Microservice Architecture
6 min read

5 Best CI/CD Pipeline for Microservices Practices

By Unni MohanAug. 8, 2022, 3 p.m. Application development company
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Porting from Monoliths to Microservices

Monolith means ‘composed in just one single piece’. A monolith application with reference to software is today a single-tiered application package that has all the different components combined into one behemoth.

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Table of Contents

5 best CI/CD with microservices practices. Learn how to develop, deploy, & manage microservices with these top practices. Get the best out of your microservices pipelines!

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CI/CD process translates to Continuous integration and continuous delivery. Continuous integration (CI) refers to changes in code that happen and which are later combined with the main sets of codes that already exist. However, the existing main branch code must be production-ready quality after the automated builds and test case processes.

Code changes going through the CI are regularly circulated to an environment acting almost like the production setting for CD. After confirmation that the codes need to be deployed in the production environment, there may a requirement for manual approval, otherwise automated. The only requirement is that the code must be always production–ready. If the changes have passed through CI/CD process, then they are automatically deployed via continuous deployment into production.

CI/CD with Microservices

In microservices, each team of coders have their code which they develop and install independently. Every change that is brought about by the coders is also owned by the team that brought about the change. This way they do not disrupt the work of the other teams. Microservices are becoming more popular. Even as early as in 2020, a survey with approximately 1500 respondents reported more than one-third saying that their organizations had been using microservices for more than a year then.

When a new version of a service is ready to be deployed on the production server, it first has to get deployed to the test/QA environment to be authenticated that things are working as intended. Once the quality check is completed at all levels of implementation, the new version is deployed along with the preceding version. The policies for access control identify the code deployment and code integrations. For CI/CD functioning and implementation for microservices to go on smoothly, we are attempting to provide some helpful tips about the right set of tools and infrastructure features. 

Moving to microservices

CI/CD Pipelines for Monolithic Applications

In the past, pipelines for monolithic applications had the same characteristics as the application they were building. The pipeline of each project was separate and fairly complex. Different projects had vastly different pipelines. Each pipeline was connected to a single GIT repository most of the time.

The complexity of a pipeline worked against easy maintenance. Such pipelines were controlled by a single set of people who knew inside of the pipelines as well as the deployment environment well. The developers generally work only with the source code. 

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The management of such pipelines becomes a pain point when the number of applications increases in the organization. 

Organizing Pipelines for Monolithic Applications

1. Build & Test
2. Deployment
3. Version Control
4. Continuous Integration
5. Continuous Deployment
6. Infrastructure Automation
7. Monitoring & Logging
8. Security & Compliance

Microservice Pipelines and Scalability Issues

Microservices have several advantages when it comes to deployment and development. However, they also face some challenges. Management of microservice repositories and pipelines becomes more difficult as the number of applications increases.

Whereas a company may deal with 1-5 pipelines when having monolith applications (assuming they are handling 1-5 projects), this number jumps to 25 when each monolith is divided into 5 microservices.

Read our blog “Microservices Architecture - When and How to Shift”.

These numbers are likely to be different for every organization. Normally, any application can have about 10 microservices. For a big organization having 50 applications, there could be 500+ pipelines that have to be managed.

Therefore, it is simply not possible to work manually with so many pipelines anymore. To solve this, there have been many attempts to solve this problem by using shared pipeline segments.

Theoretically, the above idea is likely to be implemented in the following manner. 

  • Operators locate the common parts of pipelines with applications
  • They create a shared pipeline segment registry holding all the common parts
  • Pipelines in existing projects are then re-engineered to become dependent on the common segments
  • New projects that come up must first go through the library of common pipeline segments and choose what is present there
  • Ultimately, a single pipeline will be composed of steps that are common to other pipelines and those specific to the project only

This has led to the development of numerous solutions centralizing common pipeline parts and re-using them in the form of “libraries” in software projects. Though possible, this approach requires a lot of time that has to be spent and, of course, disciplined teams that can both communicate and collaborate among themselves on the following points:

  • Detect the common pipeline segments 
  • Keep a library of common pipeline segments and maintain it up-to-date
  • Disallow copy-pasting of pipelines
  • Develop brand new pipelines as and when required
  • Create initial setup and pipeline bootstrap for each new project

In practice, as the number of microservice applications grows, it is practically impossible for the teams to keep all the above principles in mind when creating new projects.

5 Best CI/CD Pipeline for Microservices Practices 

  •  First, decide which tests and processes are to be automated. Instead of compiling the code initially (which is added daily), it is better to automate the unit tests first followed by the smoke tests. This reduces the workload to a large extent. Simultaneously, functional testing followed by UI testing can be automated. However, an important point to consider would be all the existing potential dependencies and measuring their impact on the other processes to logically prioritize the automation.
  • The frequency of software versions’ releases can be high if the packages are in a release-ready state and have been tested in a production-identical environment. A/B testing for usability can be carried out when variants are tested against each other and the better performing features win. The sequence would then be the release of the feature/software to a subset of users, testing the software/feature, and then sending it out to the broader set of users once successful.

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  •  Committing to daily submissions from the local branches to the main branch would help to spend more time on development and less on version control. In this case, developers would have to handle smaller bits for integration. They can avoid massive integration just before the release which causes more problems than when integrating smaller bits. 
  •  Adopting microservices architecture is perhaps the best way forward to manage DevOps efficiently. However, restructuring the current monolithic application is surely a time-consuming and daunting task. The best method to get this done is to have an incremental approach, one small part of an application at a time. Here, you are aware of your overall task and you build the new system by gradually replacing the old system. 
  • CI/CD systems offer retrieval of both the code and the credentials to install in any development environment. Developers separate their CI/CD systems and locate them on a secure and reliable internal network. Implementing strong two-factor authentications and access management systems would help you to restrict exposure of your system to any threat, external or internal.

Do you want to shift to microservices architecture? Call and speak to our team today!

How SayOne can Help

At SayOne, our integrated teams of developers service our clients with microservices that are fully aligned to the future of the business or organization. The microservices we design and implement are formulated around the propositions of Agile and DevOps methodologies. Our system model focuses on individual components that are resilient, fortified, and highly reliable.

We design microservices for our clients in a manner that assures future success in terms of scalability and adaptation to the latest technologies. They are also constructed to accept fresh components easily and smoothly, allowing for effective function upgrades cost-effectively.

Our microservices are constructed with reusable components that offer increased flexibility and offer superior productivity for the organization/business. We work with start-ups, SMBs, and enterprises and help them to visualise the entire microservices journey and also allow for the effective coexistence of legacy systems of the organization.

Our microservices are developed for agility, efficient performance and maintenance, enhanced performance, scalability, and security.

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A CI/CD pipeline for Microservices is a continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) system used to manage the development and deployment of microservices. It automates the process of building, testing, and deploying code changes, which enables teams to quickly iterate on their applications and make changes on the fly.

Using CI/CD pipelines for microservices can help teams reduce the time it takes to deploy code changes, accelerate the development process, and increase software quality. They also make it easier to roll back changes if necessary, and provide visibility into the entire pipeline.

CI/CD pipelines for microservices typically use a combination of technologies such as Docker, Kubernetes, Jenkins, and Ansible. These tools enable teams to build, test, and deploy code changes automatically, while providing visibility and traceability into the entire process.

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