Microservices Solution To The Monolithic Problem

Microservices are still the buzz in the software development world.  Why are so many companies migrating to microservices based architectures?  What is the Microservices Solution To The Monolithic Problem? We begin by analyzing the weaknesses and limitations of monolithic architectures.

Software components are tightly coupled inside monolithic architectures and changes to a single line of code can affect the entire application.  Minor system modifications can require re-deployment of the entire system and can turn small, incremental releases and bug-fixing into complex, time consuming efforts with manual testing of the entire application taking several weeks for each release.  Also, if a small part of the system with specific functionality needs scaling, you may need to scale the whole application.  Finally, as all your code lives in one place, the resource consumption of your most resource-hungry functionality drives up the total costs.  Peak load requirements for one function may be massive overkill for others, making the whole system much less efficient.  Cross-team coordination of these efforts is very challenging. 

In summary, the weaknesses of monolithic architectures include:

  • Difficult to innovate
  • Difficult (and expensive) to scale
  • Difficult to test
  • Low release velocity
  • Difficult to coordinate across teams

Microservices architectures solve these problems by breaking large applications down into small blocks of code that are segmented by specific areas of business logic (or application functionality). These blocks communicate through simplified APIs and look like a single application to end-users.

Typically, code blocks are stored separately, which means they can be created, deployed, tested and updated independently. If one block fails, a “known good” version can we swapped out to restore app functionality. This “hot swap” capability greatly enhances app stability during updates.

Because code is in smaller blocks, it is easier to predict failure scenarios and to create more comprehensive testing. Regression tests of changes is typically limited to a handful of function points, resulting in greatly improved release velocity (by as much as 90%). 

Microservices provides real flexibility, as myriad programming languages, databases, hardware and software environments can be used in the creation of your application.

In summary, the benefits of Microservices architectures include:

  • Easier deployment and maintenance
  • Increased release velocity
  • Increased application quality
  • Reduced downtime
  • Reduced cost at scale
  • Flexible tech stack and infrastructure

If you require a rapidly scalable, easily deployed, resilient application to compete in today’s dynamic application environment, Microservices may be the solution. Hybrid solutions (where you can use key blocks from your monolithic app) are also feasible if you need to take a more measured migration to microservices. Of course, there are challenges. Ultimately, the benefits are significant, especially at scale. We hope you have found this article, Microservices Solution To The Monolithic Problem, interesting and helpful. Our subject matter experts are happy to answer any questions you might have about realizing your Microservices vision.