Alex Jordan


Microservices Architecture Vs Monolithic Architecture

For the last few years, microservices have gained a lot of relevance and prominence in the industry owing to the benefits provided by the architecture. It provides developers with better agility, flexibility, and agility, making their processes easier and faster. Some of the biggest companies across the world, including Netflix, Amazon, and Google have made a switch from a monolithic architecture to microservices architecture.  

Monolithic architecture is essentially a default model used by developers to build an application. However, it poses a few challenges for developers such as difficulty in handling a codebase, scaling of application, adopting new technologies, deployment of an application, and many more.  

However, there are companies that prefer monolithic architecture, giving rise to a common question – has monolithic architecture become outdated, and is it advisable for a developer to shift an entire application from monolithic to microservices architecture?  

Here, we would answer these questions by comparing the two approaches and analyzing their pros and cons. 

The Monolithic Architecture 

Monolithic architecture is essentially a traditional way of developing applications. Here, an application is built as a single indivisible unit. Such an approach generally includes a client-side user interface, a server-side application, and a database. This architecture is unified with all its functions managed and served on a single unified interface.  

Generally, the applications built using monolithic architecture have a single large codebase and often lack modularity. The developers are required to access the same code base to update or change anything in the application. This requires them to make changes in the entire stack. 

Major Benefits of The Monolithic Architecture 

Reduced Cross-cutting Issues 

The cross-cutting issues deal with the problems faced by developers that affect the entire application, such as handling, logging, caching, and performance monitoring. A monolithic application allows you to handle the functionality of only one application, making the processes easier.  

Ease Of Debugging And Testing 

A monolithic application is always easy to debug and test. This is because these applications are single units, making the process of end-to-end running faster.  

Ease Of Deployment 

In the case of a monolithic application, the developers do not need to handle multiple deployments but a single file or directory. This makes the deployment of apps easier.  

Major Drawbacks Of The Monolithic Architecture 

Difficulty In Understanding 

When a monolithic application scales up, it often becomes difficult for a developer to understand it as it gets more complicated. Further, it becomes difficult to manage a complex code system within a single large application. 

Difficulty In Making Changes 

It often becomes difficult for developers to make changes in a large and complicated application. Any change in the code would affect the entire system which makes it necessary for the developers to keep it well-coordinated.  

Poor Scalability 

In the case of a monolithic application, it is not possible for a developer to scale components independently. They need to scale the entire system altogether.  

Not Suitable For New Technologies 

It is often really difficult for a developer to apply new technology to monolithic applications as they would be required to rewrite the entire application. 

The Microservices Architecture 

As opposed to the monolithic architecture, the microservices architecture does not lead to the development of the application as a single unit. It breaks the application down into smaller units that carry out every application process as a separate service. This results in all the services having their own logic and database. Moreover, all the different services can perform specific functions.  

Here, the entire functionality is divided into different modules that are independently deployable. These modules communicate with each other through well-defined methods called Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). Every service in this architecture covers its own unique scope and can be scaled, updated, and deployed independently. 

Major Benefits Of The Microservices Architecture 

Working With Independent Components 

In the case of the microservices architecture, all the services can be deployed and updated on an independent basis. This gives more flexibility to the developer while building applications. A bug in one microservice would impact only that particular service and not the entire system.  

Easy To Understand 

Ease of understanding is also one of the advantages of microservices architecture. As an application is split up into components that are smaller and simpler, it becomes easy for a developer to understand and manage them.  

High Scalability 

In the case of a microservices application, every component can be scaled independently, instead of scaling the entire system altogether. This makes the entire development process easier and faster as compared to working on a monolithic architecture.  

Flexible For Introducing New And Different Technologies 

The microservices architecture is flexible enough to allow developers to add new technologies and frameworks to the application with ease and efficiency.  

Major Drawbacks Of The Microservices Architecture 

High Complexity 

Owing to the architecture being a distributed system, the developer needs to choose and set up specific connections between all the databases and modules. Moreover, all the independent services need to be deployed differently. 

Cross-cutting Issues  

Working with microservices architecture may make the developer face cross-cutting issues such as logging, metrics, externalized configuration, health checks, and more.  

Difficulty In Testing 

As the framework involves working with multiple independently deployable components, it often makes testing the solutions difficult.  

So, Which Framework Should You Go For? 

The framework you should go for depends on how suitable it is for your business and development purposes. 

You can go for the monolithic architecture if: 

You have a small team 

If you need to develop a simple application 

There is no need for microservices expertise 

You are looking forward to a quick launch 

On the other hand, you can go for the microservices architecture if: 

You require microservices expertise 

You need a complex but scalable and flexible application 

Your development team possesses advanced engineering skills 

Never hurry in going with either of the two architectures. It is always advisable to make the final decision after making a thorough assessment of your needs and consulting experts having significant knowledge in the field. 

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Microservices Architecture Vs Monolithic Architecture

Serverless Vs Microservices Architecture - A Deep Dive

Companies need to be thinking long-term before even starting a software development project. These needs are solved at the level of architecture: business owners want to assure agility, scalability, and performance.

The top contenders for scalable solutions are serverless and microservices. Both architectures prioritize security but approach it in their own ways. Let’s take a look at how businesses can benefit from the adoption of serverless architecture vs microservices, examine their differences, advantages, and use cases.

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The Service Mesh in the Microservices World - DZone Microservices

The software industry has come a long journey and throughout this journey, Software Architecture has evolved a lot. Starting with 1-tier (Single-node), 2-tier (Client/ Server), 3-tier, and Distributed are some of the Software Architectural patterns we saw in this journey.

The Problem

The majority of software companies are moving from Monolithic architecture to Microservices architecture, and Microservices architecture is taking over the software industry day-by-day. While monolithic architecture has many benefits, it also has so many shortcomings when catering to modern software development needs. With those shortcomings of monolithic architecture, it is very difficult to meet the demand of the modern-world software requirements and as a result, microservices architecture is taking control of the software development aggressively. The Microservices architecture enables us to deploy our applications more frequently, independently, and reliably meeting modern-day software application development requirements.

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Why Transition From Monolith to Microservices?

**Microservices architecture **is a way of creating applications through loosely coupling services. Every service represents a system component that can be created and maintained separately, executing an independent business goal.

Microservices are basically small services that work independently as part of a more complex system. They are easy to manage, portable, and created in order to accomplish the business objectives of the application. They can be developed with the use of different programming languages, like Node.js, PHP, Python, Java, etc.

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What Is a Microservice Architecture? Why Is It Important Now?

We have been building software applications for many years using various tools, technologies, architectural patterns and best practices. It is evident that many software applications become large complex monolith over a period for various reasons. A monolith software application is like a large ball of spaghetti with criss-cross dependencies among its constituent modules. It becomes more complex to develop, deploy and maintain monoliths, constraining the agility and competitive advantages of development teams. Also, let us not undermine the challenge of clearing any sort of technical debt monoliths accumulate, as changing part of monolith code may have cascading impact of destabilizing a working software in production.

Over the years, architectural patterns such as Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) and Microservices have emerged as alternatives to Monoliths.

SOA was arguably the first architectural pattern aimed at solving the typical monolith issues by breaking down a large complex software application to sub-systems or “services”. All these services communicate over a common enterprise service bus (ESB). However, these sub-systems or services are actually mid-sized monoliths, as they share the same database. Also, more and more service-aware logic gets added to ESB and it becomes the single point of failure.

Microservice as an architectural pattern has gathered steam due to large scale adoption by companies like Amazon, Netflix, SoundCloud, Spotify etc. It breaks downs a large software application to a number of loosely coupled microservices. Each microservice is responsible for doing specific discrete tasks, can have its own database and can communicate with other microservices through Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to solve a large complex business problem. Each microservice can be developed, deployed and maintained independently as long as it operates without breaching a well-defined set of APIs called contract to communicate with other microservices.

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Oral  Brekke

Oral Brekke


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Monolith vs. microservices: a long path from a simple structure to a complex architecture.

Working in the software development industry, I often see articles on monolith pros and cons, microservices pros and cons, monolith vs. microservices, etc. — and much less often about the correct transitions between architectural approaches and their interactions. While projects can grow rapidly or dramatically change their course of development, you need to know when and what architectural approach will help support the system.

This article is for those for whom the monolith hasn’t solved problems and only aggravates all processes. It will also come in handy for those who are just getting acquainted with microservices. I will not say which is better, but I will share my experience of migrating from a monolithic to a microservice architecture.

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