When embarking on the journey of creating your app, you will find yourself faced with a crucial question very early on: should you choose Monolithic or Microservices Architecture? Depending on your needs, you may find that either is best for you – each has its benefits and downsides.
In this article, we will be exploring the two: what they are, how they differ from one another, and some helpful tips to decide which one you should choose.
What is Monolithic Architecture?
Monolithic Architecture is a set-up used for traditional server-side systems, and its entire function is based on a single application. The structure of an application built with Monolithic Architecture would look like this:
The app would contain features (such as Authentication, Database, etc.) that communicate with each other within the same system, and would be on the same server, the same machine, and use the same file system.
The benefits of Monolithic Architecture are:
- It works well for smaller teams building smaller systems, as it’s quicker to develop.
- There are fewer moving parts.
- As all calls are being made within the app, it’s faster.
The downsides of Monolithic Architecture are:
- If anything fails, the whole app fails, in a type of domino effect.
- Deployments are complicated. Even a small update means the whole app needs to get deployed again.
- Onboarding is harder. New developers need to take the time to understand the whole codebase because different parts are connected to each other.
- Thorough testing and constant monitoring are required.
What is Microservices Architecture?
In this type of architecture, every feature is its own application. An application built with Microservices Architecture looks like this:
As opposed to a Monolithic Architecture application, a Microservices Architecture app’s features are their own apps. They are all separate entities, residing on their own servers, connected to each other with APIs.
The benefits of Microservices Architecture are:
- It saves you time and money when changes need to be made. Adding new components is straightforward because the connection between components is clearly mapped out.
- It’s easy to scale up or down. You can easily see what services are being used and scale server requirements for them specifically.
- You can test the various components and isolate any problems quickly, reaching solutions more promptly.
- One component failing doesn’t affect the entire system (like it does with Monolithic Architecture).
- It’s easier for new developers to learn. New developers only need to understand the context of a single service (not the whole system) and get to work quickly.
- It’s easier to work in parallel, as everything is separated.
The downsides of Microservices Architecture are:
- It’s harder to design, as it’s more complex.
- It requires skilled architects.
- It takes longer to build, more resources and is more costly in the short term, but saves the company money in the long term.
All in all, the factors that make the difference between you choosing either a Monolithic or Microservices Application should be:
- The size of the app you’re developing (the larger, the more likely a Microservices Architecture will save you time and money in the long run)
- Your timescale (Microservice-based applications take longer to develop)
- Your budget (more complexity and the necessity for higher-skilled developers are reflected in the cost of building a Microservice-based application)
Although opting for a Microservice Architecture might be more costly and take longer to develop, if your application is larger scale and will require ongoing scaling, we recommend choosing it over Monolithic Architecture.
Need more advice?
At FusionHit, we’ve got 10+ years of experience helping clients make the best choices for their projects. Being experts in Microservice Architecture, we’re confident that we can give you the insight you need to make the right choice.
Feel free to drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, or give us a call at +1 760 884-3886.