By Rudi Briedenhann.
There seems to be a lot of conversation around the ‘’water cooler” of late, well, at least conversation staunch in monolithic thinking. The question being raised and discussed is the issue of whether to micro-service or not to micro-service?
In order to understand the question, one must at least be able to understand how the monolithic systems differ from the micro-service system architectures. The first aspect, in my opinion, is that micro-service architecture was born from Monolithic architectures. That is also why I did not title this blog something like ‘’Monolithic vs. Micro-services’’. Let’s face it, it not a competition after all, or is it? Well maybe only if you are sitting squarely on the monolithic side as you look at the micro-service thinker and saying ‘’you can’t help me’’. If you sit on the micro-service side you are probably looking at the monolithic thinker and saying ‘’I can help you’’
I could not place one as more important or relevant than the other. I can simply highlight the axiom of differences between the two trends. Monolithic architectures, we know, have been the trend followed by most corporates for the best part of the last twenty-five years in the development of systems and processes for the business. It allows complete control of end-to-end services within the product eco-system for the business. The business can create services with ease which are deployed within the corporate’s contained product suite and technologies. After two decades of monolithic architectures, corporate started realising that as it turns out there are a couple of downsides to monolithic architectures after all. Monolithic systems make problem solving particularly difficult as ‘’problem code’’ finding requires reading thousands of lines of code to try and locate problematic code. Once identified, the reworking of such problematic code could become extensive and expensive as the net effect of code changes must be tested extensively before deployment. Small, seemingly insignificant code changes to a monolithic system could require extensive and costly recoding to allow for future updates and services. In other words, could coding trends established twenty-five years ago allow for easy integration of new technologies and more efficient coding techniques? In most instances this is part of the fundamental problems which exist for corporates and their system engineers.
It is within these shortcomings that Micro-services have been born, thus my earlier statement that this is not a versus comparison. Micro-services were created to allow business to be more agile in the creation of services and products and how to digitally cater for the product without impacting the entire system. Micro- services ensure that should one portion of the system show an error, the rest of the system remains unaffected and problem finding and solving becomes easier and more efficient. Micro-services would not have come to be, if not for the problems suffered as result of monolithic thinking. The largest problem of which is instilling monolithic thinking into management and c-suite structures and the belief that technology is expensive, this thinking unfortunately sifted through to the SMME space and we now find that the SMME business is disillusioned by technology and largely feels excluded from accessing same level technologies.
There is a new kid on the block so to speak and that kid is micro services which have proven over some time now that it is serious and that it is the most progressive technology within the business service and product development space. It is cheaper, faster and stronger and will truly allow the adoption of automation technologies within the SMME space as micro-services are removing the cost, time and skill barrier. There are only now questions being asked by business, such as ‘’is the cloud safe?’’. Let’s ask the same question to those businesses we know have made the move from monolithic architectures to micro-service architectures Amazon, Netflix, eBay, Twitter, and PayPal amongst others.
Micro-services welcome business into the age of inclusive technology. Where automation and digitization technologies are not only within reach of the large corporates, but a fraction of the cost, less time to implement and simpler to manage, which truly equalizes the digital trade space.
SmartPalm specialise in micro-services and offers a unique range of digital micro-service architectures and serverless technology solutions for your business. Please contact us today and allow us to show you what we can do for your business.