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Microservices, Containers, and Serverless: The Backbone of cloud-native development

The Backbone of Cloud-Native Development: Microservices. Containers and Serverless Computing

Microservices is a software development approach in which an application is a collection of services that are developed, deployed, and tested independently. These services are loosely coupled and communicate with each other using well-defined APIs. The services are small and easy to design and develop. The services together constitute one application. Amazon and Netflix were among the first few companies to adopt this development approach. The microservices have a significant advantage over a monolithic architecture in which the development activities are slow and very complicated.


A comparison of monolithic and microservices architecture.

Characteristics of microservices

Some essential characteristics of a microservices architecture are –


Examples of microservices applications

Some of the companies using the microservices architecture are: –


How microservices complement cloud-native development

Microservices structures the application as a collection of loosely coupled services, which is beneficial for cloud-native development. The modularity of the application into services that interface with each other makes the application easily manageable. Most cloud vendors have infrastructure which is highly efficient and is specialized to manage a particular service or function. For example, a database service, or a compute engine or a queue service. Microservices architecture is the reason why these isolated cloud services have high demand. One can quickly build and deploy an application by breaking the application into multiple component services and then using efficient cloud infrastructure and services to deploy and manage those components.



A container is a mechanism of operating system virtualization which allows the abstraction of the environment in which a container-based application runs. The application’s code, libraries, and dependencies are packaged together to enable the application to run almost anywhere. Containers are portable and platform-independent.

Working on container-based applications.


Characteristics of containers


Container Services that are available on the cloud


Serverless Computing

Serverless computing architecture is a cloud computing approach in which the cloud provider is responsible for allocating, provisioning, managing, and maintaining the back-end infrastructure. Serverless computing does not require the customers of the cloud to buy and provision resources. Instead, they are charged based on the number of execution of their functions, meaning that customers are only charged for the time their code executes on the server. This is enabled by a cloud computing model named “Function as a Service (FaaS).” Some of the cloud services for serverless computing are:

The most popular among these is the AWS Lambda.


Typical architecture of a serverless web application.


Advantages of Serverless Computing

Disadvantages of Serverless Computing

Read this similar column on what stateless microservices are and how they accelerate change.

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