Over the past few years, microservices are increasingly becoming the choice of architecture for developers. A recent survey conducted by ZDNet reveals that “30% of JVM developers and IT professionals are already running microservices in production”. With its rise and popularity in various industries, major brands like Netflix and Amazon have also migrated to microservices architecture from a monolithic technology stack. However, to fully adopt the microservices model, you not only require the technology in place but also need the know-how and structured development teams experienced on this model.
Microservices are also referred to as microservice architecture. Developers use this architecture to design microservices and microservice applications. In simple terms, microservices are developed to build a single application as a suite of smaller and composable services, each running independently and managing its own database.
These services are focused on a single business task such as thumbnails, user management, shopping cart, navigation, support user interfaces, etc. Microservice allows each set of services to be developed, deployed, rebuild, and managed independently in different programming languages. In addition, the communication between these smaller components is executed with lightweight mechanisms like HTTP or Thrift APIs.
Organizations thus achieve scalability, flexibility, and agility due to easier maintenance and testing of the modular components, over the life of an application. However, if your application is still developed on the monolithic model, then this is a major challenge for you to overcome. As monolithic architecture is built using a single codebase, scaling a specific function or task requires the up gradation of the entire application.
When comparing the two architectures, microservices and monolithic, the former is more resource-efficient for scaling applications as well as for testing and redeployment. Moreover, microservices support a range of platforms and devices, unlike monolithic applications that were built during the rule of desktops in IT.
That being said, we look at microservices architecture as an evolution in software development, brought due to the change in user engagement devices and business needs. Focusing on the advantages of microservices in detail, here are some benefits for you to enjoy while developing or migrating to microservices.
1. Fault Isolation & Increased Resilience
As microservices work in an isolated environment, any failure in one service would not affect the functioning of other services. Developers can thus easily isolate and resolve the failure of a single module. For example, a security problem in one section is isolated and resolved without affecting the other sections. This results in an uninterrupted user experience, as even when several microservices are under maintenance, users won’t notice the change.
2. Cross-Functional Teams
A microservice architecture allows companies to build teams around specific business capabilities and functionalities. This grants developers independence to make technical decisions around supporting software selection, type of infrastructure required, type of architecture, development methodology, and so on. Thus, a decentralized approach is followed which results in better cross-functional results and is communicated using strong APIs.
The biggest advantage of microservice architecture is unlimited scalability. With each component or service having its own functionality, you can scale up any specific service independently without disrupting the other ongoing services. In addition, the microservices can be developed using different programming languages, which further allows the use of separate data storages. Unlike monolithic architecture, in which the entire application goes down in such situations.
4. Flexibility in Choosing Different Technology Stack
With microservices, you don’t have to stick to one technology for all the services or to the ‘one size fits all approach. According to redhat survey, “87% of respondents are using or considering multiple technologies for microservices”. The architecture provides flexibility in choosing the right technology stack for the right task. The services are independent of using different frameworks, languages, and even completely different OS platforms, without any disruption in the communication between them.
5. Ease in Deployment
Microservices comprise loosely coupled services that enable developers to develop and deploy services independently. The lengthy testing and deployment process is bypassed due to the smaller codebase and surface area. Thus, resulting in faster deployment of your application into the market with a high level of code and data reusability.
6. High Quality
As cross-functional teams focus on different business capabilities independently, it leads to better coding, testing, and management of all the smaller independent microservices. Hence, these services when combined together, result in a higher quality of applications, higher productivity, and effectiveness.
7. Works well with Containers
It is inevitable to refer to containers when speaking about microservices. A container need not be necessarily used in microservice architecture however, it is a consistent means of packaging independent services. Containers also ease the deployment process of independent modules. The most popular tool amongst the developers – Docker, is leading its way and allowing containers to be used on-premise or on private or public cloud. You can hence standardize and automate the process of building, managing, and securing applications across departments.
With the rising growth of mobile applications and cloud services, microservices is making waves in software application development. They are being used to re-architect existing applications along with new development projects. Considering the benefits of microservices, make sure you are equipped with the right technological know-how and development team.
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