What is Happening?
Microservices is a new emerging architecture that is designed to operate well in Cloud environments. Microservices is often contrasted with traditional monolithic architectures – where instead of single cohesive applications, individual services are developed separately and connected by using interfaces – often RESTful APIs.
Because these APIs effectively abstract the inner workings of each service, Microservices can be developed using a variety of languages and technologies that best suit the service’s performance characteristics and requirements. This abstraction also allows the service to be upgraded under continuous development and deployment practices without interrupting the service, as long as the interface does not change.
Microservices architectures tend to scale well horizontally. Unlike Monolithic architectures, as load increases on any one service, it is possible to scale that service independently of the others. This allows better usage of resources, and also caters well to the Cloud, where it is possible to purchase very granular amounts of infrastructure for highly elastic and responsive scaling.
There are downsides though – primarily in the form of increased developmental and operational complexity from maintaining individual services, interfaces, and scaling resources. Microservices necessitates high-levels of automation, both in rolling out updates and deploying new services, to auto-scaling, load balancing, clustering, and fault-tolerance. Additional considerations need to be made into how applications are able to handle degraded service, since when individual services fail (and they will) the entire application doesn’t necessarily fail.
Finally, the Microservices approach plays well with legacy applications. In many cases, this is where Saugatuck expects to see the greatest adoption of Microservices in the enterprise. Because the services communicate through interfaces and are not bounded by the use of existing technologies / languages / databases, they are well suited to be added on to existing systems when additional features, functions, or performance are needed. Examples might include simple analytics services for regressions, additional small webpage applets, or asynchronous notification processes. Continue reading
Microservices is an emerging application architecture that focuses on enabling Cloud-based, distributed applications to be built more easily. A Microservices application breaks up a traditional application into its composite services, each accessible through its own RESTful API for real-time connectivity. This enables the individual services to be developed and delivered separately using a DevOps / Continuous delivery method, and further enables each service to use the technology stack that is most appropriate for that service’s needs; the only thing a service exposes to the outside is its interface.
Companies that have existing Monolithic applications and want to move them to the Cloud know that the Monolithic architectures that worked well on-premises don’t translate well to distributed systems at scale. Since a Microservices architecture is flexible, and can be developed on a per-service basis, it is possible to use either integration code, or an iPaaS solution to build and deploy individual services that can support or replace parts of the monolithic application. In this way, Monolithic applications can be gradually broken down and deployed in parts into the Cloud. Because Microservices allow a gradual migration of traditional applications to the Cloud, Saugatuck expects that they will become a common pattern used in the Hybrid Cloud, where parts of the application using Microservices migrate to the Cloud, and the Monolithic parts will remain on-premises. Continue reading
The rapidly developing API Economy is made up of many parts that are infrequently examined. APIs provide access to software services on a network, and they have existed since the early days of computing. Now they are garnering new attention as Mobility and Cloud make them more important and more accessible. Releasing APIs has become an important marketing strategy for many companies, and their usage is encouraging integration of innumerable services through mashups on the Web. Yet we seldom look at specifics of what is being released. As APIs become more important, they signal directions that development is likely to take, and herald new opportunities from bringing together previously unavailable services. They also demonstrate the increasing importance of Mobility in driving software development. Continue reading
What is Happening?
Earlier this week, Saugatuck participated in the new SIIA Maximize conference in San Francisco, as both a speaker and panel moderator. Formerly called “All About the Cloud” – the new name change appropriately reflects the maturing of the Cloud market, as providers and buyers alike have clearly moved well beyond the early adopter phase. Given this, the SIIA has appropriately refocused the event for its members on how best to win in the evolving landscape that is emerging. This Research Alert provides a brief overview of the event, and highlights new research that Saugatuck shared at the conference.
Why is it Happening?
As noted, Saugatuck participated both as a panel moderator and as a featured speaker at SIIA Maximize. On Wednesday May 21st, Bill McNee, Saugatuck’s founder and CEO was joined by Carolee Gearhart, VP International Sales & Channels at Adaptive Insights, Richard Dym, CMO of Gagein, and Fritz Veltink, Managing Director of SaaS Energy in a high-energy breakout panel entitled “Unlimited Growth: Beyond Borders and Verticals.” The panel discussed a number of topics, but the core focus was around 1) when is the right time to expand, and 2) what are the key best practices in doing so. While the panel concluded that the decision to put the pedal to the metal was situational, a clear understanding of market opportunity and metrics, combined with maintaining laser-like focus are often keys to success.
On Thursday May 22nd, Saugatuck’s McNee delivered a morning featured presentation entitled “Beyond the Cloud Experiment: Three Key ISV Opportunities.” In keeping with the theme that the Cloud market is evolving, McNee shared some new research that clearly shows that buyers are now moving well into the early mainstream phase of adoption. As Figure 1 highlights, more than 60 percent of enterprises we surveyed will have at least half of their infrastructure and apps in a Cloud by 2018, up from less than 30 percent in 2014.
Figure 1: Cloud Adoption – Going Mainstream
This clearly reinforces our view that the “Cloud Experiment” is over now – and that a new “Master Architecture” (or architectures) has emerged (that includes Cloud, Mobile, Social, and Analytics). While migrating workloads is part of the story here, the bigger part continues to be the rapid growth
The API economy is doing quite well, but its expansion awaits a breakthrough security invention that will enable the use of APIs and the economy to unleash data currently behind corporate firewalls. As it exists today, the API economy is fixated on freemium business models where consumers find “freely” available information they can put to use in their daily lives. Whether the purpose of acquiring the data is to make travel reservations, purchase something, or simply search for something, the current complexion of the freemium API economy is just the start of business model reinventions that are yet to come, where entire industries will be remade and then made over again.
The big business blockbuster gains of the past 40 years might have been propelled forward by technology innovation, but all have been led by changes in business models. This will be the same in the API economy. Changes in business models will drive the need for technology innovation, which will drive further change in business models.
The current state of information security today is one where data is either free, or it’s not free. The data is commonly available on the Internet through a wide variety of APIs, or it’s behind many layers of security controls to prevent access to the data. This security wormhole, from data being free to it not being free, is going to be traversed as businesses seek competitive advantage over others in the API economy. Continue reading
What is Happening?
Saugatuck research among both enterprise IT buyers and IT providers indicates that application programming interfaces – APIs – are becoming increasingly relevant to the future of business IT, especially in today’s Cloud-enabled, loosely-coupled environments.
Enterprise IT buyers are looking to APIs as one of the next major trends in enterprise IT, though many are having difficulty with defining and formulating strategies around how best to use these new capabilities. IT providers recognize that both offering and enabling APIs increase the value of their solutions as APIs enable greater flexibility for how a product can be consumed, sold, or integrated. Providers have been active in the API management space over the last 18 months, with acquisitions like MuleSoft’s purchase of ProgrammableWeb, CA’s purchase of Layer7 Technologies, and Intel’s purchase of Mashery. The market for API management is becoming one of the next major areas of enterprise IT, and much less of a niche market. Continue reading
What is Happening?
The past ten years have seen a dramatic evolution of computing styles and architectures. More than five years ago, we began to see strong and accelerating demand for Cloud / SaaS business solutions, social tools and Cloud infrastructures. Over the past two to three years, the impact of mobility, advanced analytics and sensor technologies have emerged as key focal points for businesses of all sizes. Today, all of these technologies are now soundly proven to deliver solid business value, at the same time that they become rooted in our emerging core “master architecture.”
But now, what’s next? Where is business computing heading? This Research Alert explores three key and emergent research themes that Saugatuck will be focusing on (among others) in the coming months. Continue reading
Saugatuck is pleased to announced the date of our 2014 Cloud Business Summit – a 1-day executive event to be held on November 12, 2014 at The Yale Club of New York City. As with prior Summits, our newest event will bring together the most Cloud-experienced senior business and marketing strategists and technology leaders to explore how enterprises can, and are, realizing the most from the Cloud in all of its forms. This year, our conference theme is “Innovation, Opportunity, Risk and Reward“.
Every day, the Cloud delivers process improvement and cost savings payback to businesses of all sizes – as we shift beyond point solutions to core systems of record, mission critical workloads and new ways of engaging with customers and partners. What is becoming increasingly clear is that the revolution we are in is not just about the innovative and transformative uses of Cloud, mobile, social, advanced analytics and sensor technologies – and how they can be used for business advantage.
Instead, we are in the middle of a fundamental re-examination of what it means to succeed in the emerging digital business era. Businesses are realizing that success demands critical new thinking around sustainable business models and what it takes to develop a “winning” business strategy, what is core to brand value, how and what digitally-centric products and services to create and bring to market, how best to exploit the new forms of customer and partner engagement, and what Continue reading
On September 25, 2013, Saugatuck held its 3rd annual Cloud Business Summit at the Westin Times Square in New York City. As with prior Summits, our event brought together more than 100 large-enterprise CIOs, CTOs and senior business and finance leaders – to explore how they can and are realizing value from the Cloud. This year’s conference theme was “Rethinking Business Innovation.”
In this featured panel, Saugatuck Technology VP and Distinguished Analyst Mike West is joined by Rick Lloyd, Director Technology Strategy and Planning at Pitney Bowes, Jason Prater, VP Development at Plex Systems, Mark Nittler, Vice President Enterprise Strategy at Workday, and Vikram Nair, formerly CIO at Pfizer Animal Health, focusing in on the impact that the API Economy is having on IT architecture and providing best practice guidance on how best to navigate for the future.
In transition to the Boundary-free Enterprise™, as mobile, social and advanced analytics become part of how we do business, opportunity arises for Continue reading
What is Happening?
There is much buzz about what is being called The API Economy. As we have written before, the API economy is not a new concept. Libraries of services have been called to create and connect applications under the guise of Service-Oriented Architectures (SOAs), Enterprise Service Busses (ESBs), and mainframe programming libraries.
Yet today’s API economy is different and constantly/quickly growing more so, because of widespread API availability via Internet, the enablement of multi-vendor suites, and their ubiquity in the rise of Cloud, Mobile, Social, and Analytics (1275RA, The API Economy, Not Just Another Service Bus, 17Oct2013).
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) have grown in importance during the last couple of years as a result of increasing uses of mobile applications and social media. The situation is disruptive to many businesses; the new ways people access and use data requires speed of connection and multiplicity of sources not anticipated in the designs of most existing systems. However, implementing APIs in a vacuum can lead to unmanageable connection scenarios. Continue reading