Cortex Taps GitLab to Help DevOps Teams Manage Microservices

Cortex microservices FaaS

Content By Devops .com

Cortex, a provider of a platform for tracking ownership of microservices, this week announced its platform can now import services from the GitLab continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) platform.

Anish Dhar, Cortex CEO, said the company’s platform is now integrated with more than 30 tools that are regularly employed by DevOps teams, including offerings from GitLab, Datadog, Sonarqube, Snyk and PagerDuty, as well as open source platforms such as the Kubernetes container orchestration engine and the Istio service mesh.

Designed for site reliability engineers (SREs) and other DevOps professionals, the Cortex platform eliminates the need to rely on spreadsheets to manually track ownership of microservices. Instead, Cortex imports data residing within the tool employed by developers to surface who within an organization is responsible for maintaining which microservices.

In addition, a Cortex dashboard enables DevOps teams to see which developers are on-call in the event of an unexpected incident, the latency rate microservices are experiencing and which vulnerabilities have yet to be remediated.

Grades can also be assigned to specific microservices based on metrics that are associated with a specific microservice. That approach allows DevOps teams to apply gamification techniques using a scorecard to encourage developers to continuously improve their microservices, noted Dhar. That approach will also make it apparent to other developers which microservices running in a production environment can be most reliably employed, added Dhar.


At the core of the platform is Cortex Query Language (CQL), a domain-specific language that allows DevOps teams to define granular rules that can be applied to, for example, on-call rotations, security vulnerabilities, package versions, service level objectives (SLOs) and the overall health of the microservice. Engineers can employ code in the form of YAML files to set reliability standards across teams and types of services through direct integrations with a variety of tools. In effect, Cortex provides a reliability-as-code platform, said Dhar.

As responsibility for applications shifts further left, each development team is being held accountable for the life cycle of any microservice or application they create. The challenge enterprise DevOps teams are encountering is that when there are hundreds, even thousands, of microservices, it’s difficult to determine who on the development team is responsible for a specific microservice. Rather than trying to keep track of the relationship between development teams and microservices using a spreadsheet, Cortex is making a case for a tool that automates that discovery and tracking process.

Most organizations today are embracing microservices to build and deploy more flexible applications at varying rates. However, it’s only a matter of time before they find themselves trying to navigate a web of interdependencies between microservices that can’t be managed using spreadsheets. DevOps teams, of course, might be inclined to use their skills to create their own tool for tracking microservices. However, given all the tasks at hand, maintaining a custom platform for discovering and tracking ownership of microservices is likely something better done by a vendor willing to maintain and support a purpose-built tool.

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