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Estimating ROIs to a Microservices Migration

Microservices has been making waves among leading application development organizations. One survey found that 68% of organizations were using or investigating Microservices. The advantages are well-documented: increased resilience, improved scalability, faster time to market. Transitioning to Microservices creates significant challenges for organizations. Here are some of them and proposed solutions that organizations can adopt in their Microservices journey:

Monitoring: When you add new services, the ability to maintain and configure monitoring for them becomes a challenge. You should opt automation to make sure monitoring can keep up with the changes in the scale of services.

Operations and Infrastructure: The development group must work closely with operations more than ever before to avoid the impact of any infrastructure loss.

Managing Microservices:

As the number of Microservices expands, managing them gets more challenging. It is important that management should plan before or during Microservices implementation.

Unstable Application: Even small changes can interrupt the stability of the application. Every time a change happens to the system, it pervades into other parts of the system and issues happen there as well.

Support: It is significantly difficult to support and maintain a Microservices setup than a monolithic app, since each one makes from a wide variety of frameworks and languages. If a team member wants to create a new service in an abstract language, it impacts the whole team.

Fault Tolerance: Individual services do not bring down the overall system. Microservices need to face both internal and external failures. Robust resiliency testing is the key.

Overlong Release Cycles: It is impossible to roll out the features quickly for one module as the other module’s development would be in progress.

Testing and Bug fixing: Testing is more complex in a Microservices environment due to the different services, their integration, and interdependencies. The quality assurance team need to be knowledgeable on the order and channels of communications between services to have full coverage in their use cases. Otherwise, test and issue fixes may prolong the release date.

Error-Prone Release Process: The release process is very complicated and takes huge efforts to release it into production. Many times, issues encounter because of the release process.

Production Failures: Faults such as memory leaks and CPU hikes in one part of the system completely halts the production.

Inability to Innovate: One of the modules needs a new design, but it is impossible to adopt as the entire system needs to be compatible with it.

High scaling: The load in one part of the system affects the other parts thereby making the Cost of scale very high.

Developer Induction Time: It takes a lot of time to induce a developer to know the entire system and code base before they become productive.

Here is a table to explain the challenges,

Challenges Cost Effects Business Risks
Unstable application Higher Maintenance Cost,
Higher Revise Cost
Customer discontent,
Loss of business
Longer Cycles of Test and Bug Fixes Higher Development Cost,
Higher Revise Cost
Overlong Release Cycles Losing to competition
Error-Prone Release Process Higher Release Cost Customer discontent
Production failures Higher Maintenance Cost Limitation in business continuity
Inability to innovate Losing to competition
High Scaling Issues Higher Infrastructure Cost Customer dissatisfaction
Developer Induction Time Losing to competition

In a nutshell, these issues result in the following:

  1. Significant increase in maintenance, revise and release cost.
  2. Customer discontent due to poor quality might lead to loss of business.
  3. Losing to competition due to inability to deliver new and better features quickly.

Hence, the ROI of Microservices calculation is: –

ROI = Cost of Migration – (((Maintenance Cost+ Revise cost+ Release cost) + Customer Revenue loss + Lost Opportunities))*3

In conclusion, while Microservices is more reliable and highly functional software, the development process is quite challenging as compared to monolithic applications. One such platform is Aspire’s Techcello, a multi-tenant SaaS application framework that can help to reduce these challenges. Techcello assists organizations to redefine their legacy models to a simple and agile architecture built on microservices and the cloud.

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Jothi Rengarajan

Jothi serves as the Principal Architect of Techcello. She is responsible for the architecture and technical roadmap of Techcello; she plays consultative role for various customers of Techcello in architecting their products on top of Techcello. Prior to Techcello, Jothi worked with Aspire Systems as Technical architect, where she has architected and developed over 30+ SaaS/Multi-tenant products for global ISVs. Jothi is a prominent speaker on Cloud Technologies in various technical forums. She has 16+ years of software development experience. Jothi has bachelors in electronics and communication engineering.

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