Starting a new project or dealing with an unmanageable behemoth of an application? It’s time to decide whether microservices are right for you. To help you make the leap, here are our top ten reasons to choose a microservices future.
1. Easy and quick scalability
Need to scale up – or down? It’s much easier when your services are separate. Just identify the services you really need to scale and leave the others untouched. Being able to scale dynamically means that you can grow when you have the demand, rather than trying to predict your needs at the outset.
2. Leaner teams
Separating services also means that you can use smaller teams that can work independently of each other. When you get to the point where you need dozens of developers, you don’t want to have to force them all to collaborate and waste time in meetings. Small, autonomous teams can operate faster and more efficiently.
An extra advantage is that it’s a lot faster to onboard new developers. That new hire no longer needs to understand absolutely everything before they can get coding. And you can try them out in less critical areas without worrying about their every keystroke.
3. Enhanced productivity
Those smaller teams will work a lot more efficiently, especially when your product really starts to grow. Not being forced to collaborate with absolutely everyone else lets your developers focus on their own codebase.
4. Flexibility to experiment and optimize
You can experiment when you know that you can add or remove features without risking the rest of your application. Want to try optimizing something? Go ahead. You can even decide to try out a new coding language or approach, safe in the knowledge that you aren’t committing to reworking the entire codebase.
5. Freedom to try out new technology
This level of flexibility means that you can avoid getting locked into a particular technology or language. If something better comes along, you can try it out, confident that the team involved will be able to roll back the changes smoothly if it doesn’t work out. As more modern technologies emerge, you can switch some of your services without replacing the whole application.
Microservices also enable you to use multiple languages at once. Each of your teams can choose what works best for their particular part of the project.
6. Faster deployment
When each of your services has its own discrete codebase, your teams can deploy faster. Each service can be deployed individually, without affecting other services or teams. Some teams might even choose to use a continuous deployment pipeline. Microservices give you the freedom to have a different deployment process for each part of your project.
7. Strength in isolation
If a service fails, it’s not going to take down everything else. You’ll still have to fix it, or use an alternative service, but at least you’ll be dealing with a smaller problem than if you had to debug the whole application. Make use of this fault isolation and ensure that the system can survive failures in some services. You’ll end up with a much more robust product.
8. Cleaner maintenance and faster response times
Maintaining lots of smaller, individual codebases means that you can keep them lean and clean. You can avoid the accumulation of code that can impact response times and consume resources and slow down your application. Optimizing communication between services can even reduce downtime and let your product get on with what you designed it to do.
9. Reduced costs
Even with all of the above advantages, some critics of microservices often argue that the approach is more expensive. Part of the problem is that microservices are relatively new, so they require a shift in thinking. The upfront costs of this switch can seem high or even impossible to quantify. As with the move to agile development practices, the investment in developer culture will pay dividends. From less expensive hardware to more stability, your costs will be lower, often in surprising ways.
10. Microservices – truly agile
Leaner teams, rapid deployment, easy scalability, and incredible flexibility. Add these together and the combo bonus is that microservices closely align with an agile development approach. Over the last couple of decades, agile development has revolutionized software. Microservices can do the same for architecture, with the same kind of repayment in efficiency, speed, and quality.
So what’s the catch?
Okay, we have to admit that there are some challenges you might face when using microservices. But in many cases, these are problems that would simply be shifted to a different level or stage if microservices were out of the picture.
An application built using microservices is complex because it is a distributed system. Communication between services must be handled carefully, including dealing with partial failure and data bottlenecks. Testing can also be more challenging with microservices, partly because the architecture gives you more options on how and where you can test. Areas that previously might have been closed off are now exposed.
Because of the inherent complexity of splitting up an application into multiple services, microservices can be more resource-intensive and take longer to develop, especially if you don’t have enough experience in managing and orchestrating multiple teams. It is vital to have the right experts in place to ensure that you aren’t overwhelmed by that complexity and can enjoy the long-term benefits of microservices.
We love microservices at Blocshop. Plus we have years of experience in implementing microservices solutions and migrating legacy systems to microservices architecture. So you should talk to us when you make the (incredibly great!) decision to switch to microservices.
Already thinking of changing from a monolithic monster to clean, lean microservices?
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