IBM Introduces Microservices As an Architecture

Micro technology deals with technology whose characteristics have sizes of the smallest of the measurement, that of one micrometer (one billionth of a mm, or 10 sixteenths of a millimetre, or one millimetre). It focuses mainly on chemical and physical processes and the creation or manipulation of very small structures with one-micrometer size. It may be used in imaging devices, electronic microscopes, medical microscopes, x-ray machines, telecommunications systems and photonics. Some micro technology uses lithography, laser technology, planar imaging, epitaxial deposition, solid state electronics, surface acoustic waveguides and solid field electronics.

Many industries are leveraging the power of microservices without devoting significant resources to the deployment of such technologies. For example, the transportation industry is using microservices to gain insights into traffic jams via wireless devices in addition to regular sensors. Likewise, the healthcare industry is making use of this technology for diagnosis and treatment, tracking and diagnostics as well as improved preventative care practices. The government is also reaping benefits from these services by leveraging the power of information technology for national security purposes. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), for instance, has successfully utilized cloud services for gathering intelligence, monitoring and analyzing information to serve as a reference platform.

Another way in which microservices architecture is impacting the business environment is through its ability to provide the hardware, software and other services as a service, which can be accessed in a proactive manner and not requiring the presence of a centralized data center. These are called serverless architecture and are being used for applications that require low-latency, high availability and scalability. For instance, messaging services, streaming media, online collaboration tools and web conferencing are among the examples of serverless technologies.

Server cloud and microservices architecture have made its way to the heart of enterprise computing. IBM is taking full advantage of its extensive experience in the IT market. IBM webSphere technology provides the foundation for web applications and is used to deliver full web-based functionality through HTTP, XML and SOAP. This enables integration with other IBM web solutions like IBM’s flagship eBusiness – an internet-oriented application development and management platform.

In terms of server cloud and microservices architecture, IBM has an edge over other players in the market. For instance, Google has recently announced plans to bring one another’s data model to its own, making the two companies competitive. IBM on the other hand, claims that its Software Association certification and open source software designs provide an industry standard for event streaming.

On the back of these technologies, IBM is currently running a trial version of its web analytics software called WebSpy for on demand serverless cloud and microservices patterns. The software will be available for free and is designed to provide real-time insights into how people use their IBM hardware. According to estimates, the service could generate up to $1 million in annual revenues for IBM by helping it better monitor usage patterns and boost its product and service sales. WebSpy can be deployed in a private cloud or on a public cloud. With this, the company is not dependent on any other vendor and is able to maintain control over its own applications and services.

The decision to go with microservices architecture is an important move by IBM. It follows its announcement last year of its acquisition of Pivotal, a well-known enterprise software provider. IBM’s decision to partner with Pivotal goes against other software giants who are choosing to focus on a single application and microservices architecture for their cloud and microservice infrastructures. Google, Microsoft and Amazon have all recently made statements to that effect.

In a presentation given at the SaaS Asia Pacific conference in March, Markcook presented the IBM approach to solving problems using microservices. Microservices architectures allow users to create and consume small pieces of functionality independently. Because these applications are more lightweight and can be quickly consumed, they make development faster. In addition, they leverage existing programming languages and tooling patterns, creating new possibilities for IBM developers.