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Phil Lombardi - An Illustrated Guide to Microservices

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Talk by Phil Lombardi at the Plone Conference 2016 in Boston.

Datawire is a first-class Python shop. Python and microservices complement each other really well.

What is a microservice? Small service, self contained, narrow in scope. It is like a lego block. Simpler: it is a unit of business logic. It could send a mail, or fill out a row in a database, anything. You wire them together by combining them in a topology, like a ring, map, star, fully connected, line. Fully connected topology is what I a focusing on in this talk. Netflix five years ago had more than 500 microservices. Twitter too.

Developers are the ones who should define the topology. Business logic is distributed, rather than central. It can help when you need to scale up, integrate various systems, or have really high reliability. If one part of the topology fails, the rest should still remain functioning as much as possible.

Linear topology lends itself for scaling and optimising each part separately: ingest data (network heavy), have one source of truth for data (disk heavy), transform data (disk and cpu), present data (network and cpu).

Microservices are about service oriented development. Thinking about architecture up front can sound nice, but when this takes months without actually building anything, you are probably out of date before you get started. An architecture should think less up front, and do more experimentation, and enable developers.

You need to move away from DNS to service discovery. And from central load balancers to smart end points, to update routing tables in real time. A microservices client should be a smart endpoint that can do the routing, that knows how to discover working and available services.

A microservice is a node in an agile service topology. And it is service oriented development. Needed mindset: from architecture to experimentation.

See the company at and the microservices development kit at

Twitter: @TheBigLombowski