Everything You Wanted to Know About Microservices Architecture

11 May 2022

Liubomyr Sirskyi

Content Manager

Both front-end and back-end technologies are rapidly growing. Moreover, the number of smartphone users rises every year, and developers should improve technologies that maintain these systems. Cloud services such as IaaS, PaaS and SaaS have revolutionised the mobile development landscape. And now, microservices are rising with the unique architecture to create more comprehensive apps. Let’s review the microservices definition and features of this type of app infrastructure. 

The Definition of Microservices Architecture

Microservices infrastructure is important when developing multi-functional solutions consisting of different autonomous services. Such an approach allows the deployment of new functions faster and independently without modifying the entire infrastructure. Therefore, developers can build scalable apps with excellent functionality. 

Developers use a wide variety of instruments for building microservice products of different scopes. Hence, you should assign a specific development unit to every independent app.

In some cases, developers can take a monolith app and carry out a smooth migration to microservices. In this case, they gradually implement features one by one, but the core architecture remains monolithic.

What Are the Distinctions Between Microservices and Monolithic Architecture?

After we have defined the microservices notion, let’s talk about differences. Microservices benefit cross-functional Scrum teams a lot. That is why dozens of companies have given up on monolithic architecture and shifted to microservices apps, such as Uber, Amazon, and Netflix

On the contrary, a monolithic solution has a solid structure, so it is tedious to make some changes. If developers create an update of a small feature within the digital product, they need to launch a brand new version of it. 

When talking about scaling functionality, it would be tiresome to do this with all components of the monolithic app. 

Microservices make it straightforward to create modular software. In simple terms, apps with such an architecture may be considered a suite of independent services. Therefore, you can implement, remove or update any feature you want. 

Characteristics Of Microservices

The microservice architecture doesn't need to leverage specific SDKs (Software Development Kits) for creating an app. However, the following four elements are a must. 

API Gateways

They act as intermediaries between customers and the software, so API gateways make using microservices more secure and accessible. For instance, most developers use Tyk as a fault-tolerated API gateway and management platform. It involves some core features like uptime tests, circuit breaker design patterns and service discovery. 

Tyk covers all kinds of microservices development, from software restructuring to building a unique digital solution from scratch. Hence, this API helps scale your digital product faster and simpler.    

Container Technology

Containerisation allows applications to save system resources and boost the scalability of the software. Among others, developers use Docker and Kubernetes as the primary container development technologies. They have a big difference in the operating principle. Docker is a containerisation solution, and Kubernetes serves as a particular system for operating containerised apps. And despite the general comparison of these platforms, you should use both in your shifting from ​​monolith to microservices architecture.

By adopting the microservices approach, you will be able to build up a scalable and solid software infrastructure. If some of the functions fail, your application will continue to work by reducing the application performance. Further, if you want to improve the performance of the particular microservice, you need to add more data nodes to the cluster via Kubernetes. 

Messaging Technologies

Another core element is asynchronous messaging. It allows separate services to work together and handle users' requests. 

Developers can implement such a component with ​​stream-processing platforms. One of the most widespread solutions is Apache Kafka, which allows you to provide communication between different parts of the software. Plus, it helps scale clusters and gathers data to process the payments and analyse customer behaviour.  

Serverless Solutions

When talking about microservices-based architecture, serverless platforms are also important to mention. They optimise dividing a single app into autonomous services. In serverless applications, all functions only work when needed.

IronFunctions is an open-source platform for creating features in any programming language and easy implementation into your product. 

All you need is to leverage IronFunctions and deploy your microservices infrastructure and workflow. You can also boost your software development by integrating containerisation tools like Docker and Kubernetes. 

There are also some other development tools to implement. Startups from Silicon Valley successfully use them. Learn more about every aspect of the best development practices here

Benefits of Microservice Architecture

Microservices have several significant advantages:

  • Each function has a particular codebase, which allows to scale it independently;
  • If feature microservice fails, the whole app keeps working;
  • Well-developed APIs allow transmitting code across multiple services, so developers can implement new functionality without writing a code from scratch;
  • Developers can choose the best instruments for the microservices development;
  • Working with smaller development units, you can fulfil the tasks faster than managing a big team. 

Plus, microservices deployment depends on the business need and requirements, so company priorities are paramount. Founders of the client company should hire specialists with various tech stacks to develop a comprehensive solution.

Challenges of Monolithic Architecture

Microservices are already changing the application development area and will do this in the future. But why they are considered revolutionary? Let's go back a little further to monolithic architecture. 

The basis of this concept is centralisation, which turns the scaling into a stressful process. It results in the five main challenges: 

  1. Inflexibility — You can't mix different technologies to create a monolithic app.
  2. Lack of reliability — When one feature fails, the entire system crashes.
  3. Non-scalability — It's impossible to scale monolithic applications, so they need to rebuild the whole architecture. 
  4. Interdependence — It is complex to build up all features separately, so one element should await the development of others to become deployed. 
  5. The pace of development — The development of applications with a monolithic architecture depends on the roadmap, which slows down the time to market for the finished product.

Scalable microservices act as a new approach to solving all these problems. Developers can collaborate to create multiple features at the same time, allowing the product to market as soon as possible. And if you want to present your customers with high-quality software, you should take care of choosing tools, automation solutions and developers.

Who Is Successfully Implementing Microservices

According to data provided by O'Reilly, most companies are successful in adopting microservices. A clear majority (54%) has been successful in implementing this architecture. Among the most significant benefits, respondents pointed high level of flexibility, accessibility of the microservices, regular software updates and scalability. However, less than half (45%) of respondents faced challenges while adopting architecture, which led to bad or middling success. 

As you can see, the study looked at positive and negative experiences. The reason is simple: the failure of the microservices does not always depend on the app performance itself or the developers who built it. 

In any case, such an architecture makes the scaling much easier so both small businesses and large corporations can adopt microservices and enable continuous development. Let's look at the four well-known companies that implemented microservices and became more successful. 

Netflix

One of the most prominent OTT services worldwide shifted from monolith to microservices in 2009. At that time, a single bug went down the website. After adopting the new approach, Netflix fixed service crashes and managed to process 2 billion user requests daily. 

And now, the streaming service can stream more than 250 million hours of content per day. There are over 1000 microservices that allow doing this (user's history, recommendations, subscription status, etc.). 

Amazon

A world-famous e-commerce website was an immense monolith for years. But that all changed in 2001 when Amazon moved to Amazon Web Services (AWS) because of the problems with transferring the change code to the developers' team. After that, this issue no longer leads to delays in the release. 

Moreover, AWS provides the infrastructure for companies to integrate Amazon's unique solutions. That is why Amazon is an example of the successful use of microservices. 

Uber

This MaaS (Mobility-as-a-service) app was also a monolith, leading to some defects. Uber's codebase couldn't handle transferring data between core services, especially driver-passenger connection and payment processing.

Once Uber gave up on the monolithic system and shifted to cloud-based microservices, the application got a failover system with better scalability and frequent updates of various services. Now Uber handle over 2200 new features, from scheduling a ride to passenger management. 

Truster

Truster is the next iteration of Pocket Safe developed by Rocketech. It is a reliable data storage where users can place their personal information, including identity documents and credit cards. 

The main task of the developers was to synchronise encryption with the server component following data storage laws. In addition, it was necessary to create the internal logic of the app and carry out legal research to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation.

In this case, developers benefited from Pocket Safe's experience and designed a more sophisticated microservice application for storing sensitive data. 

Final Word

Microservices architecture is an excellent approach to creating multi-functional software with multiple independent services. All you need to do is to choose the team that will develop the first-class digital solution. At Rocketech, we use our extensive expertise to develop quality software. You will get a dedicated team that helps scale the existing infrastructure or build the product from scratch. And if you want to overtake competitors with a robust digital solution, contact us now.

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