Monolithic vs Microservices Architecture

Monolithic vs Microservices Architecture

A monolithic application is one in which all of a project's functionalities are contained in a single codebase. We have all probably worked on a monolithic program where we were given a problem description and asked to develop a system with multiple functionalities. Our program is designed in layers such as display, service, and persistence, and then deployed as a single jar/war file. 

In a monolithic application, "mono" refers to a single codebase that contains all of the needed functionality.
 
On the other hand, Microservices is an architectural development paradigm in which the application is built up of smaller services that communicate directly with one another utilizing lightweight protocols like HTTP. “Microservices are little services that function together,” says Sam Newman. The relationship between the application and the database is significantly influenced by the Microservice architecture. 

Each microservice has its own database, rather than sharing a single database with other microservices. It frequently leads to data duplication, yet having a database per microservice is required if you wish to benefit from this architecture's loose coupling. Having different database for each microservice has one more benefit that each microservice can use the database that is most suited to its requirements. 

Monolithic Applications Vs Microservices: Perks & Drawbacks 

Monolithic applications offer users the following perks:

●    Monolithic applications are easier to deploy because only one jar/war file is used.
●    In comparison to microservices architecture, Monolithic applications are somewhat easier and simpler to develop.
●    In comparison to microservices design, network latency and security issues are comparatively minor while using Monolithic applications.

Monolithic applications have the following drawbacks:

●    With time, Monolithic applications grow too huge and become difficult to manage.
●    Even a minor update necessitates redeploying the entire application.
●    As the size of the application grows, so does the time it takes to set up and deploy it.
●    Even if the job is limited to specific functionality, any new developer joining the project will find it difficult to comprehend the logic of a large monolithic application.
●    Even if a particular section of the application is experiencing high load/traffic, we must deploy the entire application's instances across numerous servers. It is inefficient, and it wastes resources unnecessarily. As a result, horizontal scaling in monolithic systems is not possible.
●    Adopting any new technology that is ideally suited for a specific purpose is tough because it affects the entire program, both in terms of time and cost.
●    It is unreliable since a single problem in any module can bring the entire monolithic application down.

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Microservices offer users the following perks:

●    It is simple to manage because it is tiny in size.
●    If one of the microservices has to be updated, we must simply redeploy that microservice.
●    Microservices are self-contained and thus deployable on their own. They have a faster start-up and deployment time.
●    It is very simple for a new developer to join the project because he only needs to grasp one microservice that provides the functionality he will be working on, rather than the entire system.
●    If a given microservice is experiencing a high load as a result of people abusing its capability, we must scale-out that microservice alone. As a result, the microservices design allows for horizontal scaling.
●    Depending on the business requirements, each microservice can employ different technology.
●    If a microservice falls down due to a defect, it has no effect on other microservices, and the system as a whole remains operational, offering other services to users.

Microservices have a few drawbacks as well:

●    Microservices are substantially more difficult than monolithic programs because it is a distributed system. As the number of microservices grows, so does the complexity of the system.
●    Working with microservices architecture, which can identify microservices and handle their inter-communications, requires skilled engineers.
●    It is difficult to deploy microservices independently.
●    Microservices are inefficient in terms of network utilization since they must communicate with one another, and all of these remote calls cause network latency.
●    Because microservices communicate with each other across the network, they are less secure than monolithic apps.
●    Debugging is tough since control flows across several microservices, making it impossible to pinpoint why and where an error occurred.

Microservices Fundamentals

Single Responsibility

One of the ideas specified as part of the SOLID design pattern is single responsibility. A single unit, such as a class, function, or microservice, should only have one responsibility, according to this rule. Each microservice must be responsible for only one thing and perform only one function. 

In other word you can say that you should create microservices that is proportional to the number of functionalities you need. The database is also decentralized, with each microservice having its own database in most cases.

Built on Business Capabilities

In today's world, where there are so many technologies, there is always one that is most suited for implementing a specific functionality. However, in monolithic systems, it was a significant disadvantage because we couldn't employ separate technologies for each functionality and so had to make compromises in certain areas. 

A microservice should never be restricted from using the most appropriate technology stack or backend database storage for fulfilling the business purpose, i.e. each microservice can utilize various technologies depending on the business needs.

Design for Failure

Microservices must be built with the possibility of failure in mind. Microservices must make use of this architecture, and if one microservice goes down, the system as a whole should not be affected; other functions must remain available to the user. However, this was not the case in monolithic programs, where the loss of a single module resulted in the application's complete failure.

Microservices Architecture vs. Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)

“Microservices is SOA, for those who know what SOA is,” stated Steve Jones, MDM at Capgemini. Those who are familiar with SOA often mistake them for one another or be unsure of the differences. We can't blame them because there are more parallels than differences between a cake and a pastry. So let's see what the distinctions are between the two. 

SOA arose to address the issues with monolithic architecture and gained popularity in the early 2000s. SOA divides a major application into numerous smaller services that are deployed separately. These services do not communicate directly with one another. 

There used to be an Enterprise Service Bus (ESB, a middleware or server that allows services to communicate with one another using different protocols or message standards) where these services could expose themselves and talk with one another. There was also no requirement for any service to have its own database. SOA originated in the early 2000s as a response to the problems with the monolithic design. 

SOA breaks down a large application into several smaller services that may be deployed independently. These services don't communicate with one another directly. These services could expose themselves and communicate with one another using an Enterprise Service Bus (ESB, a middleware or server that allows services to communicate with one another using different protocols or message standards). Furthermore, no service was required to have its own database.

Which Software Architecture Should Your Business Proceed with & why? 

Making the decision to build a monolithic architecture:

A Small Group of People

If you are a startup with a small crew, you might not need to deal with the microservices architecture's complexity. Because a monolith can suit all of your business's demands, there's no need to jump on the microservices bandwagon.

This is a Straightforward Application. 

Monolithic architectures are suitable for small applications that don't require a lot of business logic, scalability, or flexibility.

There is no Experience with Microservices. 

To perform successfully and add business value, microservices necessitate a high level of expertise. It is unlikely that you would be able to develop a microservices application from scratch if you lack technical competence.

Launch in a Flash

A monolithic approach is the greatest solution if you want to develop and launch your software as quickly as feasible. It works effectively when you want to save money at first and test your business idea. 

Proceeding with a Microservices architecture selection:

Microservices Know-How

Building a microservice application without the right skills and understanding is incredibly dangerous. Even yet, having a basic understanding of architecture is insufficient. Because DevOps and Containers are so closely linked to microservices, you will require professionals in both. 

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Expertise in domain modeling is also required. When dealing with microservices, the system is divided into different functions and responsibilities are divided.

An Application that is Both Complicated & Scalable

You can easily scale and adding new capabilities to your program with the help of microservices design. A microservice paradigm is the best way to build a massive app with several modules & user journeys.

There are Sufficient Engineering Talents. 

You will need adequate resources to manage all of the activities in a microservice project because it involves many teams that are accountable for different services. 

Bottom Line

Despite its dwindling popularity, a monolith offers significant and long-lasting benefits that make it suited for a wide range of applications. You should start with a monolith if your business idea is new and you want to validate it. Microservices are unnecessary for a small technical team attempting to design a simple and lightweight application. 

In this way, a monolithic application will be much easier to build, modify, deploy, and test. The microservices design is more beneficial for complex and dynamic systems. Within a single application, it provides realistic ways for managing a complex system of operations and services. Microservices are well-suited to platforms with a diverse set of user experiences and workflows. However, without sufficient microservices capabilities, this paradigm would be impossible to implement.

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