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Understanding microservices

The traditional approach to building applications has focused on the monolith–having all deployable parts of the app contained within that single app. This has its downsides: the larger the app, the harder it is to quickly address new problems and add new features. A microservice-based approach to building apps helps solve these issues and boost development and response.

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What are microservices?

Microservices are both an architecture and an approach to writing software. With microservices, applications are broken down into their smallest components, independent from each other. Instead of a traditional, monolithic, approach to apps, where everything is built into a single piece, microservices are all separated and work together to accomplish the same tasks. Each of these components, or processes, is a microservice. This approach to software development values granularity, being lightweight, and the ability to share similar process across multiple apps. It is a major component of optimizing application development towards a cloud-native model.

But the bigger question here is why you'd want to use a microservice-based infrastructure. The goal is, simply put, to deliver quality software, faster. Using microservices is a means to that end, but there are other considerations too. Breaking your apps into microservices isn’t enough, you've got to manage them, orchestrate them, and deal with the data they create and modify.

Why manage your microservices deployments with Red Hat OpenShift 4?

Breaking up your monolithic application can help you deliver quality software, faster—but the benefits of microservices also come with added complexity. You may need to manage microservices being deployed into containers from a combination of public, private, and on-premise infrastructures, and that takes a container orchestration platform that’s enterprise-ready.

What can you do with microservices?

Compared to monolithic apps, microservices are easier to build, test, deploy, and update. Red Hat believes it is the answer to the question: how can my business react faster to new demands, rather than being stuck in the multiyear “death march” of traditional software development? Now, different parts of your development team can work concurrently on your products, in an agile manner, and deliver value to your customers immediately.

Learn the basics behind microservices, the pros and cons of using them, and check out our on-demand training to learn about building a microservices-based architecture.

Why microservices

Does this have anything to do with Linux containers?

Linux containers give your microservice-based apps an ideal application deployment unit and self-contained execution environment. With microservices in containers, it’s easier to take advantage of hardware and easily orchestrate services, including storage, networking, and security.

It’s why the Cloud Native Computing Foundation says microservices and containers together are the foundation for cloud-native application development. This model enables faster development and makes it easier to transform and optimize existing applications—and it starts with microservices in containers.


How does app integration change with microservices?

In order for a microservices architecture to work as a functional cloud application, services must constantly request data from each other through messaging. Building a service mesh layer into an application simplifies interservice communication, but a microservices architecture may also need to integrate with your legacy applications and other data sources.

If your architecture is distributed, but your integration still relies on a centralized team managing a centralized technology like an enterprise service bus (ESB), the business goals of microservices can be negated.

Agile integration is an approach to connecting your resources that combines integration technologies, agile delivery techniques, and cloud-native platforms to improve the speed and security of software delivery.

Why Red Hat for microservices?

Red Hat doesn’t just help you break your monolithic apps into microservices, we help you manage these microservices, orchestrate them, and handle the data they create and modify. We support the continuous development and deployment of microservices, while helping you integrate and manage microservices. The result is a microservices solution that supports the end-to-end deployment of code, and encourages communication and collaboration between delivery teams.

There’s no need to totally overhaul your existing systems to get meaningful benefits. Through open source, open standards, and years of experience, we can help you find a solution that fits your organization.

Keep exploring microservices


Microservices: An improved architecture design


Microservices vs. service oriented architectures


An Incremental Path to Microservices

All the pieces you need to start using microservices


Speed up your next app development project. Our experts will guide your team to make use of innovative open source technologies, build prototypes, and solve the most vexing issues.


Run microservices on a developer-focused, cloud-based container platform focused on continuous integration with enterprise orchestration through Kubernetes.


Red Hat Runtimes

Accelerate application development and delivery with a set of products, tools, and components for developing and maintaining cloud-native applications. Red Hat Runtimes offers lightweight runtimes and frameworks for highly-distributed cloud architectures, such as microservices.


Red Hat Integration

Streamline integration development with a comprehensive set of integration and messaging technologies to connect applications and data across hybrid infrastructures. Red Hat Integration is an agile, distributed, containerized, and API-centric solution.


Red Hat Process Automation

Adapt quickly to changing business needs with a set of products for intelligently automating business decisions and processes. Enforce business policies and procedures, automate business operations, and measure the results of business activities across heterogeneous environments.

This is just the start. Keep learning about microservices and how Red Hat can help.