Why you need a microservices catalog tool

Microservices offer increased flexibility and scalability but how do you keep track of all your microservices?

February 9, 2021

These days, many software teams use microservices to build applications because they offer increased flexibility and scalability.

But by solving one problem, you now have to contend with another: How do you keep track of all your microservices?

Once they start accumulating, it’s hard to keep tabs on all of them.

That’s what a microservices catalog is for.

Below, we’ll explain microservices catalogs in more detail and go into their benefits for your company.

What is a microservice?

Using microservices to build an application involves creating each service in the application as separate modules—with each module providing a specific service—rather than as one whole unit. Each of these modules (which are the microservices) communicates with the others via APIs.

This is the opposite of the traditional monolithic architecture, which involves building the entire application as a single unit.

The modularity of microservices offers more flexibility and scalability. Bugs aren’t a threat to the whole application, and you can also deploy services separately. Tools like Kubernetes make deployment and management of microservices substantially easier.

Introducing new technology is also easier in a microservice architecture.

However, a microservices architecture adds organizational complexity because you have to keep track of and manage many disparate services.

As you add more services, this can quickly become completely unmanageable.

This is where a microservices catalog comes in.

What is a microservices catalog?

A microservices catalog is a record of all microservices you currently have running. It provides you with information on what each microservice is, how each operates, and who owns each one.

Having a microservices catalog makes it easier to keep track of several disparate microservices.

By aggregating your microservices into one location, you can improve your entire organization in several ways.

How you can benefit from a microservices catalog tool

Organize and track numerous microservices with ease

At first, you and a few team members might be able to keep track of all deployed microservices.

However, as the organization grows in numbers and complexity and adds services, that’s no longer possible.

A microservices catalog tool makes it easy to track all your services. Plus, it frees up mental energy and time for engineers to do better work faster.

Track and implement technologies better

Your company will adopt new technologies as it grows and develops. As more team members join, departments may adopt different programming languages and other technologies.

At some point, the organization will have a vast range of technologies being used across different departments.

Should some teammates find themselves on different teams, they’ll now have to pick up new technologies. For example, they may now have to master several programming languages at once. This slows them down and requires them to know more—both of which can negatively affect work.

A microservices catalog tool lets you lay out all the technologies your company uses. This makes it easier for your teams to see what technologies they should know.

Additionally, you can measure which technologies allow your teams to perform the best. From there, you can try to standardize the technologies your company uses, which will improve efficiency. Plus, if you need to adopt new technologies, your catalog lets you do that much faster.

Streamline security vulnerability identification and fixing

Addressing security vulnerabilities is of the utmost importance. Yet, it takes many companies around two months (at least) to find and fix critical vulnerabilities in their applications.

Microservices catalogs ensure you can assign each service an owner. That way, every service has someone keeping security in check.

Get help building your microservices catalog

As you can see, that initial investment of time and resources into creating a microservices catalog will pay off for you.

You’ll save plenty of time down the road and be able to create better services for your customers. Once you get large enough to add several services every week, a catalog becomes impossible to live without.

However, building your catalog still takes some time away from focusing on your main operations. Wouldn’t you rather have the catalog without doing any of the work?

If so, you can depend on Cortex and similar tools to help you create your modern microservices catalog. You’ll reap all the benefits of organizing your microservices without taking time away from your primary line of business.

Schedule your demo with Cortex today to learn more!

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