by Susanna Bouse
• February 28, 2020
Monolithic vs. Microservices architectures, we’re showing you the history and the pros and cons of each. A lot has happened in the world of APIs management taking us from Monolithic methods to Microservices. From the agile method to the Internet of Things, software development is full of hot trends. They promise to revolutionize the tech industry for years to come. Some of these trends are truly revolutionary, while others are simply a flash in the pan.
Software developers’ tend to chase after shiny objects. With this fact, it hard to distinguish between phenomena that are actually impactful and those that are just another tech flavor of the month.
“Microservices” was once thought by many to be another tech buzzword. However, there are now clear signs that the technology has real staying power. Many developers find that the use of microservices has helped increase innovation while decreasing time to market
In a 2018 study, technology learning company O’Reilly found that more than half of software projects are using microservices. 86 percent of survey respondents said that the use of microservices was “at least partially” successful, while 15 percent report “massive success” with microservices.
With adoption of microservices so widespread, it’s no surprise that the microservices field is projected to grow rapidly in the near future. ResearchAndMarkets estimates that the global cloud microservices market will grow by 22.5 percent between 2019 and 2025, buoyed by 27.4 percent growth in the U.S. market.
The field of API management, in particular, is closely related to the use of microservices. In this article, we’ll discuss the recent software development migration from monolithic vs microservices architecture, and what it means for API management.
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Microservices are usually compared with the traditional monolithic software architecture. Something that is “monolithic” is massive and composed of a single substance—which also perfectly describes monolithic architecture in software engineering.
Monolithic architecture is a software design pattern in which a software application is written as a single coherent piece of code. As a result, changes to one part of the code base will necessarily affect the rest of the application as well.
The pros and cons of monolithic architecture are:
Microservices architecture is a software design pattern in which a software application is broken down into many separate yet interconnected components, known as microservices. Each of these microservice components has its own logic and is running its own process, communicating with the other components via a lightweight API.
The pros and cons of the microservices architecture are:
With all that said, which situations and use cases are best suited for microservices and monolithic software?
In choosing between Monolithic vs. Microservices, you’ve decided that a microservices application is the best fit for you—but you already have a monolithic software application running in production. How can you migrate from monolithic to microservices?
API gateways are here to help. Using an API gateway is like putting an application programming interface in front of the various microservices that make up your application. To the end user, the API gateway appears as a API, while you enjoy the benefits of the microservices architecture behind the scenes.
So what is a microservices API gateway exactly? Like APIs in general, API gateways provide a “blueprint” for how external software and services can interact with the application hidden behind the API. Rather than a single application, however, API gateways conceal multiple disparate applications in the form of microservices.
Microservices API gateways are API gateways that sit at the front end of your microservices application. They act as “traffic controllers” ensuring that requests are routed to the correct microservice. This makes life easier for everyone involved: microservices developers can simplify and streamline their software architectures, while external users don’t have to worry about using separate protocols in order to access each microservice.
Despite these potential issues and concerns, a growing number of organizations are finding that microservices API gateways are an intelligent, effective addition to their existing microservices architecture. In particular, microservices API gateways can help organizations as they begin the long and arduous processes of converting their monolithic applications into a more flexible, scalable microservices architecture.
One example of a highly effective microservices API gateway implementation is Netflix’s Zuul API gateway. Zuul serves as the mediator between external requests and the various components of Netflix’s microservices architecture under the hood. The Zuul gateway is capable of routing requests from more than one thousand device types, directing them to the appropriate microservice depending on their hardware and software.
More and more organizations are switching from a monolithic architecture for their software applications to a microservices-based model. Yet making this migration is easier said than done. Understanding how to break down a monolithic application into microservices requires a great deal of technical skill in order to extract maximum performance while ensuring minimal disruption.
That’s where API gateways come in. By placing a single API “face” over your various microservices, API gateways make microservices applications more flexible and easier to work with, letting you focus more on development and less on technical issues.
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