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Why Microservices Architecture is Better than Monolithic

Author: Victor Kaitell | | September 8, 2021


 

Monolithic software architecture was the default option for many decades, but today’s software development teams have more choices. Microservices architecture addresses many of the weak points seen in monolithic approaches. In this blog post, we cover issues with monolithic applications, the benefits of microservices architecture, and use cases that are best suited for microservices.

Issues with Monolithic Applications

A monolithic application puts all its functions into one codebase. As the codebase grows over time, it can become increasingly challenging to work with. Some of the biggest issues associated with this type of architecture include:
 

  • Updating the application: You don’t have the option of changing a small part of the application and redeploying it. When you’re forced to redeploy the entire application for every update, it becomes a hassle to implement new features or roll out bug fixes.
  • Optimizing individual components: You can’t customize resource allocation based on specific functionality. For example, the entire application uses the same type of database, even though it’s a poor choice for some of the components.
  • Bringing in new developers: New additions to your development team face a steep learning curve, especially if the application is several years old. The codebase may be unwieldy and hard for anyone to understand completely. Making changes to one part of the application could cause problems in an entirely separate function.
  • Scaling the application horizontally: The resources needed for one component of the application may spike in demand. You’re not able to create and scale additional instances of that part alone, even though the rest of the application doesn’t benefit from the resources in the same way.
  • Integrating new technology: You could run into trouble when you attempt to innovate your monolithic application. Integrating new technology could be a frustrating process, especially with legacy software.
  • Troubleshooting bugs: Your entire application could go down due to bugs, and tracking down the problem requires looking at the full codebase. The time it takes to fix the system and get it back up and running is disruptive to daily business operations.

How Microservices Architecture Solves Many Monolithic Problems

Microservices architecture involves an application built with many small services connected together. Each component works together to power the application, but the microservices are distinct and have some separation.

Separate Functionalities

A microservice performs one single function. When you need to make changes to that function, you don’t need to involve any other microservice. The decentralized architecture allows you to make the best decisions for each function, rather than worrying about the impact on the rest of the application.

Dedicated Resources

The microservices use their own databases and technologies, which provides significant flexibility in how you power each component. You can pick and choose the technology that best supports the component’s needs, rather than trying to compromise on a solution that works for the entire application.

Reusable Codebase

These self-contained units can streamline software development through reusability. You can create microservices with commonly used functionality and use them for multiple applications. Over time, you end up with a powerful set of pre-built tools that improves your time to market. These tried and tested microservices take a lot of guesswork out of creating a powerful application.

Easier to Manage Codebase

Developers can focus on specific components that they want to learn and work on, rather than the full codebase. You can match specialists up with the microservices that fall into their areas of expertise. While your application may grow over time, it remains easy to manage and update. You redeploy the microservices that have new changes.

Greater Resiliency

Since microservices have a degree of isolation from each other, a bug or outage impacting one microservice won’t take down the entire application. You can set up failovers for microservices that face the greatest availability risks.

Supports New Integrations

Interested in new functionality or technology? You don’t need to rewrite the entire application to get these features up and running. This flexibility allows you to adapt the solution to the changing needs of your user base and business over time. You end up with a powerful competitive advantage, especially if monolithic applications are commonly used in your market sector.

Optimizing Resources Based on Each Microservices’ Load Demands

Some microservices have greater loads than others, and this architecture is set up for horizontal scaling. You can allocate more resources to these high-demand microservices without needing to increase the capacity of the entire application.

Transitioning from Monolithic to Microservices

Changing your software development architecture requires a significant shift in your organization’s mindset. Your technology stack, procedures and processes, and even your team may need significant alterations to get the most out of microservices.

Datavail can help you meet your application goals. Whether you need guidance on planning microservices architecture or require specialist software development assistance, we have the technical resources you need. Contact us to get started.

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