Developing entire applications as a singular monolithic structure can be problematic due to the interconnected and interdependent nature of a self-contained system; making changes, deploying updates, or adopting a new technology stack is more challenging when the entire system is affected.
The shift away from monolithic development began with service-oriented architecture, which consists of a collection of services that communicate with one another within a system.
The next progression was microservices architecture, which evolved to offer a more cohesive, but still granular, approach to software development, and has been gaining popularity with large-scale enterprises including Amazon, Netflix, Twitter, Paypal, and Spotify due to the many advantages of adopting a microservices approach.
Microservices offers a host of benefits, including:
Breaking an application down into smaller autonomous fragments makes it easier to build and maintain. Each service can be developed, deployed, and managed independently, and can utilize different programming languages, different technology, and different software environments based on the needs of each.
The reduced codebase of each modular element of an application makes releasing, scaling, deploying and testing different services more manageable, and associated tasks can be divided among development teams and worked on simultaneously.
Implementing microservice-based architecture adds ease to the process of identifying and resolving the root cause of performance issues. The improved fault isolation offered by individual modules means larger applications remain unaffected by a single failure.
Consequently, the risk of downtime is reduced since developers can roll back an update or make changes to a module without redeploying the entire application.
The fact that each service can be written in a different language or technology allows DevOps teams to choose the most appropriate tech stack for each module without concerns about incompatibility.
Individual services can also be scaled independently, and new components can be added without requiring downtime and redeployment of the entire system.
Services can also be deployed in multiple servers which reduces the performance impact of more demanding components.
Continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD)
Continuous integration and continuous delivery are key concepts of both the DevOps philosophy and the agile approach. Microservices architecture allows cross-functional teams to develop, test, problem-solve, deploy, and update services independently, which leads to faster deployment and troubleshooting turnaround times.
The ability to share the workflow burden and automate manual processes shortens the overall lifecycle of the development process.
Optimize business functionality
When the focus is on a specific service versus the entire application, it’s easier to customize the needs of each component to improve business functionality. Working on individual modules allows teams to focus on business capabilities instead of technologies.
Existing services can then be adapted for use in different contexts without recreating an entire module from scratch.