.

Containers, though, make development possible by bundling individual components of an application into different containers and operating and managing them there. Where developers independently maintain and design the components of an app, the concept of micro-releases lives on.

Release early, release often – a requirement that was often forgotten in the context of large monoliths – is now realizable. The components can be replaced regularly during operation run time without causing problems. After all, high availability is an implicit part

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