Revolutionizing Software Architecture: Monolithic vs. Microservices

Revolutionizing Software Architecture: Monolithic vs. Microservices

The Software Architecture plays a pivotal role in the development of simple as well complex software systems. The foundation of your software and the stronger and structured it is, the better results you get when it is developed and executed as well it will help in solving technical and business challenges and ensures that the software meets its functional and non-functional goals. 

Although there are different software architecture however its broadly segregated into two parts 

  1. Monolithic 
  2. Microservices Based

Monolithic Architecture: This is like a combined family. Where everyone from the family stays together in the same home. Like a combined family that has well defined rules, hierarchy, roles and responsibilities the monolithic architecture is also owned by a single team, with centralized power and on top of it, it will be easy to build.

In other words, the entire application is built as a single, indivisible unit. Monolithic applications are typically structured in a layered manner, with components such as the user interface, business logic, and data access code all bundled together into a single codebase.


combined family vs tightly coupled

However due to the presence of tight coupling between components, making changes to one component in monolithic application impacts many others and it will make the changes difficult both in terms of effort and time. Even while scaling it can scale horizontally but has limitations of hardware scaling and data replication. 

Microservice Architecture: With the emergence of social media and opportunities across the world the combined families started becoming nuclear families. They started spreading out and the rule of centralized power and defined roles and responsibilities abolished. The Microservice architecture also follows the same rule. It follows the fine-grained service level architecture when all components are loosely coupled. In a nutshell Microservices are small, independent services that work together.

  Nuclear family vs loosely coupled

Monolithic Architecture

Microservice Based Architecture

Single Code base with singular Technology

Multiple Code base with multiple technologies stack possible

Single Shared Database

Multiple Databases. One for each Microservices

Tightly Coupled

Loosely Coupled

Single Deployment

Individual Deployment for each Microservices

Limited Scalability 

Highly Scalable

Easy to develop & Test

Might be little difficult compare to Monolithic to develop

Centralized Management of components

Decentralized Management based on Microservice. (Follow One Pizza for a team principal)

Difficult to upgrade in technology or change functionality as will impact whole application

Easy to ingest new components and technology.

While monolithic architectures have been the traditional approach for building applications, modern software development trends, such as microservices and serverless computing, offer alternative architectures that provide more flexibility, scalability, and ease of maintenance. Organizations often consider migrating from monolithic architectures to these newer approaches to address the limitations associated with monolithic applications.

Now, we will talk about the advantages of moving from Monolithic to Microservices.

Re-architecting your application

Monolithic vs microservice


Monolithic vs Microservice:

As previously outlined, we have elucidated the fundamental concepts of software architecture and elucidated the distinctions between monolithic and microservice-based architectural paradigms.

Monolithic applications have all their components tightly integrated into a single codebase and can face a tough challenge when they grow and evolve. We all understand that re-architecting a monolithic application is a significant decision that organizations need to make for various reasons. 

Here are some of the reasons that organizations need to consider as a major factor while rearchitecting their monolithic application and going to microservice based architecture.

1. Scalability:

Monolithic applications are difficult to scale horizontally, especially when specific modules or features require additional resources. Re-architecting them to a loosely coupled microservice allows for the development of a scalable architecture, where individual components can be scaled independently.

2. Flexibility and Agility:

Monolithic applications can be rigid and less adaptable to changing business requirements. TO change a single component, you might need to change and deploy the whole application which can be tedious. Re-architecting into a more modular or microservices-based architecture provides the flexibility to add, modify, or remove features without modifying or deploying the entire application.

3. Maintenance and Debugging:

Monolithic applications can be complex and challenging to maintain as well as debug. Re-architecting into smaller, manageable services will simplify the maintenance tasks as well it will make it easier to identify and fix the issues within that specific component.

4. Technology Modernization:

Legacy monolithic applications might be built on outdated technologies or languages. Re-architecting allows organizations to modernize their technology stack, making use of the latest frameworks, libraries, and tools to improve performance, security, and developer productivity. It allows plug and play components with different technology and allows the creation of polyglot applications.

5. Improved Performance:

Monolithic applications can suffer from performance bottlenecks, especially as the user base grows. Re-architecting can optimize performance by distributing workloads across multiple services and utilizing technologies designed for high performance and responsiveness.

6. Enhanced Security:

Monolithic applications are more vulnerable to security threats because a breach in one module can potentially compromise the entire system. Re-architecting into microservices can enhance security by isolating services and implementing security measures specific to each service.

7.Team Collaboration:

Smaller, independently deployable services in a re-architected application can facilitate better collaboration among development teams. Microservices based architecture follows the famous principle by Jeff Bezos: “Two Pizza Team”. Now with this each team can focus on their specific service, enabling faster development and deployment cycles.

8. Cloud Readiness:

Re-architecting allows applications to be designed with cloud-native principles, making them easier to deploy, scale, and manage in cloud environments. Cloud services, such as serverless computing, containerization and managed databases, can be leveraged more effectively.

9. Compliance and Regulations:

Some industries have strict compliance and regulatory requirements. Re-architecting applications can help ensure that specific modules adhere to industry standards and regulations without affecting the entire system.

10. Market Competitiveness:

Staying competitive in the market often requires rapid development, deployment, and feature delivery. Re-architecting enables faster development cycles, allowing businesses to respond quickly to market demands and customer needs.

It’s important to note that re-architecting a monolithic application can be a complex and resource-intensive process that requires careful planning, skilled developers, and a deep understanding of both the existing system and the desired architecture. Although it’s necessary, organizations need to go for a thorough analysis to achieve the benefits.