Monolithic vs. Microservices: Which Architecture Suits Best for Your Project?

#WebDevelopment #Monolithic #Microservices #Architecture

Monolithic vs. Microservices

In our article about monolithic & microservices architecture, we have discussed briefly the topic and why it should be used by business owners in their next project. Now coming back to the topic, we will be diving deep into microservices and monolithic architectures.

What is Monolithic Architecture?

A monolith is built as a large system with a single code base and deployed as a single unit, usually behind a load balancer. It typically consists of four major components: a user interface, business logic, a data interface, and a database.

The problem with monolithic isn’t so much that there’s an inherent problem with the architecture. In fact, simple applications with limited feature sets may benefit from this approach. The challenge comes when companies grow their applications–adding features and bug fixes on top of everything that came before.

A monolithic architecture has distinct Strengths and Weaknesses that should be evaluated when deciding when selecting the optimal type of architecture for the application.

Benefits of Monolithic Architecture:

  1. Simple to test. For example, you can implement end-to-end testing by simply launching the application and testing the UI with Selenium.
  2. Simple to scale horizontally by running multiple copies behind a load balancer.
  3. Simple to deploy. You just have to copy the packaged application to a server.

Strengths of the Monolithic Architecture

  • Starting a new project and developing it is simpler using monolithic architecture.
  • There are much fewer cross-cutting concerns like login, caching, memory management, and others with one application in place.
  • Monolithic apps have higher performance than microservice apps because they don’t involve API for communication between components.
  • Better performance as shared-memory access is faster than interprocess communication, a monolithic architecture typically has better throughput performance.
  • It is much easier to test a structure that is a monolith.

Weaknesses of the Monolithic Architecture

  • A large codebase can be significantly harder to understand.
  • Scaling confines. Monolith apps can only scale as a whole. Scaling components individually is impossible.
  • Slow build and test create releases, Upgrades simply recording the entire application to factor in the dependencies and side effects.
  • Problems with scalability, because each element has different resource requirements.
  • More difficult to understand, As the application grows and the number of layers and dependencies increases, understanding the system becomes increasingly difficult.

Monolithic vs. Microservices Architecture

What is Microservices Architecture?

Microservices architecture is designed to accommodate the need for large application development by providing a suite of modular components and services.

A microservice architectural style is an approach to developing a single application as a suite of small services, each running in its own process and communicating with lightweight mechanisms, often an HTTP resource API. These services are built around business capabilities and are independently deployable by fully automated deployment machinery. There is a bare minimum of centralized management of these services.

When considering what microservices are particularly well-suited for, the following Strengths and Weaknesses should be taken into account:

Benefits of Microservices Architecture:

  1. Microservice architecture enables each service to be scaled independently.
  2. It enables each service to be developed independently by a team that is focused on that service.
  3. Decreasing of business logic complexity by splitting to the smallest parts, more comfortable to understand.
  4. It lowers the barrier of adopting newer technologies as the developers have the freedom to choose whatever technology makes sense to their project.
  5. It tackles the problem of complexity by decomposing applications into a set of manageable services which are much faster to develop, and much easier to understand and maintain.

Strengths of the Microservices Architecture

  • Continuous delivery is made simple. You can work on specific elements of the system without disrupting the whole system.
  • Autonomy- You can build cross-functional, independent teams for each business goal. The features they deploy won’t affect other services.
  • Improved fault isolation as modules work independently from each other, a failure in one module does not affect another.
  • Scalability each microservice can be scaled independently, while also adding new components.
  • Once the organization develops and implements a microservices architecture, it’s the schematic diagram that may be reused and expanded upon for future projects and services.

Weaknesses of the Microservices Architecture

  • Communication between services may be complex and there’s a higher chance of failure during communication between different services.
  • Difficulty in debugging problems, debugging requires inspecting each service log independently, increasing the workload.
  • There are more Cross-Cutting Concerns with microservices – logging, caching need to be taken care of in every service.
  • A multitude of independently deployable components makes testing a microservices-based solution much harder.
  • Microservice architecture requires more resources and usually takes more time than monolithic architecture.

Which One Is Better Monolithic Architecture Vs Microservices Architecture?

Like everything, these two technologies both have their Strengths and Weaknesses.

Monolithic architecture is a solid solution for simple eCommerce applications or blog platforms, especially when ongoing changes and development are not predicted.

Microservices have grown to become a better fit for complex applications and are the modern solution in a time when constant improvement and development of sites and services is the norm.

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