How to Migrate a Monolithic application into Microservices?

How to Migrate a Monolithic application into Microservices?

It has become a trend for organizations to convert monolithic architecture into microservices. According to a survey performed in 2015, 68% of companies were employing this technology, while in 2017 the number increased to 80%.

Scalability and availability are the two major requisites of novel web applications.

To accomplish this, microservices have shown a propitious approach. But it’s not child’s play to build a microservice ecosystem, especially for an organization which is already existing on monolith architecture.

To transit from monolith to microservices, there needs to be a step-by-step procedure in order to get an accurate flow. Microservices should produce their individual components, have database management, and should be developed or deployed by a single team. One more benefit that comes out of microservices is that small components can be transferred to the cloud and made easily available whenever required.

Refactoring a monolithic architecture to the microservices ecosystem may sound easy but it is one of the prevailing challenges companies are struggling with. For smooth sailing in this procedure, we have come up with a guide which will cover the following concepts:

Table of Contents

  • What is a Microservices Ecosystem?
  • Why Microservices?
  • When to switch from Monolith to Microservices
  • How to refactor a Monolith application to Microservices

What is a Microservices Ecosystem?

A Microservice can be defined as:

A collection of small services existing in an ecosystem, working independently to accomplishing their responsibilities.

These services comprise of the following properties:

  • Remarkably manageable and demonstrable
  • Can stand individually and has the least pairing with any other service
  • Separately portable
  • Formulated around business boundaries

Microservices can be programmed in diverse languages like Python, Java, PHP. These are decentralized in nature.

Why Microservices?

Before making a switch to microservices, one should thoroughly understand the concept of microservices, its features and why there is a need to transit to this architecture for your organization. Read these factors and relate to your organization before migrating to microservices from a monolithic app.

Scalability

Microservices are a system of small independent services. This benefits you to scale a single service without having any impact on other services of the ecosystem. In addition to it, scaling a team also becomes easier and it aids in speedy development.

Debugging & Maintenance

Due to smaller functions, it is easy to test or debug the application on different levels. Also, a sub-team knows its mistakes and can find and make correction consuming less time. Hence, increasing the ability to produce error-free deliverables within the given time-frame.

Flexibility

Microservices make it easier to implement any change in one function without having any effect on other services of the organization. Otherwise, it is not possible to do with the monolith architecture as all the components are tightly coupled and any change may affect the functionality of the whole system.

Robustness

Robust monitoring can be achieved with the help of microservices architecture. In the microservice ecosystem, since every service is built in different language, platform, and APIs. Multiple teams would be working on a single system, so it becomes easier to track the progress, perform testing and debug.

When to Switch from Monolith to Microservices?

The concept of microservices emerged just in time to support the needs of the modern web. However, businesses should adopt this solution only when there is a practical need. There are no fixed criteria or fixed times to make this happen. Usually, a business can transfer its structure from monolithic to microservices whenever a team of over 25 employees starts struggling from cooperation deadlocks.

How to refactor a monolithic application into microservices

Before we explore the phases to move from monolith to microservices, remember that transitioning from a monolithic scheme to microservices requires a great expense and it may be a repetitive process before getting the final component. Let’s discuss the step-by-step procedure.

Start with the Disjoining of Simple Services

To dismantle an existing system, operational insight is required, which may be low in the beginning. For this reason, it is always preferable to start with the separation of less complex services.

Here’s a list of functionalities required for this step:

  • Instant entry to the deployment environment
  • Creating a new type of constant delivery channel to set up, evaluate and move services
  • Capability to fix errors, monitor and safeguard a dispersed architecture

The developer’s team can start from the refactoring of services that are normally coupled from the monolith architecture and do not alter the front end of the application. At this stage, the delivery team needs to optimize their way of delivery and construct the least infrastructure to hand over self-served APIs for separately deployable services.

It is always better to disjoin loosely coupled services first and then move to other root services.

Curtail the Monolith Interdependence

Now, after decoupling the microservices, it is required to minimize any kind of dependency on the rest of the monolith structure. A leading advantage of microservices is the quick and self-sufficient release cycle which is difficult to achieve in monolith architecture. The main intention behind replacing the monolith system is the huge maintenance cost and sluggish speed of changes performed on the capabilities sealed in it.

So, what we need to do is move on to the path that helps in disjoining the root capabilities by eliminating linkages back to the monolith.

Disjoin the Viscous Capabilities

There can be conditions under which an organization is unable to decouple further without the interdependence back to the monolith. Such a condition occurs when the monolith architecture is flawed and the realm is not properly defined. In such cases, you need to discover the viscous capabilities of the system, reconstruct it with a well-determined domain and then separate them into individual services.

It is advised to derive the microservices additively, one by one.

Disjoin the Vertical Capabilities and Discharge Data

The prime objective behind decoupling the capabilities is to discharge them separately from the monolith architecture. A monolithic structure comprises of various strongly coupled layers that are required to be discharged simultaneously and have a hardcore dependency.

The game plan is take off the capabilities vertically, disjoin the root capability along with the data and switch all the front-end applications to the new APIs. The prime blocker in disjoining the services is having manifold applications depending on centrally shared data. So, it is required that the team uses strategies for data migration that suits their system.

Disjoin the Significant and Variable Business Functions

Releasing a capability out of the monolith is a critical process. It involves the extraction of its data, front-end components, logic, and then redirecting it to the new service. This is a vast amount of work that the team has to execute.

Hence, the team needs to constantly figure out the expenditure for decoupling and the advantages growing from it. If the agenda is to speed the changes in the existing capabilities sealed in the monolith, then disjoin code sections that have been undergoing variations continuously and binding the developers to do a fast delivery.

Disjoin Capability Rather than Code

There are two different ways in which a capability can be extracted from the existing architecture – by extracting the code or by rewriting it.

Generally, the extraction is performed by reusing the code because of the emotional attachment with the existing code. The developers always go on selecting the high amount of labor and cost required for reusing the code. The importance of rewriting and its benefits are neglected.

Always give priority to rewording the capability as a brand new code instead of using the old code. Rewriting helps the organization to revise the business capabilities and modify them according to the current needs.

Move From Macro to Micro

Discovering the domain perimeters and practicing domain-oriented techniques is a good area to begin with. To determine the domain perimeters, one should aim to maintain consistency. Too small or too big of a microservice can lead to a disturbed system that may cause improper functioning.

It is always advised to create boundaries by considering how small a microservice should be to best suit your organization. It is advisable to break the monolith architecture into smaller services up to the extent that can be easily handled, operated and managed by the team.

Nearest Evolutionary Steps

Don’t let yourself fall into thinking that you have successfully migrated from a large monolith architecture to an ideal microservice ecosystem. Over time, when an organization where migration is performed on a large scale faces issues like lack of funds, focus gets shifted to some other program, leader’s support vanishes with time and so on.

It is better to opt for reaching the nearest developmental state which will act as complete in its own right. The main idea behind this is to break monolith to microservices nearest to its target stage.

Conclusion

Migrating an existing monolithic architecture to microservices is a time-consuming task to execute but it can be simplified if done systematically. Microservices has its own benefits over monolith architecture, but performing the transition from monolith to microservices must have some valid reasons. An unnecessary switch may provide fatal results. It is always recommended to refactor into microservices if the system has become too complex to operate and manage. In this article, we have walked through some steps that can help you perform refactoring in a more sensible and managed way. We have also discussed what microservices are, why they are needed in your system when you need to make a switch. If you still need a company to perform this migration for you, then Newizze is just a click away. Contact us now!

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