How to Decide Between Microservices and Monolithic Architectures

It is essential for your company to remain competitive in today’s challenging market. To do so, your IT and development teams must ensure that they stay abreast of the latest innovations and technologies. Exploring various options and taking advantage of the newest software stacks will enable you to remain ahead of the competition.

Deciding between a monolithic and a microservices architecture is an important consideration for any business. Making the right decision can lead to greater success, while a wrong choice can make the maintenance of a reliable data center a difficult challenge.

It is essential that the decision makers within your organization understand the potential consequences of their choices, as your engineers may struggle if the wrong technology is selected. This could have a significant impact on the entire application development process, regardless of whether Java, JavaScript, Ruby or .NET is used.

Now, then, just what are these architectural layouts? Let’s take a look at each of these options and figure out which one best suits your needs.

The Benefits of Monolithic Design

Monolithic is the starting point as it is the most fundamental concept. This is due to the longstanding history of single-piece construction. In fact, when most people think of ‘software’, they envision a single, unified programme.

A monolithic application is a single unit, though this does not necessarily imply that all components are included. Let us analyze this further and gain a better understanding.

Clients are able to independently install certain software, such as the open-source office suite LibreOffice. This program does not require any external tools or services to operate correctly, with all functions being managed locally on the client’s computer.

WordPress, on the other hand, is a blogging platform that needs the following in order to work properly:

  • One that stores and manages data from a database
  • Software that runs on a server rather than a client computer.
  • An interface that is used by the client alone

Each of these parts is a solid foundation upon which the entire rests.

Confused? Let’s break it down into its simplest form from a programmer’s viewpoint.

Assuming that your organization has implemented an in-house, comprehensive Content Management System that includes a database, server program and client User Interface, and that it is functioning optimally and is relied upon daily by your employees, this can be taken as a given.

It is likely that your team will wish to incorporate new features into the server-side part of the program. To do this, it will be necessary to reinstall the full server-side program. While the time and effort required for this can be considerable, the potential rewards could make it worthwhile (including design, development, quality assurance testing and deployment).

Architecture based on microservices

The microservices architecture will now be analyzed in detail. Microservices break down a complex application into several smaller, more manageable components. Each component handles a specific task in providing the application’s services, which are then combined to form the whole.

Containers are an excellent model of a microservice architecture.

Implementing an NGINX server as a standalone service is a viable option. Upon successful installation on a Linux server, NGINX is ready to host websites. Additionally, MariaDB, a database management system, can be integrated into the setup. However, there are two main challenges that need to be considered before beginning the rollout.

At the outset, it is essential to bear in mind that upgrading a single component of the webserver does not mean neglecting to upgrade the other components, such as the database. Secondly, it is plausible that this deployment strategy may not be able to expand effectively to meet potential future business needs.

An alternative approach is to utilize containerization to deploy the web server’s components separately as microservices. NGINX web server and the database can each be deployed in a Kubernetes pod, with a network service and a storage volume linking the two.

Kubernetes can add extra NGINX and MariaDB containers to the cluster mechanically when you need to grow the deployment.

The microservices architecture has the advantage of scalability and a failover mechanism already in place. Upgrading components is less taxing, as they are all deployed separately. Furthermore, containers present no delay when upgrading, furthering the convenience of the microservices architecture.

Which option is optimal for your business?

A straightforward response is available:

  • A microservices architecture is the way to go if your business requires high levels of scalability, redundancy, and dependability.
  • Monolithic architecture may be the best choice if your business primarily relies on client-based solutions that are installed on desktops, or if scalability at an enterprise level is not a priority.

Nevertheless, there is a caveat

It is important to be aware that the implementation of a microservice architecture can be a complex process. Working with Kubernetes can be difficult, so it is important to ensure that you hire experienced developers and IT administrators to ensure successful implementation.

To achieve the full benefits of microservices’ scalability, it is necessary to have sufficient resources in the data center. This often necessitates deploying to a third-party cloud host, such as Amazon AWS, Google Cloud, Linode, Rackspace or Microsoft Azure. While it is possible to achieve some scalability with multiple hosts, a remarkable on-premise data center is generally required.

The ultimate choice is yours. Nevertheless, it is widely accepted that microservices are the way forward for businesses that are looking to grow and expand beyond their current size.

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