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The main idea of microservices is to focus on individual services that perform a unique task. The traditional approach has a monolith environment to run business processes. But when you try to change something in such an architecture, you must make changes in the entire system since everything is interconnected. It is also difficult to scale, so sometimes you may end up upgrading your server level. Microservices aims to solve this kind of issues by breaking one broad objective in parts with each one responsible for an independent business or technical domain. 

We can handle some of the disadvantages of the traditional approach mentioned below by using microservices. 

  • Less adaptable for future changes.  
  • Difficult to scale and not cost-effective.
  • High maintenance/ implementation cost. 
  • Difficult to test system/ connection stability.  
  • Tightly combined components lead to a troublesome deployment.
Microservices ETL – Are they right for you?

In a microservices architecture, applications are loosely coupled, with each being responsible for an individual feature. These applications interact with each other through communication protocols such as HTTP/TCP requests and Rest API. We can develop microservices ETL on a different platform with different programming languages and tools.

Advantages of Microservices ETL

  • Deployment is independent, so there is less coordination needed.
  • Rapid development.
  • It is easy to understand, test, and maintain since it has a small set of code.
  • It eliminates the long-term commitment in a technology stack.
  • Easily replaceable without the need for enormous reconfiguration.
  • Easy fault isolation. If memory leaks from a service, it alone gets affected.
  • It has high availability, reusability, and consistency.

When to go with a Microservices ETL architecture?

  • If your business is highly distributed (business data flows from different sources) and has a decentralized data user base, you can use microservices to consolidate.
  • When you want to decrease your data warehouse table retention or storage consumption.
  • For a database that shares multiple resources across different teams, managing all the services becomes more straightforward. Other groups can become autonomous, with their dependencies minimized.
  • You can use microservices as a staging site where you can run tests before releases.
  • When you must scale the service based on business, it is easier to use microservices with minimal client involvement.
  • In case you have operational complexity while managing a lot of services, being deployed frequently.

Key points to inspect before choosing a Microservices ETL

  • Identify the scope of service.
  • Ensure your architecture provides all the capabilities required by your service.
  • Works best when it has only one responsibility (Data Replication or Data Transformation or Data Science application, etc.), so choose wisely to meet your expectation.
  • Service should be easy to scale/ migrate/ upgrade.
  • You can choose a rough service and then turn it into a fine-grained service as per your understanding and need.
  • Check that it has a unique source of identification for the rest of the system, e.g., Order ID.
  • Microservices should have the capabilities of load balancing, circuit breaking, and progressive delivery.
    • Load Balancing – Maximizes the scalability and availability of applications by structured network traffic among backend services.
    • Circuit Breaking – Limits the overloaded services and prevents additional request flows when service is overloaded.
    • Progressive Delivery – Examines the traffic for testing/production release.
  • Service should be capable of constant monitoring.

This blog discussed an overview of microservices architecture and its benefits and how it can help software professionals to structure their products/services.  We also outlined the business needs and elements to inspect when adopting any microservice. Overall, the point to note is that microservices ETL is an option to look for when you want to manage the data flows from multiple sources to your single point of reporting in a single window.

Read more blogs from other self-service categories here and know more about Visual BI’s Self Service BI offering here.

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