When Should You Go For Microservice Architecture?
It's the purpose that drives action and not the path that's chosen. Let's revisit some core concepts of Microservice Architecture.
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With people switching to cloud-native strategy, we need an architecture that supports it. A variant of Service-oriented architecture, microservice architecture has been instrumental in diversifying services in the digital world.
Let’s look at some reports:
- In 2021, 45 percent of respondents state that data analytics/business intelligence applications use microservices.
- The global microservice architecture market size was valued at $2,073 million in 2018 and is projected to reach $8,073 million by 2026, a CAGR of 18.6% from 2019 to 2026.
Top 3 Microservice Architecture Benefits That Enterprises Can’t Ignore
1. Deploying New Functionalities With Zero Downtime
In a microservice architecture, services are loosely coupled and independent of each other. To put it simply, let’s consider an e-commerce platform; if there is an error with the cart, it will not disturb other functioning like login, checkout, browsing, payment, etc. If it’s monolithic architecture, the entire system will go down. Thereby not allowing anything to happen.
2. Achieve Data Partitioning
Platforms based on healthcare and financial services find it essential to isolate sensitive data and process them separately. This sensitive data comes under Protected Health Information (PHI) and Personal Identifiable Information (PII). While handling PHI & PII information, companies need to adhere to specific security measures and compliance standards like GDPR and SOC2. It becomes crucial to identify information that requires access to PHI & PII data and treat them separately with better oversight, auditing, and governance.
3. Building Team Autonomy
The microservice architecture ensures responsibility gets distributed among different members, teams, or departments. Enabling teams to make decisions independently and develop software autonomously. The microservices-based architecture enforces a modular structure that enables downsizing teams. This further helps boost developer productivity as their attention is directed towards a single service.
The microservice architecture benefits from this majorly as the division of responsibilities is a lot easier.
Building individual services might sound simple in theory but is a lot more complex practically. When we are decomposing an application into individual services, things work smoother if there’s a sizeable team building a single service.
Challenges of Microservice Architecture
1. Technological Diversity
One of the prime microservice architecture benefits is the flexibility to use various technological bases while developing individual services. This implies that the engineering teams must maintain diverse tools for maintaining these microservices only because each service uses different technology.
Here, every microservice component is different not because of any technical requirements but based on the personal preferences of the developer. It not only becomes a skill problem when developers switch teams but also scales down all operations when the application goes into maintenance mode. As suddenly, we require more manpower and resources to maintain the application, given the technological diversity.
From a financial standpoint, it involves more cost both in terms of maintaining skills and runtime resources.
2. Complex System Communication
A microservices-based architecture enforces a modular structure wherein an application is broken down into multiple independently deployed microservices. The difference arises here - when we were working with a monolithic architecture, all the dependencies were hidden and coded in the dependency rules between the components.
In a microservice architecture, all these dependencies have to be coded in the infrastructure configuration (bringing in the concept of Infrastructure as code). That includes maintenance and provisioning of the infrastructure.
Another point to note is that in a monolith, the communication happens as an in-memory call, whereas talking about microservices, the communication moves in between the processes, possibly over a network. This brings in new challenges like latency and speed penalties. Suppose we call a remote microservice in a loop; it adds latency at every loop iteration, making the service call unusable.
A possible solution to this problem is if we design our services in a way that avoids loops around service calls.
If you have already considered migrating to microservice architecture, you’re planning to migrate your existing monolithic application, where you break every single domain into a new service.
When we know that a microservices-based architecture enforces a modular structure, we have to introduce new connections and their dependencies when a monolith is decomposed into new individual components. Now calling microservices from the traditional application can be a little troublesome. Why? Because there might arise some problems due to missing transaction management as they all were intertwined in the monolith.
When to Use Microservice Architecture?
- When you want to accommodate scalability, agility, and manageability, you want to reduce time-to-market.
- If you are planning to rewrite your legacy application with the present-day programming language or tech stack to keep up with the current market requirements and solutions.
- There are a lot of standalone business software components that are reused across multiple channels like login services, authentication facilities, search options, etc.
- If you’re planning to update your application with new features from time to time and also need the flexibility to remove outdated or less liked parts.
When Not to Use Microservice Architecture?
We all know that microservices-based architecture enforces a modular structure. However, the real question is does every application needs to be broken down into modules/fragments/microservices.
- It’s not suitable if your application is not complex. To elaborate further, you’re not planning to add new features; there’s not much to experiment with, your functions or offerings remain constant throughout, etc.
- If you do not have a considerable skilled team size proficient in diverse programming languages or tech stacks, there’s a high chance it will result in high costs and frequent and extended downtimes.
- Some applications are not required to be broken down into simpler modules. It is important to know which applications perform better when broken down and when it is better to keep them all together. It’s the first step toward building a seamless product experience.
The software architecture style pushes the product to its full potential. It’s not about following the rules of any architectural pattern and building it according to the style. It is more of a journey to understand how we can make our service delivery seamless. If you think your product deliverability can be amplified with microservice architecture, you should go for it. Today we see many Enterprise-grade managed microservices platforms emerging in the market. With the help of these platforms, DevOps teams can manage and deploy Microservices across environments. Ensure the microservices are production-ready to reduce time-to-market, enhance app stability and augment app security.
Published at DZone with permission of Komal J Prabhakar. See the original article here.
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