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This Week in Numbers: Data and Troubleshooting Problems Caused by Microservices

5 May 2018 9:00am, by

Developers with microservices in their roadmaps are pushing forward with adoption, but they face several challenges related to monitoring, according to a recent survey by application performance management (APM) vendor Lightstep sponsored a survey by Dimensional Research.

The research was based on 322 responses from people that: 1) use or plan to use microservices, 2) are responsible for software development and architecture, and 3) work at companies with more than 500 employees. The sample was almost evenly split between those using microservices in production, running a pilot or just planning to use microservices.

The respondents appear to have recently become gung-ho for microservices. In fact, if we include those that are testing microservices out but haven’t deployed them yet, 36 percent of the sample just started using microservices in the last year. Furthermore, when asked when microservices architecture will be the default architecture for their development teams, 16 percent say it already is and another 19 percent say it will be by the end of the year. Take it with a grain of salt, but only 2 percent thing microservices will never be the default. Finally, people with microservices in production are satisfied, with 63 percent saying microservices have already been successful.

Among those already using microservices in production, 59 percent said each microservice added increased operational challenges like data management.

Despite this positive outlook, there are significant concerns about the side effects of microservices. Among those already using microservices in production, 59 percent said each microservice added increased operational challenges like data management. Of those using microservices in production, 58 percent reported a substantial increase in application data being generated.

At 56 percent, the second most cited challenge for microservices in production is identifying the root cause of performance issues. Furthermore, when asked to compare the difficulty of troubleshooting different environments 73 percent said microservices were harder while only 21 percent said they were easier than monoliths.

The takeaway from this research is that microservices solve certain problems but create new ones, especially for those more on the Ops side of the DevOps pendulum.


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