Sidestepping Dependency Ordering with AppSwitch

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Sidestepping Dependency Ordering with AppSwitch

We are going through an interesting cycle of application decomposition and recomposition. While the microservice paradigm is driving monolithic applications to be broken into separate individual services, the service mesh approach is helping them to be connected back together into well-structured applications. As such, microservices are logically separate but not independent.

They are usually closely interdependent and taking them apart introduces many new concerns such as need for mutual authentication between services. Istio directly addresses most of those issues. An issue that arises due to application decomposition and one that Istio doesn’t address is dependency ordering – bringing up individual services of an application in an order that guarantees that the application as a whole comes up quickly and correctly.

In a monolithic application, with all its components built-in, dependency ordering between the components is enforced by internal locking mechanisms. But with individual services potentially scattered across the cluster in a service mesh, starting a service first requires checking that the services it depends on are up and available.