We’ve fully embraced the idea of microservices

Our “map” for this edition of Scale is an actual network  appliance repair center connectivity plot of real microservices deployed at UK-based e-bank Monzo.

“We’ve fully embraced the idea of microservices,” wrote Calvin French-Owen, co-founder of data and analytics infrastructure provider Segment in 2015. The reason, Owen explained, was visibility:  “When we’re getting paged at 3 a.m. on a Tuesday, it’s a million times easier to see that a given worker is backing up compared to adding tracing through every single function call of a monolithic app.”

“In early 2017 we reached a tipping point with a core piece of Segment’s product,” wrote Segment software engineer Alexandra Noonan three years later. The reason, Noonan explained, was visibility. “It seemed as if we were falling from the microservices tree, hitting every branch on the way down.

“Instead of enabling us to move faster,” she continued, “the small team found themselves mired in exploding complexity. The essential benefits of this architecture became burdens. As our velocity plummeted, our defect rate exploded. Eventually, the team found themselves unable to make headway, with three full-time engineers spending most of their time just keeping the system alive. Something had to change.”

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