Microservices Architectures – How to Implement and its Benefits
Let’s take a stroll down memory lane. It is the 1970s, and you have millions of Vectran lines of code. Everything seems to be working just fine, so you say to yourself, “If it’s not broken, there is no reason to fix it.” The problem is that it is broken. If you would like to add some new features, the whole thing breaks down. By fixing bugs, you are creating even more bugs. However, if you don’t do anything at all, the system keeps working.
To innovate, you need agility and velocity. A lot of the companies that were created after the turn of the century are outpacing your legacy software. Your investors are demanding the next big thing while the customers are starting to turn somewhere else. The solution is to dismantle your monolithic architecture and replace it with microservices. Let’s take a closer look at the microservices framework.
What are Microservices?
Microservices divide the functionality into several lightweight apps that are connected together via RESTful APIs. A great microservices example is eBay. Their platform needs to be able to handle more than 70 elements. Each of those elements is a microservice. Isolation plays a big role in microservices architecture. Each microservice has its scaling method. For example, some of them use relational databases, while others use NoSQL.
There are several microservice patterns to choose from:
- Decomposition pattern
- Integration pattern
- Database pattern
- Observability pattern
- Cross-cutting concerns pattern
Regardless of the one pattern that you end up choosing, you will be able to enjoy some of the benefits that come with implementation. Let’s take a look.
Benefits of Microservices
One of the significant benefits of microservices is that it makes software programming much simpler. It is easier to create and maintain apps when you break them down into smaller bits and pieces. Since you can implement each service with all kinds of languages, databases, and environments, you can deploy, rebuild, redeploy, and manage each service separately. For example, if you notice that a particular microservice requires too much memory or is too big of a burden on the processor, only that specific service will be affected instead of the entire system like in a monolithic architecture.
Since microservices can be deployed faster, productivity and speed are also given a boost. Different teams can work on various components at the same time without having to wait for one team to finish their work so they can start their job. Also, since you can test each individual microservice separately, your QA efforts are greatly enhanced. You also have the opportunity to test the components that have already been created while the developers are working on other ones.
The flexibility that microservices offer development teams cannot be overstated. Since each microservice can be created with different tools, you will have the ability to select the tech stack that best suits your needs. Also, decoupled services that have been written in different languages can coexist together. This is terrific news if you are planning on scaling your product since you will be able to add new components easily or scale each service independently.
If your team members are dispersed in various geographic locations, microservices will be a blessing in disguise. The reason is that microservices give your employees the ability to work independently and make quick decisions in small groups. If you are creating a large application and you have dispersed teams, it is highly recommended that you use microservices. Otherwise, with the monolithic architecture, things could get messy very quickly.
Finally, if we look at microservices from the business point of view, they push teams to focus more on creating business functionality instead of glue code. Basically, more attention is paid to business capabilities instead of technologies since any investment in the latter must make sense. This allows your services to be used in more than one context. They can be recycled in various business process or channels depending on your individual needs.
Are Microservices Right for You?
It would not make much sense to switch to a microservices architecture just for the sake of changing. Maintain all of the various microservices can make it feel like a constant juggling act. Also, using orchestration tools such as Kubernetes can take some getting used to. However, if you feel like your traditional monolithic architecture has reached its limit as far as scalability is concerned, then you should switch to microservices. If you are just getting started, it would be a good idea to create your product using microservices from the very beginning to avoid future scalability issues and take advantage of all the benefits mentioned above.
If we look at industry giants such as Google, Amazon, PayPal, Twitter, Netflix, and many others, they were able to expand on a massive scale thanks to microservices. It also allowed them to foster business innovation and deliver their product to the market faster and increase security. Given all the advantages that microservices offer, you should consider using them to enhance your business agility. After all, the customers are looking for a provider who will deliver their product the fastest, and the most reliable. If you are not able to accommodate the demands of your customers, they will go somewhere else. This is the reality we live in.