Containers and microservices

A new technology that has emerged in the past year is called containers. This refers to the ability to
create an application that runs with a strictly defined subset of operating system resources and is fully
isolated from other applications and from the operating system. Pioneered by Docker,14 containers are highly portable across environments ranging from on-premises bare-metal systems through cloud
environments. Docker containers now run in most cloud environments, including Azure.

Another development in cloud computing is the emergence of the actor model. Actors, which are
small, highly concurrent objects, are actually a relatively old idea first introduced in the 1970s. A niche technology until recently, actors have found great application in gaming and in Internet of Things (IoT) scenarios, in which a very large number of small objects—representing (for example) users or sensors that require the ability to communicate with one another—make up the application. For example, a small piece of code might control the operation of a valve in a pipeline autonomously: and there can be thousands of such things, each of which operates and reports status to some central
database.

Finally, so-called microservices, another recent development, are a software methodology that proposes that cloud applications are made up of many independently maintained components. So, an
e-commerce application might comprise a catalog microservice, a payment microservice, a payments
microservice, and so on, all connecting through APIs. A fabric management system (such as the
forthcoming Microsoft Service Fabric) controls the concurrency and maintains the state of the
microservices, providing a new form of application where logic and state are in the same layer,
providing a more distributed and scalable application than the typical three-tier web-application
design. This means, for example, that middle tiers, traditionally stateless because of scale limitations,
can now be stateful, scaling out across the cloud as needed.

Source of Information : Microsoft Enterprise Cloud Strategy

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