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Microservices Vs Monolithic Architecture

Monolithic architecture is a must for non-distributable workloads where performance is the priority. Microservice design is also more challenging to test, as all components are deployed independently, complicating the verification and debugging process. The extensive code base with the development of the application becomes even larger. If new engineers join the project, they need more time to get acquainted with the logic and details of the application. Therefore, the speed of the development and testing cycle may slow down.

The more complex system you are building, the more chances are that your app will take down when you start making changes. As a monolithic architecture is a single unit, you will need to rewrite the whole application to be able to introduce new technology. As it was above-mentioned, monoliths were taken over by microservices in terms of use by large corporations.

Monolithic vs microservices architectures

The monolithic model is perfect when you need to cut costs at an early stage. Also, monolithic solutions allow end-to-end testing much faster, as they are an indivisible unit. It makes debugging and resolving security or delay issues much more accessible.

They’re great when you’re just getting started with a simple application and have a small team; the only issue comes from their inability to support your growing business needs. Then, you will repeat this process with each functionality and validate them with your target users using your feature flag management Monolithic vs microservices architectures tool. This will be preceded by analyzing your current system to identify what you can start to migrate. You can experiment with functionalities within your customer journey to start migrating and gradually direct traffic to it via feature flags away from your monolith and then slowly kill off the old code.

Despite the fact that many experts consider monolithic architecture as something outdated, controversy over the appropriateness of using microservices and monoliths has not stopped. It happens because each of these approaches has its nuances and can meet needs that the other one cannot fulfill. Sometimes a microservice system is actually a monolith in discuise. Key traits of a microservice architecture is design for failure, independently deployable.

Disadvantage #1: Distributed Systems Are Complex

If you are building a complex custom business platform, like CRM or ERP, microservices will allow you to accommodate large functionality in isolated containers. Monolithic applications are a go-to solution for small teams who work under time constraints and a limited budget. Monolith, with its fast first stages, allows accomplishing a lot early on, even though its; no always a sustainable decision long-term. Here is the list of projects that fit the concepts of monoliths. With microservices, developers are focused on managing containers . Both microservices and monoliths can use continuous deployment and integration tools.

Monolithic vs microservices architectures

Establishing a system in the in-house team can be challenging – although it’s not as much of a problem if you cooperate with off-shore developers. Even if a single part of the application is facing a large load/traffic, we need to deploy the instances of the entire application in multiple servers. It is very inefficient and takes up more resources unnecessarily. Hence, horizontal scaling is not feasible in monolithic applications. In order to understand microservices, we need to understand what are monolithic applications and what led us to move from monolithic applications to microservices in recent times. A microservices architecture allows you to build and maintain different workflows at once.

Companies Using Microservices

This overhead might be a bottleneck compared to smaller and more separated test suites in microservices. If we want to scale the development process, we can’t just throw more developers into a team. A lot of research has shown that the maximum team size is around 5 to 12 people. Any more than that they will step on each other trying to do their work.

Monolithic vs microservices architectures

Developers build a single data layer for the entire application. It’s faster than configuring separate storage but has a crucial downside. If a database fails, the entire software will experience performance issues. If all the functionalities of a project exist in a single codebase, then that application is known as a monolithic application. We all must have designed a monolithic application in our lives in which we were given a problem statement and were asked to design a system with various functionalities. We design our application in various layers like presentation, service, and persistence and then deploy that codebase as a single jar/war file.

Because of the distributed system that makes up this architecture, testing such an application is more difficult because of the large number of deployable parts. Although this type of application is considered to be the common and traditional method to build applications, it may cause some major problems and over time may become unmanageable. Reddit’s strategy is to make changes one step and time without making radical investments. It’s a good example of smart updates that can let teams maintain their old architecture while remaining intuitive for modern users.

He always stays aware of the latest technology trends and applies them to the day to day activities of the dev team. Here, the microservices communicate with each other directly and there is no central dependency for communication such as ESB in SOA. Also, there is a guideline to have a separate database for each microservice. The fundamental idea of the evolution of microservices from SOA is to reduce the dependency between the services and make them loosely coupled with the above-mentioned guidelines. Relatively easier and simple to develop in comparison to microservices architecture. At first sight, you may think that a microservices architecture is full of benefits, and it is the right choice for you.

Lambda function launches microservices and processes all requests. Cross-cutting issues are divided into separate microservices, like the whole program. These can be difficulties with metrics, external configurations, etc.

Besides, you can create an application with basic features and then build it up with time. One example of a highly effective microservices API gateway implementation is Netflix’s Zuul API gateway. Zuul serves as the mediator between external requests and the various components of Netflix’s microservices architecture under the hood.

How Software Development Processes Differ Between Microservices And Monolithic Architecture?

The data analytics industry needs to handle a lot of sensitive information and process multiple requests. When a product consisted of 140 services, the overhead of communication and management was getting too big. Also, Facebook has to prioritize safety due to high data breach risks. Transferring information between microservices can potentially jeopardize the user’s sensitive information. So, Facebook held on to its PHP monolithic platform rather than going through with refactoring.

  • Microservices is a system that includes many separate autonomous and self-sufficient services that interact with individual databases and with each other through dedicated APIs.
  • You only need to decide on this when you are 100% sure that you need to expand and become more flexible.
  • The initial stages of the project are faster than with microservices, and you end up saving a lot of time.
  • Firstly, monolithic applications are simple to build, test and deploy.
  • At first sight, you may think that a microservices architecture is full of benefits, and it is the right choice for you.
  • Once the feature flag is turned on, the microservice code is turned on so you can direct traffic to the new version to test it.
  • But it is worth noticing that many of them started out with a monolith and evolved to a microservice architecture over time.

Since each service is decoupled from the other services they don’t and often doesn’t share a common database. Chris offers numerous resources for learning the microservice architecture. Overloaded IDE – the larger the code base the slower the IDE and the less productive developers are.

Business Logic

It’s composed of loosely coupled components that communicate with each other via protocols. Judging by the definition, SOA can at first seem identical to microservices, but it’s not the case. Being a distributed system, it is much more complex than monolithic applications.

Easier Automated Testing – Since it is a single unit, it is easier to perform automated testing and debugging as you can do it without taking into account different run-time environments. The use of different tech-stacks for specific services is crucial. The team and product will expand in the future, implementing new specialists and technologies. Simplified deployment.The entire system is uploaded as a single file, and therefore engineers do not need to worry about unloading various services combined through the third-party API. This provides an enormous amount of flexibility and allows developers to select the best programming language and storage solution based on the needs of a particular service. Knowing this, developers must thoroughly test each module, as it may be impossible to predict the outcome of any change–no matter how small–to the codebase.


The main challenges of monolith development derive from a united monolithic structure. The first stages take more time due to necessary organizational changes and analysis, but in the long run, big microservice platforms are faster than monoliths of the same size. In a way, it could be defined as a combination of certain principles of monolithic architecture and microservices. The idea of breaking the architecture down into components is not new. Before that, we had service-oriented architecture, an approach similar to microservices, but with a few key differences.

So, those who know about SOA, most think that they are the same, or the difference is not much clearer in their mind. We can’t blame them also, if we talk about a cake and a pastry, we will find more similarities than differences.

Migrating From Monolith To Microservices: How Do Feature Flags Fit In?

Therefore, all actions need to be properly coordinated, and operational flexibility is quite difficult to achieve. So, the issue of reliability depends on the goals, scale and implementation of the software. Modern microservices are adapted to the possibility of failure, and monolithic apps of certain types don’t even need such an adaptation.

What Are Microservices?

Within the monolithic architecture, developers don’t have the freedom to choose the best programming language or storage solution for each service. As monolithic applications grow, they start to collect an increasingly diverse dataset with varied processing requirements. Looking for a powerful API management solution for your own application and comparing Monolithic vs. Microservices? We offer an enterprise-grade “API as a service” platform that is available both in the cloud and on-premises.

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