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Monolithic vs Microservices: Building the ultimate Cloud infrastructure.

At Next2IT we have the pleasure of working with a number of software development teams. Through working with various teams, we have seen a number of different ways to deploy applications to the Cloud. Firstly, you might be wondering what Monolithic and Microservices based architectures are? So, let’s cover this off and then jump into the use cases for each! Our goal is to cover which architecture is the best choice for your organisation’s applications.

Best architecture for MVP: monolith, SOA, microservices or ...

Monolithic architectures in this context mean that all of the application code is designed to be self-contained. In its most basic format, the application code and potentially the database are all stored in a single compute component. This could also include breaking away the database to a separate server, but the core of the application is still contained in a single compute component. Components of the application are interconnected and interdependent rather than loosely coupled as in the case with Microservices based architectures. With Monolithic architectures, all of the associated components must be present and working for the application to be executed.

The Monolithic approach is the default model currently for creating applications, however, with the new solutions unlocked by Cloud computing the trend is now moving towards the Microservices approach due to the challenges associated with handling a huge codebase, adopting new technology, scaling, deploying and a number of other challenges.

Microservices, on the other hand, is an architectural style that structures an application as a collection of services. The goal is that the services must be highly maintainable/testable. They must be loosely coupled and completely independent. The microservice architecture enables the rapid, frequent and reliable delivery of large, complex applications. It also enables organisations to easily upgrade components of their application without the need to redeploy the entire application.

It should be noted that Microservices is not an approach that is a silver bullet that will fix all your application limitations, in fact converting Monolithic applications to Microservices is a complex and challenging process. It is a conversion that requires clear methodical planning to achieve success. However, if you are at the very start of designing your next big application then it might make sense to embrace Microservices from the start. 

To help make up your mind on what approach you should use next we have put together a handy vantage point of each approach to help you weigh up your options. 

Monolithic Approach 

  • Works well with small teams – If you are a start-up or the application is fairly small and straight forward it might not make sense to have to deal with the complexity of microservices.
  • Simple Application – If your application is small and fairly basic, then the benefits of microservices simply won’t apply.
  • Technical Expertise – If you haven’t used Microservices before then the amount of time required to understand how to deploy microservices effectively might not pay off.
  • Quick Launch – If you need to get your application online quickly, Monolithic might just be the way to go!

Microservices Approach

  • Complex Applications – If you are building the next Netflix, Facebook, Spotify or YouTube then you really need to be looking at Microservices.
  • DevOps – If you are a DevOps expert and have already been down the time-consuming path of learning how to apply a Microservices approach then it probably makes sense to use this approach!
  • Automation – If you are looking to deploy a highly scalable / highly automated infrastructure this is most certainly the way to go!

In conclusion, it pays to think of the bigger picture and work out what it is you are trying to build. It might even make sense to pass the infrastructure design and management to a third party. At Next2IT we have helped a number of organisations deploy and maintain their applications so they can focus on what it is they do best. If you are unsure on how you are going to maintain or deploy your next big application then contact Next2IT and find out how we can help design your perfect infrastructure.