The Traffic Layer
In a microservices architecture, the traffic layer refers to the application-level (Layer 7) communication between services. Common protocols for the traffic layer include HTTP, HTTP/2, and gRPC.
Traffic management is an essential component of a scalable, resilient microservices architecture. For example, if a service is temporarily unavailable, the traffic layer manages the application-level traffic to insure that the overall application remains available. Common techniques employed by traffic management mechanisms include rate limiting, circuit breakers, and routing / load balancing.
In the Microservices Architecture Guide, we discuss how to use Lyft’s Envoy L7 proxy for traffic management.