Moving from a monolithic to microservices architecture comes with its own set of challenges, and creating an ideal foundation for that is important. Even the software professionals of Comcast® know that, as reflected in the words of one of the senior executives in their IT team. Xfinity Home® offers features like round the clock video monitoring with notifications to integrated smartphones. Recently, the residential security system from the best internet provider has incorporated connected home and home automation solutions.
Comcast’s Sr. Dir. Software and IoT Platform Engineering, Tom Hughes, has said that, “It became clear to us that our monolithic legacy architecture was not going to provide us the flexibility and agility we needed to serve our customers, [so] building a microservices platform was the obvious choice.”
Previously, the best internet provider has implemented microservices architecture for its Xfinity® X1 platform, so it is not new to that. However, this is Comcast’s first major move from monolithic to microservices architecture, which necessitated a change in perspective and processes from their team of software professionals. Hughes said that the software team of Comcast® considered a decision for building a cloud agnostic architecture for moving between several private and public cloud environments from a new perspective.
“We underestimated the complexity involved with implementing this decision and the impact that it would have on our velocity. Once we pivoted to an approach focused on a single cloud environment [AWS] for this specific project, we realized the rate of development and advantages to leveraging components native to that environment,” he said.
The company’s software team had to work with monolithic apps previously, but moving it to microservices architecture had made them amend perspective and personal egos. “It’s sort of like retraining yourself to limit what you’re trying to accomplish and what the purpose of a given service is and not making it more complex than it needs to be,” Hughes added.
The experience of Comcast®, while successful, shows that organizations must approach the shift from monolithic to microservices architecture by fully understanding associated challenges that come with it. Giving insights on the topic, Anne Thomas, the Vice President and Analyst for Enterprise Software at Gartner for IT Leaders, said that software professionals must be proficient at software architecture to even attempt implementing that transition at an enterprise level.