Total system crash! It’s a phrase that any business owner and their customers never want to hear, and it’s precisely something that is minimized with the autonomy and resiliency that microservices provide.

In fact, Amazon Web Service summarizes the benefits of microservices as flexibility, ease of deployment, autonomy, versatility and scalability, but what is this architecture all about, how does it work and what is it used for?

Spend a few brief minutes with this installment and learn the basics about microservices and its importance. Good reading!


Find out about the Top 10 advantages of microservices architecture.


What are Microservices?

When you want to outsource an operating system, a cloud service or a robust enterprise application such as an ERP, it is logical that you are looking for an easy implementation and update, security, interoperability and if possible, that each of its modules or functionalities operate independently.

Traditional development approaches hardly meet all these parameters since they are based on a monolithic architecture, which we will talk about later, in which all modules or processes are tightly linked and run from a central code.

Microservices architecture or simply microservices break with this paradigm.

An architecture under a microservices approach enables the development of software and application stock in a modular fashion, where each functionality or module points to a particular service or business objective, which can be managed by a small IT team independently.

Is it clear where we are going? This independence endows the system with resilience and autonomy.

Google Cloud defines microservices architecture (or microservices) as an architectural approach when designing and/or developing applications.

Under this approach a robust system or application is subdivided into simpler, independent modules or sections, each with its own functionality (services) and area of responsibility.

According to TechTarget this new development architecture is attributed to the British software engineer Martin Flower who proposed a simplification of service-oriented architecture (SOA).

Microservices Architecture Vs. Monolithic Architecture

Earlier we mentioned the concept of monolithic architecture, a traditional software development approach in which all or most of the code is developed based on a main executable, hence the name ‘monolithic’.

A monolithic architecture is composed of three layers:

  1. Interface
  2. Application logic
  3. Database

All conceived under a single interlocking stack located in a single monolithic server in a data center.

When functionality of a monolithic structure needs to be scaled, the entire system must be scaled or upgraded, which is often costly and takes up more of the team’s time and effort, which is compounded as the code base grows.

Worse still, any security breach or failure of a monolithic architecture results in a lot of hard work, as the problem can be anywhere in the code and will, in most cases, require the development team to implement a new application with the unavoidable time and budget implications.

This is where the microservices approach comes in, one that is native to cloud solutions, which deals with faster development and deployment, giving the system and the organization agility.

We have already said that the microservices approach an application is conceived based on independent components that execute a functionality or routine as a service, performing a main function.

As each microservice runs autonomously, each one can be independently intervened, updated, scaled or patched to meet a specific demand or function of the system or application.

Speaking of monolithic architecture, take a look at best practices when migrating from a monolithic to a microservices architecture.

And how do Microservices work?

Let’s go back to the point that an application developed under the microservices architecture is divided into independent modules or functionalities to operate under a Cloud environment.

Each module executes a service or objective such as a search service, a log file, generate alerts; and can manage its own database, support user interfaces and authentication.

When a user executes a task that demands several functions, different microservices communicate with each other through a simple and well-defined application programming interface (or API), event forwarding and message brokers.

To streamline their functionality, according to IBM, different microservices are grouped around a business capability in what is often referred to as a ‘bounded context’.

And it is under this operating approach that the model provides the framework (or working environment) for the design, development and deployment of independent microservices schemes, whose autonomy gives the advantages of updating, patching, scaling without having to intervene to the application or system as a whole.

Explore the eCommerce trends towards microservices.

What is Microservices architecture used for?

This is how Google Cloud specialists sum it up: “To accelerate application development and management”.

And that’s where it has a lot in common with service-oriented architecture (SOA), since the working philosophy of both is to divide monolithic applications into independent components.

However, SOA encounters technical limitations when migrating to the cloud, due to its low scalability and limited response to changes in requests and workloads.

That is where microservices, with a lighter and more granular approach evolve from SOA to easily migrate to the cloud and achieve efficient management.

Examples of Microservices-based implementations

Here are some examples of the use and implementation of microservices architecture:

  • Streaming content and multimedia storage: it is this architecture that makes it possible to efficiently stream and store content on demand to serve it via the web on an infinite number of devices.
  • Online payments, ordering and billing: It is microservices that makes it possible, for example, to receive a payment and process an order even if an invoice cannot be issued immediately due to some update or adjustment detail in this module.
  • Facilitating migration to the cloud: Microservices makes it possible to migrate a monolithic system to a cloud platform via ‘containers’, one of its most notable architectures.
  • Interoperability: thanks to this approach, many data processing services gain compatibility with the cloud, enabling efficient and modern infrastructures such as Hybrid Cloud or Multi-Cloud.

Learn more about reliability engineering in Microservices.

What are Microservices? – Final thought


We hope with this short installment we have accomplished the task and that you now have a clearer idea of the concept of microservices, the basics.

To conclude, we can say that this architecture is here to stay, microservices enables agile developments and adapted to the speed of an increasingly dynamic technology market.

Learn how to capitalize on the benefits of availability, scalability, interoperability and improved management that this configuration offers and modernize your applications and systems. NU Technology offers you all the support and accompaniment at every stage of the process.

Talk to one of our specialists!