Modern Cloud Native Architecture: What You Need to Know About Microservices, Containers and Serverless

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As more organizations across the major industries migrate to the cloud, architects are finding innovative ways to scale infrastructure and applications, while ensuring speedy time-to-market. AWS is a leading cloud Platform as a Service (PaaS) and is paving the way for advancement with the utilization of microservices, containers and serverless. This article provides an overview of modern cloud native architecture that utilizes AWS Microservices, Containers and Serverless.

In addition to the characteristics, benefits, features and compatibilities, you will find an explanation that outlines how AWS Microservices, Containers and Serverless fit within a DevSecOps program. The three solutions benefit modern cloud native architecture with agility, easy deployment, scalability and resilience.

Benefits of PaaS with Microservices, Containers and Serverless Over Traditional, Monolithic Architecture

Multitenancy refers to the sharing of resources, e.g. software running on a server, across non-linked servers. Multitenancy can happen through any and all layers. Within the cloud, multitenancy occurs when data tenants from multiple clients are linked together through hardware-driven infrastructure.

Monolith architecture can be restrictive of experimentation and innovation due to limitations of vertical scalability. What makes the cloud more useful than traditional, monolithic architecture is the ability for the cloud to abstract info on demand. The data abstraction that cloud resources provides yields improved compute resources efficiency. SDLC teams can scale data consumption based on their needs, to meet peak demands.

Due to the interconnect dependency of closely coupled components in monolithic architectures, there is an increased risk that the entire process can fail. Many dependent and tightly coupled processes increase the impact of a single process failure. Formerly, software was compiled into the core.

But now, there is increased flexibility as to what application is processing the data, ensuring that it performs the required function. Microservices offers the flexibility of services performing a single function each. These services communicate via a well-defined interface using lightweight APIs. Services are built for business capabilities and because they are independently run, each service can be updated, deployed, and scaled to meet application demands.

 AWS Microservices Provide Greater Granular Control Over Applications

Within the AWS Microservices structure, microservices get managed by self-contained teams. There are a number of benefits to using Microservices, including agility, scalability, ease-of-deployment, flexibility and the option to pick the right technology tools. AWS Microservices will also allow you to take designed code and reuse it, building upon existing architectures.

AWS Microservices Characteristics

Independent – Microservices on AWS can be developed, deployed, operated and scaled. Code and implementation of services are not dependent on one another. APIs drive communications between microservices.

Expandable – Each Microservice is designed to fulfill some kind of function and solve a problem. Due to the loose coupling of Microservices, they are ideal for service expansion.

Resilient – Due to the independent nature of each service from one another, the failure of a single service component will most likely not impact the entire application.

AWS Microservices Storage

AWS Microservices offer durable storage and the ability to leverage AWS solutions, including:

  • NoSQL Databases, (Amazon Dynamo DB)
  • Caching (Amazon ElestiCache)
  • Relational Databases (Amazon RDS)
  • Object Storage (Amazon S3)
  • Relational Databases (Amazon RDS)
  • Object Storage and more

AWS Microservices Tools

In addition, you can log and monitor performance, while keeping track of service utilization. With AWS CloudTrail, for example, you can track account activity for security analysis, resource change tracking and troubleshooting. With Amazon Cloudwatch, you can collect and track metrics, set alarms (notifications) and respond to changes in services.

With AWS Developer Tools, IT managers and architects can fulfill DevSecOps operations objective of secure, rapid SDLC. Version control, and secure storage and version control your application’s source code. This makes it easier to plan, build, deploy and test code.

 AWS Containers Provide Multiple Functions

Containers can be utilized for three major activities: registry (for storage and management), orchestration (for scheduling when containers run), and compute (to provide power). Fortunately for architects, Containers provide the infrastructure for simplicity and convenience. Containers are flexible, configurable and scalable. For example, deployment experiments on a small scale, or a large-scale production.

Benefits of AWS Containers

Containers rely on operating systems for power, but can quickly scale with containers running independently of one another. Containerization is the way to deploy an image that consists of executable package code dependencies. Due to its portability and processing speed – containers are able to start and terminate processes rapidly – containers make for ease-of-scalability.

Containers are flexible and can run in any environment. Containers can also operate on Platforms as a Service, eliminating the need for on-premise, IT infrastructure. Containerization is more easily deployed and managed with standardized code and workflows that can run on-premise and the cloud. Architects can exert control over the memory bandwidth and CPU consumed by each container.

Examples of AWS Container Application

AWS provides unique options and capabilities that can run within containers (and microservices). This makes for containers that can run in practically any environment. Containers also allow you to exert control over the memory and CPU that you utilize. Teams can also participate in Batch processing and extract transform, load (ETL) jobs, leveraging container quick start-and-stop processing. Scalability is also as simple as modifying the CPU or adding more containers.

AWS Serverless Drives Agility and Innovation

As the name implies, serverless removes the need for hardware servers, which are hosted on the cloud. Serverless helps architects to get the most out of applications by reducing the need for infrastructure management, such as patches, operating system upkeep and capacity provisioning. Serverless allows for high availability and nearly any kind of backend service or application will run on them. AWS Serverless lowers the cost of operating IT infrastructure and enables developers to focus on innovation and scalability.

Serverless provides automated high availability through cloud providers, e.g. Amazon. Serverless also removes the need to deal with fault tolerance, system uptime and backend component management. Since developers can focus less on IT infrastructure maintenance and hardware, they can leverage the AWS cloud logic layer – code that runs business processes – while utilizing wireless to experiment and innovate. AWS also provides tools to help manage important functions:

AWS Step Functions – use this application to coordinate orchestration and state management of each component or microservice. Coordinating components and treating each function as a step allows you to manage groups of discrete functions.

AWS Lambda – enables users to run code without worrying about server provisioning or management. AWS Lambda allows you to scale based on compute processing time.

AWS offers a full suite of tools to help to build effective applications. Visit the AWS Serverless page for a more detailed breakdown of services.

ThreatModeler is an Advanced Technology Partner with AWS

Taken together, microservices, containers and serverless can be accessed, combined and manipulated to manage integrated services for scalable SDLC. AWS Step Functions can help to coordinate components that run individual services, allowing for improved, granular management over functionality, CPU and bandwidth consumption.

CISO’s seeking to meet the demands of DevSecOps will benefit from the solutions mentioned, but it is important to be mindful that while cloud providers are responsible for security of the cloud, an organization is responsible for securing what they host on the cloud. Meeting security objectives that entails identifying, prioritizing and mitigating threats can be challenging with multiple components running on Microservices, Containers and Serverless.

ThreatModeler is a leading threat modeling as a service (TMaaS) tool, which can help to provide a holistic threat management solution. ThreatModeler is also an Advanced Technology Partner with AWS, enabling it to integrate with business solutions that utilize the AWS cloud. To learn more about how AWS can benefit your SDLC, schedule a live demo. You can also contact us to speak with a threat modeling expert.

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