Microservices vs. Monolith: Choosing The Right Development Approach For Your Project

Published on:
March 8, 2024

Microservices, which gained popularity in the late 2000s, are still in demand today; in the past five years, there has been a twofold increase in Google searches for the term "microservices." 

The microservices strategy has several visible advantages, such as increased scalability, flexibility, and agility. Tech giants like Netflix, Google, Amazon & others have seamlessly transitioned from monolithic architectures to microservices. They relied on the knowledge of nearshore and offshore microservices experts to fully realize the advantages of this design. 

As experts think, “Many businesses assume that collaborating with microservices developers is the most effective way to attain business expansion, abiding in the footsteps of the world's top performers in the market.”

On the other hand, the software application creation paradigm that is still defaulted to is the monolithic method. However, the trend is declining since creating a monolithic application has more difficulties, including managing a large code base, incorporating new modifications, scalability, deployment, and other issues.

Therefore, is the monolithic approach outdated and ought to be abandoned? Is it worthwhile to convert the whole application from a monolith to a microservices architecture? Will creating bespoke software using a microservices architecture assist you in achieving your objectives? In this MarsDevs article, let’s answer all those questions and more. So, let’s get started!

Monoliths vs Microservices - An overview

Monoliths vs Microservices - An overview

According to developers, “The traditional way of developing software applications is called monolithic architecture. Every app level, including the user interface, business logic & data storage, is executed within a single runtime process and closely linked into a single codebase in a monolith.”

As was already said, large organizations increasingly use microservices instead of monoliths. But there are times when monolithic architecture is advantageous. 

The advantages of monoliths include the following:

  • It is simpler to build monoliths - Because of their reduced complexity, monoliths can be developed more quickly. Aside from that, you might begin with a simple application and add functionality as it grows.
  • Monoliths are readily controlled - It’s because there are fewer cross-cutting problems, including error detection or logging. It is easier to tackle all of these interrelated issues when they are in one location.
  • Monoliths are easy to test - Since monolithic programs consist of a single body, they can simply executed and evaluated repeatedly.

However, there are cons as well. 

  • It is challenging to understand monoliths - Adding new features and scaling an application may seem like a good idea initially, but they will eventually make it harder to maintain.
  • It can be hard to combine new technologies with monoliths - Since monolithic design consists of a single unit, rebuilding the entire program may include new technologies.
  • Monoliths are hard to change due to their nature - Your app's chances of failing rise when you begin to make modifications to a complicated system. Completing the development might take some time.

Now let’s talk about Microservices architecture. An architectural approach that depends on several independently deployable services is called a microservices architecture, or microservices. These services have an independent goal and their own database and business logic. 

Each service undergoes testing, scaling, deployment, and updating. Major domain-specific and business concerns are separated into distinct, independent code bases via microservices. According to a 2020 survey by O’Reilly, “28% of respondents’ firms started incorporating microservices for 3+ years, while over 61% had been implementing microservices for one or more years.”

But what are its pros?

  • Distinct components - You have additional independence since each service may be deployed and updated individually. Second, a problem in a single microservice impacts that particular service and does not affect the application as a whole.
  • It is simpler to comprehend - Because a microservice application is divided into smaller, more manageable components, it can be comprehended & maintained with ease. You limit your attention to a service that aligns with your company objectives.
  • Scalability is enhanced - Scaling each component is one of the benefits of the microservices architecture. Even when not required, this is faster and less expensive than scaling monolithic apps. 
  • High levels of agility - In a microservice application, an issue impacts only that particular service and not the application as a whole. As a result, all modifications and trials are done with fewer mistakes and lower risks.

However, there are cons as well. 

  • There is an increase in complexity - The databases and modules in a microservices architecture must be linked both internally and externally. Independent services inside this kind of application also need to be deployed individually.
  • Distribution of the system - Because several databases and modules interact in a microservices design, it's vital to manage all the relationships.
  • Cross-cutting concerns - There are several overarching issues to consider while creating a microservices app. Configuration externalization, metrics, logging, and health checks are a few of them.
  • Testing - Because a microservices-based system consists of independently deployable components, testing is highly challenging.

As Martin Fowler depicts, “In general, a microservice architectural style is a way to create a standalone app as a combination of small services, each running in its process & interacting with weightless systems, like an HTTP resource API.”

Microservices vs. Monolithic Architecture: The Difference

Microservices vs. Monolithic Architecture: The Difference

To better understand the differences, let's analyze the complexity, dependability, latency, and scalability of microservices vs. monolithic architecture.


Scalability extends beyond microservices alone. One can also scale a monolith. On the other hand, monolithic applications can be multiplied and scaled in a single dimension. You won't be able to grow in numbers when data increases. One vital benefit of microservices is to enable applications to scale with fewer resources.


We highlighted the low complexity of monolithic designs in our earlier examination of them. Based on the complexity of your application, microservices can involve different source codes, frameworks, and technologies. You can host these services on many servers and interact via APIs.


The latency of an entity is the amount of time that passes between stimulus and reaction following some physical change. That's what microservices are mostly focused on. When a microservice talks to another service across the network, it transmits and receives bytes of data. 

Electrical signals are converted from bytes back to bytes. In contrast, monoliths do not suffer from network delay because every service is situated within the same process. These factors explain why microservices operate more slowly than monoliths.


All calls and activities occur on a single server called a monolith. Put another way, the application as a whole will stop working if the network fails. On the other hand, microservices' network calls have a 99.9% reliability rate. Error isolation, another microservices feature, lets you keep the application running even if one microservices fails.

Microservices vs. Monolithic Architecture: When to use? 

What if you were to learn about the pros and cons of both architecture types but were still unsure which architecture type—microservices or monolithic—to choose? Decide by going through our checkpoints & comparing them with the present scenario and your company objectives:

Here's when you can use the monolithic architecture:

  • You have a simple application. A monolith performs better during small solutions with fewer business logic requirements, higher scalability, and flexibility.
  • It must be launched right away. A monolithic model can be ideal if you want to create your application quickly and put it to use. It functions well if your first budget is less, then you may test your company idea or maintain your heritage system without making any preparations to modernize it.
  • Lowering software latency is what you aim for. All communication is achieved within a single instance of a deployed application in monolith-based systems. It takes minimal time for a data packet to get from one specified place to another due to fewer network exchanges. 
  • You have a modular monolith. This architecture style represents a unified code organization but may require breaking up codes into separate feature modules. Microservices are not necessary if your code is already well-structured and visible within a monolith.

However, go for a microservices architecture when;

However, go for a microservices architecture when;
  • You need to develop a sophisticated, expandable application. Your application will be considerably easier to scale and add new features with the microservices design. Therefore, having a microservice design would be ideal if you intend to construct a massive application with several modules and user journeys. 
  • You intend to deploy new features. Your time-to-market can be accelerated by using microservices. With this architecture, engineering teams don't have to completely rethink the system to develop and implement new functionality in each service.
  • Increasing fault tolerance is your goal. Modules inside microservice software are segregated from one another. As a result, even if one system component malfunctions, the remaining application components will still function as intended.
  • An application that integrates many technologies is what you seek. You can choose the best technology for each service with the modules' separation & the choices won't contradict.

Summing Up 

Industry professionals are available to assist you in selecting the best architecture for your software application based on the project requirements. Both microservices and monolithic architectures are common choices for software applications & each has advantages and disadvantages.

Microservices design offers decentralized development and deployment, whereas monolithic architecture simplifies both. When selecting an architecture, keep things like application size, complexity, team experience, scalability requirements, and time-to-market. 

Larger and more sophisticated systems might need the flexibility and scalability of microservices, whereas smaller, seamless apps might benefit from a monolith. In the end, find an expert to decide for the best. Are you looking to upscale your business to greater heights? MarsDevs can help! Contact MarsDevs & we would be happy to help you.


  1. Should you start with a monolith or microservices?

In most cases, a monolithic system works better for a lightweight application. A sophisticated, dynamic application with well-defined domains might use the microservices design.

  1. When to choose monolith over microservices?

A monolithic application might be easier to manage and create quickly than one that employs microservices. However, monolithic apps can be challenging while scaling and dealing with the difficulties of having a single codebase as they get more complicated.

  1. Are microservices always better than monolithic ones?

Depending on the scale. A monolith is ideal on a modest scale. An architecture using microservices is preferable at a medium scale. A services architecture is preferable at a big scale.

Similar Posts