The subject of a solution's structure or architecture typically is on the radar in two cases: an entrepreneur either plans to develop a complex web solution or the existing product faces apparent struggles (scalability, maintenance, updates, etc.). Either way, architecture is not the topic to be undertaken lightly as it defines how the solution is going to function.
The most eagerly sought development path of late will undoubtedly be microservices architecture. Masses are so hyped about it, but, let’s admit it, for a good reason as it truly is beneficial not only from the developer’s point of view but also from a business perspective. If microservices is the topic you find curious and potentially beneficial, the following editorial is for you!
- Basics of the Microservices
- 7 Advantages of Microservices Architecture Entrepreneur Should Know About
- Successful cases of microservices architecture incorporation
Basics of the Microservices
When developing software, you can adopt one of the two approaches, which are fundamentally different: monolith or microservices.
Monolith establishes a service as a sole self-contained unit where every piece of the solution becomes interdependent.
Microservices path, on the other hand, implies utilizing a number of segments (microservices) of the smaller size. Each is responsible for a separate operation and collaborating via featherweight instruments like HTTP resource API.
In a nutshell, this method might be compared to assembling something with toy blocks: each block is independent and functioning. You can swap them around, remove the unwanted parts, or introduce new ones.
Microservices architecture permits splitting the complex project into small-scale pieces that still will work as a whole. And if you think about it, it makes a lot of sense: it’s always easier to replace one or two fragments that aren’t relevant than rebuilding the whole system down to rock bottom every time you need to change something. That’s why this approach has gained so many followers lately.In fact, as a report by Statista claims, 53,9% of pros dealing with APIs call microservices the most exciting technology to be working with.
Now when you know what this type of architecture is, let’s specify the array of assets it brings.
7 Advantages of Microservices Architecture Entrepreneur Should Know About
The glorious thing about microservices that earned this approach a better half of popularity is its ability to benefit both software developers and business owners. It truly brings many perks and helps to prevent a lot of potential issues. Here let’s focus on the most important perks of microservices you should be aware of.
Isolated = fail-safe
As mentioned earlier, microservices architecture, at its core, combines several autonomous modules that are connected yet can be redeployed separately. This means that if one of the components breaks down, the application itself won’t go out of whack completely. And, if done intelligently, users may not even notice that one of the services is down.
This is, arguably, the most important benefit this particular type of architecture brings. Things break down from time to time. Malfunctions happen, therefore the self-sustenance of projects based on microservice architecture significantly reduces stress for the technical experts. Developers and engineers know that even if one module is off, the app is still up and running. It helps to find and resolve the issues quicker.
For the same reason, such an architecture type is great for the product owners. The number of angry and unsatisfied users who can’t use the applications or get the service they want is way lower, so the brand eventually builds a reputation of “high-quality” and “trustworthy”.
Power of diversity
Another asset militating in favor of microservices is the nearly endless amount of possibilities. There’s no limit in technologies or the number of experts involved in the development/maintenance process.
The independence of each entity allows using as many technologies or programming languages as needed while involving as many development teams as desired.
This is especially helpful for large and/or highly complex projects of robust functionality. Hiring several separate narrowly specialized teams will ensure that every aspect of the final product will be of the highest standard. It might be on the pricier side, but it is an investment in quality.
Continuous delivery & creativity boost
Microservices are impeccable when it comes to continuous delivery. This basically means such type of architecture is ideal for the modern market where you always have to be one step ahead of the rivals. Entrepreneurs know very well that the customer is always looking for something new, something fresh, something more convenient, so even the impeccably implemented product will require updates and revamps in the future.
With the benefits of microservices architecture, it’s totally possible to bring new ideas to life without compromising the efficiency and the quality of the project. If you want to bring a new piece of functionality or introduce a new feature, you can do that, and while the tech experts will be working on it, your product will remain fully-functioning.
Besides, any kind of new ideas can be quickly implemented as there’s no need for time-consuming coordination within several IT departments.
High autonomy of the components brings improved fault isolation and also simplifies the security monitoring process. If, at some point, any kind of security issue appears in one of the modules, it doesn’t affect the other entities due to its isolation.
In a way, this particular type of architecture provides the product with a higher level of data protection while significantly reducing the downtime and preventing cost losses because of it. And considering the fact that new types of security breaches and threats appear almost daily, such a feature is extremely beneficial.
More options for data storage & less clutter
Microservices architecture makes data storage way more flexible. It’s not a problem to allocate different entities to separate data centers and servers. It’s no longer obligatory to store data in one particular location. On the contrary, you may choose the most suitable storage type for each component. This is of particular assistance in complex projects working with extensive data sets,
Concurrently, microservices architecture helps avoid another potential problem all of the large-scale projects eventually face — clutter. The technology world is constantly changing, and the technology stack that is relevant today may be replaced by something groundbreaking tomorrow. A digital solution involving microservices architecture is pretty easy to adapt. There’s no need to add new layers of tools over and over again. All the dev team has to do, is to get rid of the irrelevant functionality and, as a result, reduce the size of a codebase avoiding clutter.
Microservices architecture is perfect for cloud computing. The pay-per-use model relevant for most cloud services brings a significant reduction of expenses because of the individual scalability of each entity.
Besides, another asset of microservices architecture is its integrity coupled with reusability. Any microservices-based application generally integrates with almost any kind of exterior services with no trouble and extra tension on the developers.
All the great things about microservices mentioned above are very important and make this architecture model so attractive and accessible. But are there any business perks of microservices, you might ask? There sure are!
- Emphasis on business capabilities
- No vendor or technology dependence
Let’s break these down!
Scalability is one of the tremendous benefits for any entrepreneur who plans to grow the business and explore either new markets or new audiences. If you run a small business (e.g., a local store or hotel) and don’t plan to expand it, maybe, scalability won’t be a feature you should look for. However, if there’s any chance your business will approach new markets, it’s more profitable to opt for microservices architecture.
Emphasis on business capabilities is one more asset that makes microservices so alluring for business solutions. The key is that every entity of the microservices architecture is built with a specific business goal in mind. The flexibility of the architecture allows reusing the same service via various business channels.
No vendor or technology dependence. Isn’t it something every entrepreneur dreams of? Microservices architecture provides a business owner with the freedom to experiment with different technologies and teams. There are no more situations where you’re a hostage of circumstance and just can’t hire another team or switch to state-of-the-art technology without major losses.
Successful cases of microservices architecture incorporation
We can advocate microservices architecture all we want, but the most compelling evidence of microservices architecture profitability will be numerous cases of major market players switching to this type of architecture.Such companies as Netflix, Amazon, Uber, Spotify, Airbnb, and many others have implemented microservices architecture and won! No wonder it gave this architecture a significant boost in popularity. As a report from Market Research Future claims, by 2023, a microservices architecture market will grow at near 33 billion dollars.
The companies we’ll talk about may have had discrete reasons to adopt the microservices architecture, but they’ve all managed to resolve the business issues and come off victorious.
Amazon is an empire. So many people work to provide the customers with fast and high-quality service Amazon is known for. For sure, back in 2001, the number of employees and the technical staff was much lower than it is now, but even back then, the company faced one of the main challenges of the monolithic application — low flexibility.
Failure to introduce system changes quickly obliged Amazon to try out the microservices architecture. Before that happened, every developer or engineer had to obtain approval for every tiniest change from everyone on the project. Every expert also had to be extra cautious to make sure the changes do not bring any new bugs or malfunctions in other parts of the project. Can you imagine how time-consuming the whole process was? New feature implementation turned into an adventure (and not the pleasant one!).
No wonder Amazon eventually shifted towards the microservices architecture, and to this day every service is operated by small “two pizza” teams (units so small two pizzas are enough to feed the team members).
Airbnb also made its way from the monolith to microservices. The company’s case proves how important scalability is. As the marketplace became more and more complex and functional, the codebase also grew exponentially.
At one point, 500,000 code lines became a reality for the platform, and it was almost impossible to manage such a pile of code. When any type of issue occurred (and that happens regularly, especially on such large-scale projects), every developer had to double-check their code to find where the fault lies.
Now by means microservices architecture, Airbnb is 100% available for the users globally at all times and is known for phenomenal productivity.
Netflix is a classic all-time case in point of microservices architecture. It pushed on the company to overcome several business challenges at once. The first one was the need for fast scalability due to the growing number of customers. The second one was dealing with constant management struggles that are inevitable in larger cohorts.
Introducing microservices architecture helped to kill two birds with one stone. Firstly, it increased the speed of capacity management (the tech staff can increase or decrease it depending on the customers’ demand within minutes). Secondly, it eliminated any kind of collaboration clashes that appear within larger creative groups.
Microservices architecture makes it easier for Netflix to satisfy the needs of more than 195 million paid subscribers in over 190 countries. Impressive, isn’t it?
Of course, the number of successful practical examples is not limited to the companies listed in this editorial. Microservices architecture can be beneficial for different industries and different businesses. Don’t be misguided; it’s not only for the billion-dollar market giants. Smaller companies can enjoy the assets of microservices as well!
Microservices architecture may not be an answer for everything. For sure, there are situations and circumstances when monolithic architecture works better. However, if, after reading this article, you consider building a digital solution using microservices, or you just have any unanswered questions, don’t hesitate to contact the Light IT team. We’ll be happy to provide you with any kind of assistance to make your business even more successful.