Mono, Micro, What? Everything You Need to Know About Microservices

microservices
Akash Shakya By Akash Shakya November 15th 2021

Imagine you spend a ton of time and money developing your ideal app, but it has tons of problems. Had you used microservices, you would have been able to fix the small problems individually.

So if you want to avoid a huge redo of your app, you should use microservices. That way, you can make your app work how you want it to.

Read on to learn more.

Basics of Microservices

Microservices are smaller services that you use together to create one application. They can be more flexible than a monolithic application that manages all services within one.

When you use microservices, you can choose the exact services you need for your development team. That way, you don’t have to deal with services you won’t use, so you can streamline everything.

You’ll pair different services together to meet your specific needs. So whether you need just a few microservices or a lot of them, you can build a system that works for you.

The services usually have individual tech stacks, but they can communicate with each other. Each service also helps with one specific business function.

Benefits of Microservices

If you aren’t sure if they’re right for you, you should consider the advantages of microservices. While the architecture isn’t right for everyone, it can be a useful tool for many teams.

Understanding the benefits can help you decide if you should use the system. Then, you can make your team more productive, and you can use a system that works well.

Here are some advantages you can enjoy when you use microservices.

Tool Optimisation

Microservices allow you to develop and use tools for specific jobs. That way, you don’t have to settle on a monolithic architecture that meets some of your needs.

Instead, you can choose and deploy microservices with the right tech stack for each task. You’ll be able to optimise each microservice for a particular task or role, and you can deploy those services as necessary.

Being able to optimise your microservices can give you more control. When you have more control, you can plan for different tasks you need to complete. And you won’t have to worry about your tech stack not working well.

Independent Deployment

Because microservices operate independently, they can deploy the same way. When you have a job that you need a microservice to complete, you can select the right service.

Then, you can deploy it without affecting the other microservices that you use. That can cut down on a lot of data usage, so you and your team can work more efficiently.

Even if you have a monolithic architecture, you can use microservices on top of that. If you ever need to deploy one of your microservices, it won’t mess with the rest of your system.

Quick to Develop

Developing new microservices also takes less time than developing larger services. If you have a lot to work on, you don’t want to waste time on development.

Of course, development is important. However, you may have a lot of technology to develop, or you might have to review data or other aspects of your work.

When you need to develop a new microservice, you can do so quickly. Then, you’ll have the technology you need to help do your work efficiently, and you don’t have to spend a ton of time on the project.

On the other hand, if you had to use a different monolithic system, it could take much longer to create one to meet your needs.

Easy to Scale

If you want to scale and grow your app or any other type of technology, you need something scalable. Fortunately, scaling with microservices is easier than scaling with one monolithic system.

You can update and scale microservices individually, so you can work on the most important ones. Over time, you can update and scale each of the microservices you use to meet your needs.

Microservices don’t need as much infrastructure as monolithic programs. That means you can scale the elements of your applications that you want to scale without worrying about the other parts.

Isolates Components

The individuality of microservices also gives them the benefit of isolation. While that may sound like a drawback, being able to isolate the different components is useful.

If you need to upgrade one of the microservices, you can do so without the change affecting other components. So you and your team can continue to use other microservices while you work on updating one.

That isolation also comes in handy if one of the microservices develops a bug or another issue. You can work with the other services, and you can fix the problem without it hurting the rest of your system.

More Secure

Of course, the isolation can also help improve the security of your application. App security is crucial for you and anyone who works on the app or uses it.

If microservices security becomes an issue with any one element, you can fix that problem quickly. However, you will be able to use the other parts of the app without the same security risk.

That can provide you and your team with more peace of mind. Even if one part has a security issue, it won’t be able to infiltrate the other parts of your app.

Different Languages

Another advantage of microservices architecture is that you can use different programming languages for each service. While you might want to use the same language for multiple components, one language might not work for every component.

If you know multiple programming languages, you can select the best one for each microservice. For example, you might want to use Python for one service but Flutter for another.

Whether you want to use a couple of languages or a different language for each component, that’s possible. However, with a monolithic application, you would need to use one language for the whole thing.

Drawbacks of Microservices

While there are plenty of advantages of microservices, there are a few downsides to consider. Then, you can make sure the pros outweigh the cons for you and your needs.

Before you rush into creating a microservices architecture or switching from a monolith, you should understand all parts of the system. That way, you’ll know what you’re getting into and how to deal with the parts that aren’t as beneficial.

Here are a few drawbacks to help you decide if microservices are worth it.

More Complex

Because you have more elements to manage, you’ll need to spend more time monitoring them. That can make running microservices more complex than running a monolithic application.

If you have the time to manage the different services, this may not be much of a con. However, it can be difficult to do if you and your team are used to spending all of your time on other tasks.

You might need to hire more people, or you might need to change your schedule. That way, you can compensate for the additional maintenance you need to perform.

Data Problems

Data consistency can make a huge difference when it comes to managing your application. Unfortunately, you run the risk of data being inconsistent from one microservice to the next.

When data is inconsistent, it can be hard to evaluate your numbers to see what’s working well. If all of your microservices are giving different pieces of information, you might not know which is accurate.

Now, you can develop a system to track data from all of your microservices. However, it can take work to create a system that helps synchronise the data.

Connectivity Issues

Microservices involve more network connections, which can be nice. However, having more network connections means there are more chances for the connection to lag or fail completely.

If you want your app to run smoothly, you might not want to use a ton of microservices. That way, you can minimise the number of places where you could lose the connection.

Alternatively, you could use a network with a better connection to help everything run. But you’ll still have more potential for issues than if you used a monolith.

How Microservices Architecture Works

If you decide to use microservices architecture, you should understand how it works. That way, you can implement the system for a smooth transition and a successful new system long-term.

When using microservices, you’ll need an API gateway to house and access the various elements. You’ll use the gateway to connect to the microservices that you choose to use.

Each service is a part of the system, and you can choose microservices that help your specific app or business. You can house the microservices in the cloud or in a data centre.

To make sure the system is a success, you should develop each service individually. That way, you can add or remove microservices to meet the changing needs of your business.

In simple terms, microservices are like individual members of a team. They all work together, and each member fills a unique role that helps the team be successful.

Building Microservices

To build microservices, you’ll want to use Docker containers and a Linux operating system. You can use the containers to build and deploy the services.

As you add new microservices, make sure they can communicate with your other services. It can also help to test new microservices to verify that they will work well with your current architecture.

Testing can also be useful when updating existing microservices. Meanwhile, you can use continuous delivery to help reduce friction during deployment.

The first few microservices you build might not be perfect, so keep practising. Over time, you’ll learn what you need to do to develop the best microservices for your company.

Monitoring Microservices

After you build microservices, you’ll need to manage them over the long term. That way, you can maintain each individual service and the overall architecture, and you can keep everything up to date.

Monitoring microservices also allows you to view key performance indicators (KPIs) regarding the technology. Ideally, you’ll review your KPIs at least once per month to make sure you’re on track to meet your goals.

Basic monitoring is another essential part of your overall monitoring plan. You can use the process to recognise bugs that you might not have caught when testing the service. However, you can also use it to track changes to your sales.

Rapid application development is also vital when monitoring microservices. Because you have different small elements, you need to be able to develop, test, and deploy them in a few hours.

You might need to do this manually at first. However, over time, you can work to automate the process of deploying updates so that you can save time.

Microservices Best Practices

You need to make sure you develop and use microservices well. Fortunately, there are a few best practices that you can follow to make the entire process easier.

First, you should focus on security in all stages of development. That way, you can reduce the chances of having a security problem when you test or launch the app.

You should also start testing microservices early in the development process. Doing so will not only help you catch security issues, but you can also make sure the app is easy to use and has all of the functions it needs.

Asynchronous communication is important because it means apps don’t have to depend on each other as much. That gives you the flexibility to change microservices without affecting the others.

Another best practice is to give all microservices the same amount of time and care. And if you have a team, each member should play an equal role in the development process.

Will You Use Microservices?

Microservices can be extremely useful when it comes to developing an app. However, the architecture can also seem complex and overwhelming.

Luckily, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks, so consider using microservices. That way, you can develop a flexible app that’s easy to maintain.

Are you ready to develop an app using microservices? Learn about our development services and book a consultation.

Akash Shakya By Akash Shakya

Coming from distributed computing background, Akash manages the Sydney operations. He is highly technical yet very business focused and is always driven to create successful business products for our clients.

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