Introduction to Advantages of Microservices
There is a lot of discussions going on around Microservices in all the IT companies. As a new trend emerges, every company has to adopt new technologies to sustain itself in the market. So what is the crux behind microservices? Why and how it is picking a boom around us? In this article, we will walk through monolithic and microservice architecture, the difference between them, and the advantages and disadvantages.
Microservices = small services 1 + small service 2 + small service 3 + …
Monolithic design means built in a single piece. A technical definition could be a monolithic application that has a single code base divided into multiple features. It has a single executable or deployable file. IT industries using this architecture for a very long time. Sometimes this architecture also called a multi-layer architecture divided into three or more layers.
Advantages & Disadvantages of Monolithic Architecture
Below are the advantages and disadvantages of Monolithic architecture:
- Development is simple.
- Testing a monolithic application is easy. Just start the application to end-to-end testing, and you are good to go. We can also write automation using Selenium.
- Deployment is easy, just copy the packaged application and deploy it on the server.
Many successful enterprise application has developed in a monolithic way. Monolithic architecture has worked successfully for decades. But changing the market with new technologies, there is a shift in the way IT industry works. So what happened exactly? Let us see the journey of how it all started.
- A massive codebase makes it complicated to understand.
- Overload on IDE due to a massive codebase.
- Everything is tightly coupled, which makes it extremely difficult to change the technology or a framework.
- Because it is too large, the application can slow down the start-up time.
- Applications with this architecture are challenging to scale.
- Reliability is a problem. Any bug fix can potentially bring down the entire process.
A Journey from Monolithic to Microservice
In initial days, Industries were more focused on desktop or laptop devices with web browsers as a client which didn’t require any API to be exposed? But suddenly, the paradigm shifted from desktop/laptops to mobile and smart devices. Now enterprises needed a different approach to serving the data. Every mobile application nowadays requires an internet connection. And every enterprise now looking forward to developing mobile apps before the web. This leaded a monolithic architecture to microservice architecture.
Microservice architecture means building a large application with multiple small units called as service. Each of these services will be independently developed, tested, and deployed. Each service can communicate with each other using the REST (Representational State Transfer) protocol. Each service can run on either a single machine or a different machine. Each service can have its storage system. Microservice is all about breaking a larger system into small chunks. Every developer or team owns some part of a large application. But it does have some shortfalls. Let us first see the advantage and then the otherwise.
Advantages & Disadvantages of Microservice Architecture
Below are the advantages and disadvantages of microservice architecture:
- It breaks down the application into small services (loosely coupled), which makes it faster to develop, maintain, and much easy to understand.
- It enables each service scale independently.
- It removes the barrier of adopting new technologies since developers are free to choose whatever technology is most suitable for them.
- It allows a flexible way to integrate automatic deployment with continuous integration tools, e.g., Jenkins, Hudson, etc.
The terms loosely coupled and tightly coupled has considerable significance in the development. If you want to know about them more, go out and look for them. You will find quite exciting discussions and articles about them. Now coming back to our topic, we have looked into the benefits now. Let us look into the shortfalls as well.
- Microservices architecture is a distributed system; hence, you require to build an intercommunication mechanism and also handle partial failures.
- All the services may have their storage, so you may end up having to use an eventual consistency based approach. Which is more challenging for developers?
- In the monolithic application, it is easy to make changes in corresponding modules, but the microservice you have to plan and coordinate the changes to each service carefully.
- A monolithic application can be deployed on identical servers behind the load balancer. But with microservices, each service has different instances and each instance needs to be configured, deployed, scaled and monitored.
- Testing may also be difficult with microservice. It may be possible one service depends on others; hence, to test one service, you might need to run multiple services together.
When we compare two things, it becomes very easy to understand behind the scenes. But before Microservice, there is already a similar kind of architecture was available in the market – SOA (Service Oriented Architecture). There are more similarities between Microservice and SOA then differences. And it could be quite tricky to differentiate both of them. But yes, when you know it you know it well. Apart from knowing what is Microservice and the differences with other architecture, there is a lot more to learn about them. As a personal opinion, Springboot is an excellent framework for Java developers to build REST services. I find them quite interesting to work on. So if you are interested, I would suggest trying developing one.
Any architectural design has both the sides advantage and disadvantages. It depends on the requirement which architecture to choose. So know what you need and decide what’s best for it. Always look for best practices before you develop something.
This is a guide to the Advantages of Microservices. Here we discuss the Advantages of Microservice Architecture and Monolithic Architecture in detail along with Drawbacks. You can also go through our other suggested articles to learn more –