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Published: 2023-05-22

The secret behind faster and more reliable apps

NEWS Researchers at Umeå University have found a way to make apps more efficient using self-driving microservices. These new methods can help developers create apps with a better user experience and lead to efficient use of resources and reduced carbon emissions.

Text: Sara-Lena Brännström

Have you ever wondered how your favorite apps can deliver fast and reliable experiences, even when user behavior is complex and unexpected? The secret lies in a combination of cloud computing and something called microservices, a modern way of building software systems where an application is broken down into smaller, independent services that can communicate with each other. This enables software owners to scale up and scale down whenever required. However, this poses some challenges.

It’s nearly impossible for human operators to keep up with such dynamic and fast-paced environments.

These challenges are due to the fact that the software and its infrastructure are rapidly changing with the ever-evolving demands of users. To address these challenges and make the software more reliable and available, there is a need for the software to adapt to the changes in such a dynamic environment.

“The traditional methods for building and running software systems often struggle to keep up with such changes. This is particularly true with recent technologies such as cloud computing and microservices, which have introduced new levels of complexity and uncertainty with the high possibility of short-term problems. It’s nearly impossible for human operators to keep up with such dynamic and fast-paced environments”, says Mohammad Reza Saleh Sedghpour, doctoral student at the Department of Computing Science.

In his thesis, Mohammad Reza Saleh Sedghpour proposes a way to enable the software systems to dynamically adjust to changing circumstances and improve the performance and reliability of microservices without the need for human intervention. He calls this methodology self-driving microservices, and it is designed in a way that the software monitors itself and its environment. If there are failures or incidents, the software can heal itself and manage the environment automatically.

“In that way, it can respond to changing conditions in real-time and to more users quickly, even if there are short-term hiccups or incidents in the software, without the users noticing them”, says Mohammad Reza Saleh Sedghpour.

By embracing these methods, developers can create apps that can keep up with the fast-paced evolving environment automatically, without compromising on performance and reliability and without requiring any special treatments for their apps. Thus, the apps become more efficient and resilient, delivering a seamless user experience that keeps users coming back for more. Furthermore, these techniques can also help cloud providers use their infrastructure efficiently, leading to more sustainable computing with a lower carbon footprint.

About the thesis defence

On Friday 26 May Mohammad Reza Saleh Sedghpour, Department of Computing Science, Umeå University, defends his thesis entitled Towards Self-Driving Microservices. The defense will take place at 1:00 pm in Aula Anatomica (BIO.A.206), Biologi building, Umeå University, Umeå. The faculty opponent is Professor Dr. Cesare Pautasso, University of Lugano, Switzerland.

Read the full thesis