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Answering Your Microservices Webinar Questions

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As of May 23rd IBM Bluemix Container Service now provides a native Kubernetes operations experience while removing the burden of maintaining master nodes. Kubernetes itself is based on the Docker engine for managing software images and instantiating containers. Get the details.

Microservices Webinar Recap

Thank you all who joined us live and in replays for our webinar, How to Use Microservices to Build a REAL Cloud App. Our speaker Jeff Sloyer, IBM Developer Evangelist and Master Inventor, delivered a tutorial for building cloud-based applications. Using IBM’s platform as a service, Bluemix, he demonstrated how to architect and assemble cloud-based applications built for cloud scale. Leveraging the power of microservices, developers can quickly translate monolithic applications to a cloud-based microarchitecture.

Don’t wait to get started! Sign up for your free Bluemix trial today!

Questions & Answers

How do microservices relate to SOA? I have heard this before in the SOA and later REST approach—how to beat the “not invented here” syndrome?
What are some examples of microservices available on Bluemix?
How much does Bluemix cost?
How do I address limitations with a datasource using cloud resources?
What support does Bluemix/Cloud Foundry offer for Docker?
Is Cloud Foundry [the same as] Bluemix?
Isn’t MQ Light IBM code?
Is there a replay available?
What are you doing with Docker?
Can you compare [Bluemix] to Azure or Docker?
Do you have a cloud or PaaS for OSGi and Bluemix?
How popular is Node.js among production customers using Bluemix? Does Bluemix include APM (application performance monitoring) for Node.js?
What are we doing around service discovery with microservices in PaaS?
What is the motivation behind the comment “the more deploys the better”?
Does this mean there may be more than one version [of service(s)] running in production?
Does this support vertical clustering?
How do you use microservices in hybrid architectures using core systems together with next gen development?
Is there an option for transferring files via Hybrid Cloud integration service for Standard connector?
Does Bluemix add any extra security to the Cloud Foundry foundation?


Question Answer
How do microservices relate to SOA? I have heard this before in the SOA and later REST approach—how to beat the “not invented here” syndrome? They’re entrenched in the same foundational philosophy to specialize and separate business processes into composable parts. Some consider microservices architecture higher specialization since SOA only requires following four tenets.
What are some examples of microservices available on Bluemix? An easy example is the autoscaling service. It’s an independent and free service that can be bound to any application, configured, and then goes to work scaling up or down your application without the developer writing one line of code.
How much does Bluemix cost? Bluemix is a PAYGO model for the individual services. Each of the services has a free tier to allow experimentation. Developers are only charged for what they use beyond the free tier. Check out more information on our pricing page.
Will there be an option in future for managing transactional performance? For me it’s OK to scale horizontally and vertically, but since the datasource (SQLDB) is only one sometimes comes to issues with my apps being restricted with max 20 connection? There are a couple of ways to scale this type of on-prem scaling limitation. I recommend connecting with our developer team on the developerWorks forum for help. Two ways that come to mind. One is to use a queuing application that can auto scale that will buffer and then normalize traffic during high loads. Second is to replicate to the cloud all or parts of the data source that need to scale.
What support does Bluemix/Cloud Foundry offer for Docker? We are supporting Docker containers today through a beta our beta IBM Containers Service. It enables you to run Docker containers in a hosted cloud environment, on IBM Bluemix. Port your existing applications to IBM Bluemix and make them publicly accessible by using containers. A private registry is provided where trusted images can be uploaded, stored and retrieved.
Is Cloud Foundry [the same as] Bluemix? Bluemix is built on top of the open source platform Cloud Foundry. Bluemix includes the catalog of IBM and 3rd party services and a graphical user interface.
Isn’t MQ Light IBM code? True and here’s the MQ Light home page.
I liked the principles for app development on cloud. Is your presentation available to read again? The webinar replay is available at the same registration location for the live stream.
What are you doing with Docker? All kinds of stuff! Bluemix supports the open Docker standard and the new beta IBM Containers service will extend Docker hosting at any scale without the need to deploy and manage Virtual Machines (VMs), configure load-balancers and firewalls, nor manually configure the Docker engine.
Can you compare this to Azure or Docker? What can you with Cloud Foundry and Bluemix what you cannot do with Google App Engine and/or Microsoft Azure? Azure is a competitive platform-as-a-service built on Microsoft’s proprietary technology. Bluemix is built on Cloud Foundry, an open standards and open source, PaaS. IBM continues to support and contribute to the open standards because it offers flexibility to developers and businesses in choosing a service that’s right to host their code without forcing major changes that resulted from architecting/coding to proprietary standards.

Docker is a relatively new open container engine that is a new way of creating portable application code. Azure and Bluemix support this standard, but IBM Containers will enable Docker hosting at any scale without the need to deploy and manage Virtual Machines (VMs), configure load-balancers and firewalls, nor manually configure the Docker engine.
IBM has done a lot of ground breaking work with OSGi. Do you have a cloud or PaaS for OSGi and Bluemix? OSGi Configuration Admin should work fine in Bluemix. There’s getting started documentation on Liberty apps that is helpful. One note, you cannot push OSGi applications to Bluemix as stand-alone applications. You must push a server package or server directory, with the server pre-configured for OSGI applications. There a number of threads on our Bluemix developer forum that can give you more depth.
How popular is Node.js among production customers using Bluemix? Does Bluemix include APM (application performance monitoring) for Node.js? Many customers. Yes, you can use APM with Bluemix apps the details can be found on IBM Service Engage.
What are we doing around service discovery with microservices in PaaS? Service discovery is something that we, and PaaS vendors in general, need to improve. We’ve introduced the private catalog for services which will create even more depth and breadth of services available to developers. Stay tuned for new information as this is a place we will see future improvements.
What is the motivation behind the comment “the more deploys the better”? The comment was in reference to empowering developers though an architecture of independent services that supports continuous delivery. This allows applications to evolve rapidly. In contrast, monolithic application architectures deliver fixpacks on a quarterly cycle and major version updates on long cycles.
One of the slide mention to version the APIs, so does it mean there may be more than one versions are running in the production for some services? In short, yes. There can be more than one version available. Consider a red/black deploy scenario. I may want to test a new function of feature to ensure it’s ready or delivers the user benefit I anticipated. I would have side-by-side deployments of the code/service. Over time, I would phase out the baseline version in favor of the new functionality. Here is a great technical article from one of our partners, Netflix, on how they implement this deployment model.
Does this support vertical clustering? I will interpret this to mean, does Bluemix support vertical scaling? Yes, resources (e.g. memory) can be added quickly and easily through automation or manual intervention by using Bluemix’s application management console for an individual node.
How do you use microservices in hybrid architectures using core systems together with next gen development? Can I port existing applications to a microservices architecture? Very carefully—just kidding, but not really. Architecting for hybrid application scenarios takes skill and forethought on where the bottlenecks might occur (generally with on prem resources like a database). The nice part about having cloud resources available and using smaller, more nimble architectures is that these physically limited resources can be accommodated with buffer style services that introduce queuing or replication. This can normalize the traffic to the bottlenecked resource during times of high traffic without causing outages or slow responses to the end user.
Is there an option for transferring Files via Hybrid cloud integration service for Standard connector? Here is the detailed set up and configuration guide for integration services available on Bluemix to get you started.
Does Bluemix add any extra security to the Cloud Foundry foundation? We have a number of IBM proprietary services like integration services from Cast Iron that provide additional security that’s not built into native Cloud Foundry.

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