The Linux Foundation this week launched the NextArch Foundation to define frameworks and specifications that promote interoperability between microservices that span multiple cloud computing environments.
More than 40 organizations, including Tencent, Arm, Kong and Ampere, have committed to contributing to 10 technology projects in 2022 in addition to frameworks for three vertical industries.
Mark Shan, chairman of Tencent Open Source Alliance, said within the next five years the NextArch Foundation expects to have defined a set of standards and best practices that will have been widely adopted.
The NextArch Foundation’s mission is to provide a home for a set of emerging technologies that would otherwise not get the attention they deserve within the confines of an existing consortium, said Shan.
NextArch Foundation’s areas of focus will include how continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) platforms are employed to build microservices and reducing latency between microservices residing in highly distributed computing environments, added Shan.
It’s not clear where the efforts of NextArch will begin and end as compared to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), another arm of the Linux Foundation that focuses on platforms such as Kubernetes that are widely used to build and deploy microservices-based applications based on containers.
In general, however, it’s already apparent that microservices are at the core of most digital business transformation initiatives that span everything from artificial intelligence (AI) projects to edge computing environments. The global digital transformation market size was valued at $336.14 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.6% from 2021 to 2028, according to market research firm Grand View Research.
As organizations embrace microservices to build and deploy software, the need to establish a set of DevOps best practices to manage them given the level of dependency that exists between multiple microservices within any application.
Challenges associated with managing microservices are not likely to deter organizations from adopting them, but they do slow down the transition. Most new applications are intended to run on mobile devices that access cloud services, and typically run more efficiently when constructed as a set of microservices that scale up and down based on usage. The levels of agility and resilience that microservices have are crucial to any digital business transformation initiative, so the general expectation is that the percentage of microservices-based applications that will be running in production environments will increase sharply.
The challenge, of course, is that, over time, microservices-based applications are more challenging for developers to build and maintain than a traditional monolithic application, though they are easier to update. It’s not likely microservices-based applications will replace existing monolithic applications overnight, but many existing monolithic applications are being converted into a set of microservices that makes it easier for developers to reuse the core functionality of that application.
Of course, it’s still early days as far as microservices in the enterprise are concerned, but as developers shift toward a new way to build software, the need for a wider range of de facto standards should become more apparent.