Modelling and evaluation of microservice granularity adaptation decisions

Hassan, Sara (2019). Modelling and evaluation of microservice granularity adaptation decisions. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Microservices have gained wide recognition and acceptance in software industries as an emerging architectural style for autonomic, scalable, and more reliable computing. In this thesis we target a critical, main problem related to the transition towards microservices: reasoning about the suitable granularity level of a microservice (i.e. when and how to merge or decompose microservices). We conduct a systematic mapping study and use it to identify inadequacies in the state-of-the-practice and -art related to this problem. The thesis addresses the following inadequacies: a relatively disciplined understanding of the transition to microservices and technical activities underlying it, systematic architecture-oriented modelling support for microservice granularity, a dynamic architectural evaluation process to reason about the cost and added value of granularity adaptation, and effective decision support to inform reasoning about microservice granularity at runtime. To address the identified inadequacies, initially we contribute an architecture-centric modelling approach for microservices. Next, we contribute a dynamic evaluation process which links granularity adaptation to its added value under uncertainty. Next, we contribute an interactive, iterative planning engine to provide insight regarding which granularity adaptation strategy is suitable at runtime. We use a hypothetical microservice application — Filmflix — as a case study for evaluating each aforementioned contribution. Finally, this thesis contributes to microservice-specific guidance aiming to render scalability-aware granularity adaptation decisions. We evaluate this contribution by comparing its usage against ad-hoc scalability analysis.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
School or Department: School of Computer Science
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA76 Computer software


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