There are two main types of architectures used in software development: monolithic and microservices. How do they work? What makes them distinct from one another? Which has which advantages? This article will discuss both architectural styles and list some advantages and disadvantages of choose one over the other.
What is a monolithic architecture?
A monolithic architecture is a type of software architecture in which every element of an application is contained within a single codebase. The primary benefit of this strategy is that it is simpler to create, but it also makes it more challenging to grow and add new features in the future.
Monolithic architectures have common libraries or frameworks that are in charge of supplying an application's essential features, such as persistence, authentication, and authorization.
Advantages of a monolithic architecture
You might be wondering whether a monolithic architecture is better than a microservices architecture. To answer this question, let’s consider the advantages that each type of architecture has to offer.
There are several reasons why you may choose a monolithic architecture over microservices for your project:
- It’s easier to develop and test. In general, it takes less time to build one large application than many small applications—and if you’re working with teams that don’t all know each other well, then they can take advantage of having all of their code in one place. This makes development quicker, so everyone can move on to other tasks sooner.
- Deployment is easier because there are fewer pieces involved in the process and therefore fewer components that could fail during deployment (or after release).
- Scaling up (or down) is easier because there isn't much overhead involved in scaling up; plus, your team already has everything needed locally when scaling down or building new features or services at any point during production-time lifecycles."
Disadvantages of a monolithic architecture
One of the drawbacks of monolithic design is that it is restrictive. The first is the code's complexity, which can make it challenging to maintain and debug. A monolithic program is often created as a single, sizable piece of software that has several functions. This implies that rather than merely adjusting one component of the software, you must update several distinct areas at once if you wish to add new features or even just small adjustments to the system.
It's hard to scale correctly with a monolithic design, which is another issue. Instead of updating your current computers or using virtualization techniques like Docker containers or Kubernetes clusters, scaling up is frequently required if your system becomes overcrowded and begins to slow down as a result of an excessive demand on its resources (like RAM).
Because there are no distinct borders between components in monolithic systems, testing can be more challenging than when dealing with microservices, where each service is responsible for its own set of tasks.
What is a microservice architecture?
Applications may be created using the software development architecture known as microservices. A group of loosely linked services that interact via standardized interfaces make up a microservice architecture. This makes it easier for you to design your application since it enables the program to be scalable and allows for the modification of internal components without changing its exterior behavior. Additionally, this permits you to alter a service's implementation without altering its public interface or having an impact on any other system components (i.e., changes at one layer do not affect layers above or below).
Like we previously stated with monolithic architectures, a microservice approach provides developers greater freedom when creating their applications since they are not required to comply by rigid rules about how things should interact.
Advantages of a microservice architecture
Microservices can operate concurrently since they are deployed across several computers. Microservices can then benefit from machine clusters and multi-core CPUs. If other microservices are doing their responsibilities swiftly, a slow-responding microservice might not be a concern. In contrast, a monolithic program, which runs on a single computer and is unable to handle numerous requests at once, must be able to reply to every request.
With a microservice architecture, each service can also perform its own updates and upgrades without affecting the rest of your system because there’s no shared state between services (each has its own). These two features allow you to make changes quickly without worrying about downtime or potential errors from other parts of your software stack.
By deploying microservices individually rather than in groups using containers or another method such as Docker Swarm Mode or Kubernetes Engine, you can save money since they are easier to deploy and scale independently from one another than monolithic apps (which lets different applications run together). This is significant because, if one component fails—assume let's there was a problem with one particular deployment—only that particular component is impacted, allowing other activities to continue in the same environment, processes, etc.
Disadvantages of microservices
A monolithic design may not be as complicated as microservices. The complexity of the coding for the overall program rises as a result of each microservice being in charge of its own functionality. Because more code needs to be updated when changes need to be made, this makes it more difficult to manage and maintain your product. The fact that each service has a separate set of dependencies and hence probably needs a different testing framework makes it more difficult to test each service independently.
Microservices can make scaling more challenging than monolithic programs. You must scale out as well as scale up, which entails adding more resources (adding additional nodes). Nevertheless, depending on how your service is set up, this might not always be effective.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which architecture is best for your product. If you have the resources and time, then microservices might be a good choice. But if not, a monolithic architecture can still work well as long as you follow some best practices like keeping your code modular and well-encapsulated so that it’s easy to refactor into smaller pieces later on down the road when necessary.