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Using a modular microservices architecture is becoming a standard for cloud development. Splitting an application into multiple fine-grained functions (microservices) lets you work on each…

Using a modular microservices architecture is becoming a standard for cloud development, much like using prepared ingredients is while cooking. According to a recent survey by O’Reilly, more than 75% of organizations are currently using microservices. What’s the appeal of microservices? Just like in cooking, relying on pre-made ingredients lets you skip the repetitive prep and get right to the creative stuff that makes your app stand out.

In this Developer Diary video, watch as I simplify the concept of microservices with a topic I love — cooking:

The problem with monoliths

In an organization that’s more than a few years old, monolithic applications are common. With numerous functions that are knitted into the fabric of the codebase and interdependencies running through them, it can be difficult, or even impossible, to work on individual functions in isolation. You effectively have to take down the whole application to even make small changes. In some instances, multiple teams over time are working on the monolith application, which makes it difficult to understand what code controls each function.

How moving to microservices improves your infrastructure

Splitting an application into multiple fine-grained functions (microservices) lets you work on each component directly, while better understanding its dependencies and performance. A typical microservice will have an API layer, compute resources, and some form of data storage. You might build some microservices yourself, others might come from your team members, or you can leverage others — such as open source services — from the cloud.

Some of the key benefits of moving from a monolithic to a microservices architecture:

  • Greater collaboration across your team, with consistency across reusable components and functions
  • With each microservice in its own container, you can pick the technology stack that makes the most sense for each function
  • Enhanced security because you segregate data and applications and can better isolate points of weakness

For more on the benefits of microservices and how you deploy them in containers, check out Why should you use microservices and containers.

Considerations for moving your monolithic applications to microservices

When modernizing applications, it is crucial to understand what functions should be broken out of a monolithic application and how granular you should go with your microservices. There can be many ways to approach this, but one big consideration is whether there is a small team that can be responsible for each microservice. You can still have one team supporting many microservices, but there are major advantages to each microservice being relatable back to a specific team. Some examples of common microservices include backend for frontend services, data access consistency and efficiency, end-to-end security, and user authentication.

Next steps

To better understand microservices and get started on your application modernization journey, explore this Master Class on transforming an on-premises monolith to a containerized microservices solution.