Monolithic or Microservices? Choose the best option for your business
These days, it’s hard to argue with the fact that the quality and functionality of an application also directly affect the economic growth of your company. Depending on your business needs, you can create an application with a monolithic or microservices architecture. Monolithic architecture used to be preferred, but in recent years many companies are moving to microservices. Let’s try to find out why this happens and weigh the benefits and drawbacks of both approaches.
The essence of both architectures
When working on applications, every developer deals with architectural specifications. In previous generations, most software companies designed purely monolithic applications. “Monolith” in any professional field means something that appears as a single piece, which also makes sense for applications. Therefore, a monolithic application is single-tier software, self-contained and independent of other computer applications. It combines the user interface and data access code into a single program on a separate platform and works as an indivisible unit.
For microservices, the application structure is more complex. Here, the application looks like a collection of small, isolated units that run each process as a separate service. All services perform their particular functions, they have their own logic and database.
Monolithic vs microservices: which is better?
Monolithic vs microservices? Many declare loudly: monolithic applications are a thing of the past. However, they still have advantages to consider before deciding on application architecture.
First of all, monolithic applications are easy to develop because obviously any engineering team has many years of experience building these traditional applications. Second, they are easy to implement, since you only need to handle a file and copy the application to a server. Finally, comprehensive testing and bug fixing is also much faster.
Why is this approach losing favor? Probably due to the difficulty of climbing. If one feature fails, the entire app will crash, leaving customers very unsatisfied. If you are planning a system upgrade, be prepared to redeploy the application. Another possible scenario is when demand for a particular feature grows, developers need to increase resource limits for the entire application, not just a specific feature.
A reasonable solution to these problems would be a transition to a microservices architecture. Since this type of architecture involves isolated and independent functions running in their own containers, any one of them can be scaled and updated without affecting the entire application.
Microservices architecture is also easier to understand because developers can break the application into smaller components and work on them separately. Your business goals determine which features are essential, and the engineering team pays close attention when designing them.
The microservices architecture is also not without its drawbacks. As a distributed system, all services must be implemented separately. Developers have to choose how to connect autonomous modules and databases and handle the process carefully.
Although microservices give you the freedom to try out different technologies and innovations within your application, it’s important not to overdo it here. A tip: keep the application under strict control and implement standardized approaches, languages and designs. These actions will allow you to maintain the integrity of your application and increase customer flow.
Moving to microservices
Modern requirements, increasing user flow, and the drive to innovate have led to a massive shift from traditional monolithic application methods to microservices architecture design. The changes have already been adopted by both small businesses and large companies. Netflix, Uber, Amazon, SoundCloud, and Spotify are just a few of them. Netflix, for example, was at the forefront of early adopters of microservices architecture.
Despite the common belief that monolithic architecture is dying and microservices are a must for every business, we strongly recommend that you carefully research and evaluate each type of architecture. If you have a small team, your company is a startup, and you want to launch your application faster, a monolithic architecture may be enough to achieve your business goals.
To implement microservices, you need multiple teams of competent experts who can build a large application with numerous modules and features. With enough resources and a detailed plan, you can upgrade to a microservices architecture.
Now you have more information at your disposal to decide where you stand in today’s monolithic vs. microservices dilemma.