As your company grows, are you finding it more difficult to make changes to your software, or to get updates out in a timely manner? This could be due to the architecture of your software. Large amounts of data and code may require adjustments in their organization. One such adjustment is microservices architecture as a solution to monolithic architecture.
Increase Your Speed
A monolith type architecture means you have a user interface, one giant codebase of function and the database- sometimes with a data interface. The use of microservices breaks this up into a user interface and smaller functional parts of the application each with their own database. All of these parts communicate with each other. Separating your hulking process into separate services greatly improves the speed and efficiency of your system, and allows for greater visibility of the code.
Improve Your Management
As your business grows, dealing with one big monolith can be too much code for any single developer. Large-scale, frequent and thorough collaboration between developers becomes necessary, increasing the likelihood of mistakes and prolonging deployments. Microservices untangle the monolith codebase, giving developers smaller and simpler pieces to work with. Teams assigned to the independent parts can work separately and efficiently, without the need to constantly check in with others. This also goes for updates, deployments and scaling.
Apply Machine Learning
Machine learning is a subset of artificial intelligence that allows computers to perform tasks without explicit instructions. Instead, they use algorithms and statistical models to analyze patterns and infer from there. One new and exciting example of this is the driverless car. Microservices integrate well with the specialized hardware required for machine learning, like GPUs. The packaging of independent services also work well with stateless inference models, since no data or state needs to be maintained.
Keep Up With Trends
In addition to microservices, going serverless and using containers are two cutting edge trends in the IT world. Going serverless means that you don't take up space on a server, you only pay for the execution time you use on someone else's server- there are various providers available. This can be accomplished with abstracted code. All you have to do is write functions, the provider will determine how and where they are run. No more worrying about the maintenance of the server and hardware. Containers, defined as bundled code in independent packages, also fits perfectly with the intention of microservices. All three can easily be combined to give you a modern, efficient application.
Discover New Challenges
Although microservices solve a lot of problems, they also come with their own set of unique issues. The biggest challenge when making the switch is re-learning how to problem solve the system. Each individual packaged service is simpler, but the orchestration of all of them can get complicated. There are also more databases to handle, and they all need to remain consistent with each other. Depending on how your separate services interact, the order of updates, testing and deployment could become complicated, as well.
Learn From Others
Although microservices are still fighting their way onto the main stage, there are several business use cases of microservices that you can look to for guidance. Technically, they've been around for awhile. Netflix has so many microservices that they have even developed their own orchestrator, called the Conductor. Amazon became one of the first to use microservices in 2001 after their monolith became too large to handle. Other examples include Uber, Comcast, eBay and Walmart- all the big names in the tech industry. They all have been very transparent about the decision and how it's worked for them.
There is a lot to consider when making the decision to restructure your software. Keep in mind where you'd like to see yourself and your business in the future, and don't take shortcuts to save time planning and organizing now. Consult with microservice professionals to find out if breaking apart your monolith is a good idea for your company.