Like it! share it!

These days only the lazy will not talk about moving from a monolithic to microservice architecture and great advantages of doing this. Guess what? We also won’t stay aside. 

We’re big fans of microservice architecture and helped our clients to move to microservices from its first days. But in the tech world, there is no black and no white. 

Every decision (and especially such substantial as moving to microservices) shall be well thought through from the perspective of your business needs, expertise, team size and other resources, time constraints, etc. To help you make the right decision, we’ve prepared this honest, bias-free microservices’ pros and cons analysis.

What are microservices?

Microservices correspond to a range of small independent applications (designed around particular business domains or problems), that communicate between each other as well as outside users via APIs to create a larger system together. 

Therefore, a microservice architecture is the way of building large complex applications by dividing them into smaller chunks (=apps) in order to make the system easy to understand, alter, test and fix. 

Microservices

Microservices came as a lightweight, easy-to-scale alternative to so-called “monolithic” apps where all functionalities are tied into a single unit and are based on a single platform.

But does it mean that microservices is a cure-all and your only choice? Let’s have a closer look at the pros and cons of microservices.

Benefits of microservice architecture

Faster time-to-market

Separate chunks of the system are autonomous and thus can be modified and released fast (without breaking other parts of the application), and ensure continuous delivery of your product. 

Scalability 

Microservices improve modularity, make a product more flexible, and new functionalities and integrations with various systems and devices – easy to add. We explained how this helped one of our clients to transform their product in this case study

Teams’ flexibility and independence

Microservice architecture makes it possible for a developer (or a team) to work on their apps independently, which leads to less bureaucracy and organisational mess when making architectural or technical decisions.

Clarity

Smaller pieces of code that microservices consist of are easier to understand and harder to screw. This fact simplifies developers’ daily work, reduces the risk of fatal mistakes, makes onboarding for new team members less painful. Besides, testing a single simple part separately from the whole systems allows to identify and fix bugs quicker.

Cost optimization

Microservices can be deployed as containers to any infrastructure. Thanks to that you can optimize the app’s efficiency, its infrastructure and maintenance costs. You can scale separate apps according to the business needs and pay only for resources that are actually being used. 

Technology choice

Unlike monolithic apps that share the same code base, microservices can be written in different languages and still communicate successfully among each other. This means you have a wider pool of technologies to choose from in order to solve a given problem. 

Drawbacks of microservices 

More management and unification efforts

Microservices work well when everything around them is organised well. But in practice teams’ independence and freedom often cause a mess within approaches, multiple libraries and database versions. Compared to monolithic apps, microservices require much more management and unification work, hours spent not on a product itself but organising a working environment around it.

Collaboration hazards

Being independent for teams comes with a price, as it makes it harder to work together on correlated features.

Complex testing

Whereas testing services in isolation becomes easier, running system or integration tests and ensuring all services work together is often more troublesome. It gets complicated by a number of apps (and a need to have a thorough knowledge regarding all of them), dependencies between them, and organizational issues, like finding an idle timeslot for testing the whole system.

More areas of expertise required

Moving to microservices require more areas of expertise. For example, good knowledge of domain analysis and domain-driven design is needed to divide a monolithic system into separate domains that microservices can be built upon. For further smooth functioning, the team needs to be good at observability and monitoring. For infrastructure optimisations – DevOps specialists are needed. 

How to find out if microservice architecture is a good fit for your product?

Looking at all of this, we can say that in theory microservices certainly benefit complex products with ongoing functionality and dependencies growth, as well as scaling needs. But only when implemented wisely. Every case is different and moving to microservices doesn’t guarantee you have the same success as other companies.

“People try to copy Netflix, but they can only copy what they see. They copy the results, not the process.” Adrian Cockcroft, AWS VP Cloud Architect, former Netflix Chief Cloud Architect

At the same time for uncomplicated solutions, or when resources are limited, monolith architecture could be a more reasonable choice due to its simplicity.

A good idea for companies with resources constraints (like many startups for example) can be a modular monolithic architecture that is easy to start with and can be later transformed into microservices if there is a need for it.

Overall, deciding on a software architecture at the beginning of a new project is a topic that deserves a separate blog post. Let us know if you’d like to hear our thoughts on that in the comments below. 

* * *

Designing your architecture is both business and technological matter. Moving from monolithic to microservices architecture makes some things easier, but other things more complicated. Keep that in mind and weigh all the pros and cons to see what will be more suitable for your business at this certain stage of development. We hope this blog post will help you make the right choice.

Whenever in doubt or in need of more tailored advice, don’t hesitate to request a consultation with our specialists. For more free tips and recommendations read our blog.

Please check your e-mail

We sent a message to your email. Confirm it and join our group of subscribers!

Join our small, but happy and loyal group of subscribers!
We promise to share only relevant information and worthy insights from tech, biz and R&D.
E-mail address
Insert your Email correctly please
I agree that NeuroSYS may collect and process my data to answer my enquiries and provide me with product and service information.
Read and accept
Please check your e-mail

We sent a message to your email. Confirm it and join our group of subscribers!

Join our small, but happy and loyal group of subscribers!
E-mail address
Insert your Email correctly please
I agree that NeuroSYS may collect and process my data to answer my enquiries and provide me with product and service information.
Read and accept
This site uses cookies. By continuing to navigate on this website, you accept the use of cookies.
icon
Done!
Thank you for your application!
icon
Let's get in touch!
We want to get to know you a little bit, but we need some help from your side. Let's start with filling gaps below.
Full name
Please provide us with your full name
Email
Please provide us your current Email
Telephone
Please provide us with your Phone number
Your LinkedIn profile
Please show us your professional social side :)
Link to your portfolio / GitHub
Please insert your Portfolio / GitHub URL correctly
Message
Nothing to say? Maybe just a little bit? Even "Hi" will work - thanks!
CV file
Please upload your CV
Select file
Please choose one of the following
I hereby authorize the processing of my personal data included in this form for the present recruitment-related purposes by NeuroSYS Sp. z o.o. (Rybacka 7 Street, 53-565 Wrocław) (in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of 27.04.2018 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, as well as repealing Directive 95/46/EC (Data Protection Directive)). I acknowledge that submitting my personal data is voluntary, I have the right to access my data and rectify it.
Read and accept
I hereby authorize the processing of my personal data included in my job application for the needs of future recruitment processes by NeuroSYS Sp. z o.o. (Rybacka 7 Street, 53-565 Wrocław).
Read and accept
Captcha is required