Visualizing Microservice Architecture

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We needed an image that accurately depicted microservice architecture. Unfortunately, our online search was fruitless. While we found plenty of images, none truly captured the dynamic, multidimensional nature of microservices. Instead, the images we found felt flat and too simplistic. So, we decided to create our own infographic illustrating the complexity of microservice architecture.

A better way to look at microservices
We’ve designed an infographic that accurately depicts the vibrant, multidimensional nature of microservice architecture – and microservices as individual pieces of the whole. Our graphic captures the inherent intelligence of microservice architecture in both its design and operability.

Microservice is the term used to describe a software architecture style where functionality is separated into smaller, individual pieces. Each “piece” is a service – or, more accurately, a microservice. Each individual microservice operates around the same central hub, which communicates with each microservice on behalf of other microservices.

In microservice architecture, the individual services are not directly connected and do not communicate directly with one another. This approach to software architecture is a departure from the traditional monolithic style, where services were interconnected and interdependent.

When looking at our infographic, the message broker is clearly the central hub for each individual microservice. Scalable microservice architecture does not couple services directly together. Rather, each microservice communicates using a producer/consumer pattern that is facilitated by the message broker.

As our infographic shows, a microservice sends a message to the message broker using a specific topic. The message broker recognizes the topic and then activates the appropriate microservice or services. If there are multiple concurrent messages for the same topic, then multiple instances of services may be activated.

Key elements of microservice architecture
Among the many features and benefits of microservice architecture are scalability and independence.

At its core, microservice architecture supports the ability of each service to operate as its own independent entity, rather than being tied together. Services can be increased or decreased based on need, providing a level of scalability not supported by traditional software architecture.

Also, in traditional software architecture, if one service fails the other connected services are potentially compromised. Not so with microservice architecture.

Because microservices are not directly connected to one another, the failure of one does not impede the performance of the other services. The isolation of each service protects the integrity of the other services, which can continue functioning while the failed service is worked on.

Forward-thinking imagery for forward-thinking technology
In creating this infographic, we’ve not only illustrated the structure of microservice architecture, but the functionality as well. Microservice architecture pushes beyond the boundaries of traditional computing. Any graphic that attempts to depict microservice architecture must employ the same level of conceptual thinking – and combine that with exceptional design elements in order to capture its dynamic nature.


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