Service Mesh and Microservices

Indeed, microservices have taken the software industry by storm and for a good reason. Microservices allow you to deploy your application more frequently, independently, and reliably. However, reliability concerns arise because the microservices architecture relies on a network. Dealing with the growing number of services and interactions becomes increasingly tricky. You must also keep tabs on how well the system is functioning. To ensure service-to-service communication is efficient and dependable, each service must have standard features. Moreover, System services communicate via the service mesh, a technology pattern. Deploying a service mesh enables the addition of networking features, such as encryption and load balancing, by routing all inter-service communication through proxies.

To begin, what exactly is a “service mesh?

A microservices architecture relies on a specialized infrastructure layer called “service mesh” to manage communication between the many services. It distributes load, encrypts data, and searches for more service providers on the network. Using sidecar proxies, a service mesh separates communication functionality onto a parallel infrastructure layer rather than directly into microservices. A service mesh’s data plane comprises sidecar proxies, facilitating data interchange across services. There are two main parts to a service mesh:

Plane of Control

The control plane is responsible for keeping track of the system’s state and coordinating its many components. In addition, it serves as a central repository for service locations and traffic policies. Handling tens of thousands of service instances and updating the data plane effectively in real-time is a crucial requirement.

Data Plane

In a distributed system, the data plane is in charge of moving information between various services. As a result, it must be high-performance and integrated into the plane.

Why do we need Mesh?

An application is divided into multiple independent services that communicate with each other over a local area network (LAN), as the name suggests. Each microservice is in charge of a particular part of the business logic. For example, an online commerce system might comprise services for stock control, shopping cart management, and payment processing. In comparison to a monolithic approach, utilizing microservices offers several advantages. Teams can utilize agile processes and implement changes more frequently by constructing and delivering services individually. Additionally, individual services can be independently scaled, and the failure of one service does not affect the rest of the system.

The service mesh can help manage communication between services in a microservice-based system more effectively. However, it’s possible that creating network logic in each service is a waste of time because the benefits are built-in in separate languages. Moreover, even though several microservices utilize the same code, there is a risk of inconsistency because each team must prioritize and make updates alongside improvements to the fundamental functionality of the microservice.

Microservices allow for parallel development of several services and deployment of those services, whereas service meshes enable teams to focus on delivering business logic and not worry about networking. In a microservice-based system, network communication between services is established and controlled consistently via a service mesh.

When it comes to system-wide communications, a service mesh does nothing. This is not the same as an API gateway, which separates the underlying system from the API clients can access (other systems within the organization or external clients). API gateway and service mesh vary in that API gateway communicate in a north-south direction, whereas service mesh communicates in an east-west direction, but this isn’t entirely accurate. There are a variety of additional architectural styles (monolithic, mini-services, serverless) in which the need for numerous services communicating across a network can be met with the service mesh pattern.

How does it work?

Incorporating a service mesh into a program does not affect the runtime environment of an application. This is because all programs, regardless of their architecture, require rules to govern how requests are routed. A service mesh is distinct because it abstracts the logic that governs communication between separate services away from each service. It involves an array of network proxies, collectively referred to as a service mesh, that is integrated within the program. If you’re reading this on a work computer, you’ve probably already used a proxy — which is common in enterprise IT.

  • Your company’s web proxy first got your request for this page when it went out.
  • Once it passed the proxy’s security measures, it was transferred to a server that hosts this page.
  • It was then tested against the proxy’s security measures once more
  • Finally, the proxy relayed the message to you.

Without a service mesh, developers must program each microservice with the logic necessary to manage service-to-service communication. This can result in developers being less focused on business objectives. Additionally, as the mechanism governing interservice transmission is hidden within each service, diagnosing communication issues becomes more complex.

Benefits and drawbacks of using a service mesh

Organizations with established CI/CD pipelines can utilize service meshes to automate application and infrastructure deployment, streamline code management, and consequently improve network and security policies.The following are some of the benefits:

  • Improves interoperability between services in microservices and containers.
  • Because communication issues would occur on their infrastructure layer, it would be easier to diagnose them.
  • Encryption, authentication, and authorization are all supported.
  • Faster application creation, testing and deployment.
  • Managing network services by sidecars next to a container cluster is effective.

The following are some of the drawbacks of service mesh:

  • First, a service mesh increases the number of runtime instances.
  • The sidecar proxy is required for every service call, adding an extra step.
  • Service meshes do not address integration with other services and systems and routing type or transformation mapping.
  • There is a reduction in network management complexity through abstraction and centralization, but this does not eliminate the need for service mesh integration and administration.

How to solve the end-to-end observability issues of service mesh

To prevent overworking your DevOps staff, you need to have a simple deployment method. You understand in a dynamic microservices environment. Artificial intelligence (AI) may provide you with a new level of visibility and understanding of your microservices, their interrelations, and the underpinning infrastructure, allowing you to identify problems quickly and pinpoint their fundamental causes.

For example, Davis AI can automatically analyze data from your service mesh and microservices in real-time by installing OneAgent, which understands billions of relationships and dependencies to discover the core cause of blockages and offer your DevOps team a clear route to remediation. In addition, using a service mesh to manage communication between services in a microservice-based application allows you to concentrate on delivering business value. It ensure consistent handling of network concerns, such as security, load balancing, and logging, throughout the entire system.

Using the service mesh pattern, communication between services can be better managed. In addition, because of the rise of cloud-native deployments, we expect to see more businesses benefiting from microservice designs. As these applications grow in size and complexity, they can separate inter-service communication from business logic, which makes it easier to expand the system.

To sum up

It is becoming increasingly important to use service mesh technology because of the increasing use of microservices and cloud-native applications. The development team must collaborate with the operations team to configure the properties of the service mesh, even though the operations team is responsible for the deployments.

Learn More: Web Development Services of Metaorange Digital

Service Mesh and Microservices | MetaOrange

Service Mesh Architecture - Best Practices Guide

Blog Date

8 August, 2022


Application Modernization

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