Old habits die hard: Beginner’s guide to planning CD in a microservices environment

Business agility requires the ability to develop and deploy apps, quickly, efficiently, and in a streamlined manner. Microservices, for many, is the desired application development framework to meet this need, with Continuous Delivery (CD) the deployment pipeline to support.

Yet, for businesses accustomed to monolithic app development and deployment, CD can — and rightfully so — be understood as disruptive and daunting because of its larger implications. However, with the right questions and stakeholders engaged, the introduction of CD into your environment should be less jarring, and in the long-term, help set in place the right processes to support sustained business value. The three areas outlined below are suggested facets to help lay the groundwork for CD and begin to plan for its integration:

  1. Source Code: Identify the events that impact the continuous delivery pipeline and locate their potential triggers. For example, “commit to master branch to trigger production continuous delivery pipeline”.
  2. Dependencies: Identify dependencies for each microservice, like databases, libraries, and base images, and suggest categorizing them as follows:
    1. Immutable dependencies: References an explicit version of the dependency and does not impact the design of your pipeline.
    2. Build-time dependencies: Preserved within an image but subject to change as containers change.
    3. Run-time: Manual interaction with pipeline.
  3. Promotion: Define your static environments, and create certification criteria for each of those environments as an application moves through each.

This post is intended to provide an overview of the questions to ask and requirements to gather to get full value out of a microservices framework. For more detailed information on approach, check out my blog Open Persuasion.

 

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