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App Development
6 minutes read

AWS Microservices Explained

By Jose Gomez
By Jose Gomez
App Development
6 minutes read

The term AWS microservices is a bit of a misnomer. AWS, also known as Amazon Web Services, is a cloud platform created and powered by Amazon. There are several AWS services, but they can be broadly divided into three product offerings, EC2, the virtual machine service, Glacier, the cloud storage service, and S3, Amazon’s storage system. AWS can be used for several different things, including remote computing, cloud application development, storage, email, and more. 

Microservices is a term that refers to a type of app development architecture. Microservices architecture is characterized by several independent modules working together to form one application. The main benefit of implementing microservices is that each component or feature is separate, making scaling, updating, and deploying features easier and more cost-effective. 

This architecture has been popular in HiTech apps, but more and more organizations are starting to realize the benefits of this type of structure. If you are interested in learning more about how microservices work, read our resource on microservices architecture.

So, there is no such thing as an AWS microservice, but many developers would tell you that AWS is the best platform for implementing microservices. This post will take a closer look at the tools and resources available to developers for implementing microservices on AWS. 

AWS Microservices Resources 

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is arguably the most comprehensive platform for implementing microservices. AWS has the tools and resources to support any microservices architecture regardless of complexity or scale. The resources and tools provided by AWS can be broadly divided into a few categories:

  • Compute 
  • Networking 
  • Storage 
  • Messaging 
  • DevOps
  • Monitoring 

Compute 

The compute resources provided by AWS provide valuable processing power to microservices. There are two main tools to discuss here:

  • Amazon ECS
  • AWS Lambda

Amazon ECS

ECS stands for elastic container service. Amazon ECS is a container management service that offers a high degree of performance and scalability. ECS supports Docker containers and makes running applications on a managed cluster of Amazon EC2 instances simple. 

AWS Lambda 

If you want to run code without provisioning or managing servers, Lambda can handle it. Upload your code, and AWS Lambda will handle every aspect of running and scaling your code. In addition, Lambda allows you to go serverless and ditch server costs in favor of an event-driven model. 

Networking 

The networking resources and tools on the AWS platform give developers the ability to manage their microservices and performance levels. The networking tools of note are:

  • AWS Cloud Map
  • AWS App Mesh
  • Load Balancer 
  • Amazon API Gateway 

AWS Cloud Map

Cloud resources are dynamic and can be challenging to manage during mobile and web development. AWS Cloud Map is a service discovery tool to help developers manage cloud resources. Cloud Map gives developers the ability to name custom cloud resources being used in their app, and it maintains the locations of these dynamic resources. 

AWS App Mesh 

The significant difficulty presented by the microservices architecture is managing communications between services. App Mesh standardizes the communications between your app’s microservices. This gives developers greater control and visibility over their microservices and ensures a high level of availability. 

Load Balancer

AWS includes separate load balancers for the application and the network. This ensures low latency speeds, ensuring a faster, more reliable User Experience. 

Amazon API Gateway 

Microservices are connected via API. Your microservices app likely has hundreds or thousands of APIs in use. Amazon API Gateway offers developers everything they need to comprehensively manage their APIs. This tool can process hundreds of thousands of concurrent API calls and manage traffic, authorizations, live monitoring, and API updates. 

Storage 

Data storage is a significant part of any application or website. AWS is popular because of the secure, scalable storage solutions it provides organizations. The storage tools that are most important to app developers are:

  • Amazon ElastiCache 
  • Amazon S3

Amazon ElastiCache

Information retrieval speed is one of the critical facets of app performance. ElastiCache improves performance by retrieving information from in-memory caches. This enhances the performance of applications considerably when compared with disk-based databases. 

Amazon S3

Object storage is a crucial part of any app. S3 provides developers with secure, scalable object storage. In addition, Amazon S3 provides highly reliable storage for all data, no matter the size. 

Messaging 

Since microservices are a collection of features working together, inter-process communication is vital to ensure the app’s functionality. Developers can utilize the following tools for messaging:

  • Amazon SNS
  • Amazon SQS

Amazon SNS

SNS is Amazon’s fully managed publishing and subscription messaging service. Developers rely on this service to simplify the decoupling of microservices and scale serverless applications and distributed systems. 

Amazon SQS

SQS is Amazon’s fully managed message queuing service. SQS is also used for many of the same things SNS is used for, mainly decoupling microservices and scaling distributed systems and serverless applications. 

DevOps

Amazon Web Services’ DevOps tools give development teams the ability to comprehensively manage the lifecycle of their code with two essential resources:

  • AWS Developer Tools 
  • Amazon Elastic Container Registry (ECR)

AWS Developer Tools 

AWS Developer Tools is a complete suite of services that enables DevOps teams to continuously deliver software and updates. Using AWS Developer Tools, quality assurance teams can easily version control their code, build, test, and deploy their microservices app to their on-premises environment or AWS. 

Amazon Elastic Container Registry (ECR)

Amazon ECR is fully integrated with ECS making the development to production workflow for containers secure and straightforward. ECR is a managed Docker container registry that developers use to store, manage, and deploy Docker container images. 

Monitoring 

Finally, monitoring real-time performance levels is often critical for developers. AWS has a set of tools to help teams monitor their microservices apps. These tools include:

  • AWS X-Ray
  • Amazon CloudTrail
  • Amazon CloudWatch 

AWS X-Ray

AWS X-Ray gives developers a complete overview of requests as they travel through their apps. X-Ray can also be used to display a map of an app’s underlying components. Since multiple microservices work together to handle a single request, this comprehensive overview simplifies monitoring and troubleshooting complex microservice interactions. 

Amazon CloudTrail

CloudTrail is used for logging and monitoring activity across the infrastructure of your microservices app. This tool dramatically simplifies security analysis, but it can also track resource changes and troubleshoot issues. 

Amazon CloudWatch 

CloudWatch is used to monitor log files, track metrics, and automatically react to changes to your services. If your microservices architecture is complex, CloudWatch can help you simplify the management and security of your resources. 

Final Thoughts 

AWS is the leading platform for microservice app development. As you can see, there are many quality resources on the AWS platform that makes creating, managing, and securing a microservices app easier. If you need help creating an app that uses microservices architecture, reach out to an app development partner. A partner will help your organization utilize and understand all available AWS microservices resources. 

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