Cloud-based applications seem to be everywhere these days, but you might still have reservations about leaving behind your familiar monolithic architecture. After all, as the saying goes: if it ain’t broke, why fix it?
Unfortunately, that saying comes from a simpler time—an era of steam engines and power looms. It doesn’t really apply in the information age, where systems need to evolve alongside technology to remain relevant. Cloud-based microservices have offered advantages over monolithic designs for years, but new developments in the field promise to make them more reliable than ever. Below, we’ll explain why 2021 could be your year to embrace the power of the cloud.
The Advantages of Cloud-Based App Design
Cloud-based microservices have always made big promises to improve common problems with monolithic app designs. Here are just a few of their touted benefits:
- Cloud-based systems are easier to scale since changing the code for a single module does not affect the rest of the system. By contrast, monolithic apps are much harder to scale because all their functionalities are contained in a single framework. Imagine how it would feel if your dentist had to pull out and replace all your teeth every time you needed a filling—that’s what scaling a monolith is like.
- Apps developed with cloud-based microservices are easier to build and deploy than monoliths with unified code. Each module of a cloud-based app is typically overseen by its own small team, facilitating better communication and greater efficiency than a single large group. It’s the classic division-of-labour approach to project management—it worked for Adam Smith, and it can work for you too.
- Cloud-based apps have better fault-tolerance than monoliths because they have multiple points of failure. A monolith only has one—meaning that if service fails, the entire system goes down.
If a microservice fails, it only affects the corresponding module; the rest of the system continues to function as intended while the issue is resolved. Think of it this way: it’s easier to sink one giant ship than a whole fleet of sailboats.
- Using cloud-based microservices gives you much more versatility when building your app—you can decouple the front end from the back end, for example, which allows you to develop them in parallel or even write them in different languages. Basically, decoupling is like having a pot-luck instead of trying to cook two separate meals in the same oven at once (which we probably don’t have to tell you is a bad idea).
Critically, using a serverless deployment strategy can also reduce your costs. For one thing, hosting most of your app’s logic in the cloud prevents you from rewriting it for every new platform you want it to run on—you can just use a native wrapper instead (like Uber), which saves money on both development and product support.
Furthermore, since code only runs when the serverless application needs to use back-end functions, you never have to purchase server capacity you might not use. It’s like being on a pay-as-you-go phone plan instead of getting locked into a long-term contract (i.e., way cheaper in the long run).
With all those advantages, it’s no wonder major applications like Google, Facebook, and Twitter are all serverless today. The question is: why isn’t everyone doing it?
Why Move to the Cloud in 2021?
Some developers still have qualms about moving to the cloud. Most of the time, they’re concerned that migrating to the cloud from a monolithic system will be too complicated. Let’s look at how recent industry trends are putting those worries to rest:
In 2021, You Need to Scale Faster
The first (and maybe best) argument for moving to the cloud now is that you can barely afford not to. Staying competitive means scaling up your app, and scaling it up quickly is easier in the cloud. Fast-growing companies like Lyft are constantly improving customer experience by offering new microservices via Amazon Web Services.
The Development Ecosystem Has Matured
It’s also worth noting that the ability to go serverless has opened up the talent pool to include many more developers in recent years. That means you don’t need to build everything from scratch anymore; in fact, so many pre-built components already exist in 2021 that developers can build apps faster than ever.
Moving to the cloud allows you to license the pre-existing components you want and develop your app without paying to build every single feature from the ground up. Instead, you get to stand on the shoulders of giants and enjoy the view.
How to Migrate from Monolith to the Cloud
We do our best to make migrating monolith apps to the cloud simple and straightforward. First, we create an API layer and iteratively add the monolith services to it. We then use the API layer to rebuild any required UI components and iteratively replace the monolith service with a layer of microservices.
Once we’ve replaced the monolith services with decoupled microservices, we can seamlessly marshal data between the legacy database and the new (serverless) one. Our approach makes it easy for clients to move monolith apps to the cloud so they can continue to scale them quickly and efficiently.
Jump On the Cloud in 2021
As the name implies, monolithic app design might as well be a relic of the Stone Age. Cloud-based microservices improve scalability, offer greater design potential, are less vulnerable to failure—and best of all, they’re becoming increasingly cost-effective as more developers get on the bandwagon.
If you have questions about the best way to move your monolithic app to the cloud, feel free to contact us and ask. We’ll be happy to provide more details about our migration process and help you start upgrading your app’s architecture for the future.