MonolithTo-Microservices
Technology

Migrating from Monolith to Microservices? Follow These Best Practices for a Seamless Transition

With the increasing complexities of applications, businesses are now resorting to innovative ways of building highly scalable, flexible software solutions. To that end, tech companies with foresight should consider migrating from the traditional monolithic architecture to advanced microservices. However, before initiating migration, they should develop a transparent and feasible strategy for a smooth transition.

In this blog, we will understand

  • The definition of the Monolith and Microservices Architecture
  • Why migrate from Monolith to Microservices?
  • Migration best practices

Understanding the Monolith & Microservices Architecture

Monolith architecture is a classic system in which a universal code repository manages data storage, operations, and processing. Traditionally, monoliths have a client-side user interface with a server-side application, along with a database. The server-side application accepts requests, processes them, performs domain logic, returns data to the database, and delivers it to the client on the UI. Though a monolith ecosystem mainly exists in legacy applications, developers use the model for software programs and proof of concept functions.

On the other hand, microservices architecture accommodates an application as a set of separate components with computing resources and specific functions. As such, it’s characterized by high cohesion and loose coupling – which means each component in this architecture can be independently deployed as well as upgraded.

Why Migrating to Microservices Makes Sense?

More than 60% of tech organizations, including tech giants like Amazon and Shopify, have already migrated to microservices. In fact, O’Reilly’s survey outlines that 92% of the organizations that have adopted microservices are experiencing success with the system.

Here’s a more profound look at the reasons to migrate to microservices.

  • Flexibility & Scalability: Monoliths are rigid and lack agility, which makes it hard to adapt to advanced technologies and platforms. Contrarily, microservices offer more scope for experimenting with new and integrated technologies. Besides, they make the system scalable without disturbing other functionalities.
  • Seamless Deployment: The microservices codebase is comprehensible because it is limited to one data repository. Developers will easily understand dependencies and predict expectations while adapting the codebase. This results in coherent and consistent testing, which saves money and time.
  • Reinforced Security: Monolithic architecture is vulnerable to bugs and malfunctions, with an increased prevailing risk of malware attacks. In microservices, these vulnerabilities have a mild effect, and the failure of any unit does not affect the entire system.

Monolith To Microservices Migration Best Practices

Assess Your Readiness

Successful migration involves analyzing the existing infrastructure, team competence, and policies. Consider your business priorities, team structure, server-level agreements, DevOps competence, infrastructure readiness, and security measures. This will allow you to identify the areas that need improvement before migrating.

Build Cross-Functional Teams

Do not dive into your migration plan without putting a team in place. Unlike monolith architecture, the microservices ecosystem requires a cross-functional team of developers, engineers, and QA specialists. Redefine your DevOps strategy for building, testing, and deploying applications when you are moving to microservices. It takes a skilled team to execute this migration.

Prioritize Services

Once the team is in place, it is time to prioritize services and deconstruct the monolith architecture. Pay attention to consistent delivery pipelines and API management. The team should focus on components that are easy to decouple without affecting the applications reliant on the architecture.

Choose a Scalable Infrastructure

Microservices require a supportive and scalable platform. Going serverless is the best option. Cloud providers like Google, Amazon Web Services, and Microsoft Azure host these infrastructures. They allow you to place resources and support autoscaling.

Differentiate Layers of Application

Traditional applications are entwined with domain logic. Hence, you should isolate the business logic, presentation, and persistence layers of data of the monolith application before migrating to microservices. When layers are divided, you can easily set up gateway APIs routing requests between the backend and the client. APIs set boundaries between the layers, which helps teams decouple and separate the application. Furthermore, it handles cross-cutting jobs like authentication, rate-limiting, and SSL termination.

Set Up Communications

Effective communication is the key to exchanging services, even in a loosely-coupled architecture. Asynchronous and synchronous messaging should go hand in hand. When you are migrating to microservices, switch to asynchronous while moving more applications. In addition, set up proper APIs, both public and backend. Ensure compatibility with web and mobile applications. Factor in network performance, latency, payload size, and other criteria when choosing API.

Start Data Migration

Microservices require dedicated storage. So, include migrating legacy databases, behavior, and logic supporting the application. Some applications require access to old data from the monolith architecture. Configure API to collect information from the services. Following this approach, the payment microservices can also fetch data from the monolith profile module.

Build CI/CD Pipeline

Continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD) are the keys to getting the maximum out of a new architecture. While CI allows the team to test changes automatically and maintain production-quality code, CD helps teams publish code changes automatically in the production ecosystem. Both techniques enable teams to write codes and test and deploy those applications in a loosely-coupled architecture. It is the best way to speed up microservice migration.

Implement

Deploy microservice functionality gradually to make sure everything goes as planned. There might be significant semantic differences between the new and the legacy systems, but you can refactor the application into a coherent microservice.

Final Word

Growing companies must migrate from monolith to the latest microservices. The traditional architecture simply does not provide the flexibility, efficiency, and scalability that teams need. Hence, migration is imperative.

However, before migrating applications, explore and understand the possible challenges and major benefits of microservices. Assemble the team and handle the procedure without disturbing internal operations and user experience.

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