There’s no shortage of great resources for those investigating microservices and how they can help their organization. Some of these great resources include Martin Fowler and Microservices.io – where one can find almost anything you need to know on the subject. With this post, I wanted to offer a succinct list of the advantages and disadvantages of microservices architecture, some of which will impact your decision to implement them in your enterprise’s IT infrastructure.
But first, a quick review:
In today’s business environment, enterprises must respond to client needs and changing conditions more rapidly than ever. To keep up, software applications must be quick to deploy, easy to maintain, and always available. While traditional architecture can still handle a lot of this, there is a limit. At some point, a more dynamic, scalable approach to application development can become critical to the future of the business.
One such approach is a microservice architecture. Microservices promise quicker and easier software changes compared to traditional monolithic architectures by modularizing complex applications. Developers then compose applications from the resulting interchangeable, upgradable, and scalable parts. In an ideal world, this modular architectural style accelerates business growth by enabling the agile deployment of innovative functionality. However, decomposing applications can also add complexity compared to a monolithic model. And that is only scratching the surface of the tradeoffs.
As microservice architecture progresses along with hype cycle from inflated expectations to disillusionment to an upward path towards enlightenment, our understanding of its pros and cons have evolved. So, what are the advantages and disadvantages of microservices? Read on for the most common things we run into.
Microservices – or microservices architecture – are applications that are arranged or structured as a collection of loosely coupled services. In general, microservices have these characteristics:
Below we will discuss the most common advantages and disadvantages of microservices architecture in an enterprise environment.
Microservices work well with agile development processes and satisfy the increasing need for a more fluid flow of information.
Given the speed of business today and the rise of new technologies making microservices management even easier, the list of advantages is getting longer than the disadvantages — but there are still some disadvantages. While much of the development process is simplified with microservices, there are a few areas where microservices can actually cause new complexity.
Clearly there are many advantages and disadvantages of microservices architecture to consider — but it’s important to consider your organizational culture and goals in this equation, too.
Enterprises more suited to microservices architecture are those that have an organizational culture comfortable with distributing work among small development teams. Also, microservices work best for organizations that need to innovate rapidly, and that have larger or more diverse user bases. Some organizations are turning to event-driven architecture coupled with microservices to enhance their systems.REST vs Messaging for Microservices – Which One is Best?When it comes to deciding between REST vs messaging for microservices, it's important to understand which one to use in different scenarios.
Microservices architecture advantages and disadvantages differ greatly from traditional monolithic architecture, and this model isn’t ideal for every organization. However, the big shift to this modular architectural style is happening for a reason — more enterprises are realizing the need for faster, easier, more agile application development, and microservices enable this in ways monolithic architecture simply cannot.