Microservice applications have taken over in the last few years. Amazon, Netflix and SoundCloud are just a handful of the major companies that run microservice architecture. Many app entrepreneurs are taking advantage of the benefits of microservices and are moving away from the rigidity of monolithic single apps. Not to suggest that microservice architecture should be used for everything—it’s about understanding your options and ensuring that using microservices will add business value to your project.
What are Microservices?
Microservice architecture splits up the pieces of an app into smaller applications that are easily maintainable, individually deployable and testable, and tailorable to business requirements. Generally, microservices have made app development a lot more productive and allowed a development team to more easily perform quality assurance, since testing doesn’t require deployment of an entire stack. Testing in isolation means that one cracked brick won’t topple your whole castle—you can easily add or remove components as needed.
Next, Why Would Microservice Architecture Work Well With Node.js?
Although using microservices speeds up development, implementing microservices across different runtime environments with different codebases can cause conflict. In the event that multiple microservices break, it may be more difficult to fix everything unless you’ve hired some rockstar developer who specializes in 10+ languages. Microservice architecture running in Node.js keeps debugging simple—since everything is JS, your developers only need to know a single language to debug across the board.
Locating and Fixing Bugs
With microservices, finding bugs themselves is a lot easier. Think about it like this: it’s a lot easier to find a ball in a sectioned garden, rather than a forest. In a garden, it’s a lot easier to spot a plant that’s out of place or an annoying weed. This is exactly what it’s like using microservices with Node.js—bugs are easy to spot and can be dealt with promptly.
Scalability is an essential part of an app’s success. In the event of increased traffic, the last thing you want to happen is for anything to crash. The problem with a monolithic app is that achieving consistent scalability is going to take a lot of work, as the code is more tightly interlinked and it can be harder to figure out where data is bottlenecking. Microservice architecture makes it easy to identify exactly what parts of your app are the issue, so you can target them more surgically. If any of these microservices do run into further problems, you don’t have to worry about the entire app breaking and you can still provide a satisfactory user experience.
Your scalability potential is infinite—the only limit being your own budget. This scalability is achievable due to Node.js’s single-threaded asynchronous architecture, which ensures high performance on any scale. Though it struggles with CPU-intensive data, Node is absolutely unparalleled at handling high request volume and can scale up to handle millions of requests at a time.
When maintenance or system upgrades are necessary, you only have to worry about adding new features to a single microservice, avoiding any downtime that monolithic single apps have to experience. This aligns with the modular, service-based approach that Node.js emphasizes. Ease of maintenance reinforces not only the technical efficiency but time and cost efficiency of a Node.js microservice app.
If you’re working in a development team, splitting up workflow is a lot simpler with microservices, especially when your app is large and complex. Microservices stop different developers from stepping on others’ toes and slowing each other down. It can be stressful when team members have to wait upon someone else, then that certain person becomes sick, then the entire productivity of your project gets thrown out of whack. Microservices allow you to better compartmentalize, and creates less inter-staff dependency.
Cost Efficiency During Development
To understand how Node.js microservice apps are more affordable we can use a banana analogy (everyone likes bananas right?). Imagine a monolithic app as a bunch of bananas that are wrapped together and have to be purchased as a bunch. Then imagine another row of individual bananas, in which you have the freedom to separate and purchase only one banana for your cost-effective smoothie. Think of each banana as a microservice, instead of paying for your entire app to be upgraded, you only need to invest in the appropriate microservice. Thus, saving you time and money when wanting to improve your app.
Cost-Efficiency When Hiring
With microservice architecture, hiring Node.js developers from web development companies is very simple. Most development companies will offer developer packages, which are flexible hiring plans that allow you to change the amount of external assistance based on current project requirements. The reasons why this meshes so well with a microservice architecture is that it’s really easy to read your project and figure out how much assistance you need.
The other options when looking for Node developers is to hire a freelancer. The limitation here being that it’s going to be more difficult to extend your team if you need—the only other option is to hire and interview another freelancer. Not to mention, freelancers are likely to have differing working hours, which can be uneasy when wanting to meet deadlines. However, compared to a monolithic app, microservice apps are certainly easier if wanting to hire multiple freelancers. If seriously considering this, you’re best bet is to hire from Toptal.
To sum things up, a microservice-based Node.js app is a great idea, depending on your app. If your app is data-intensive and unbearably complex or heavy when imagined as a monolith, then the tips in this article are for you! From a cost-efficiency perspective, Node.js apps are a great choice and make the pathway of business growth a lot clearer.
Finally, I must emphasise that in no way was this article designed to say monolithic apps are a bad idea. Both microservices and monolithic structures have their pros and cons. Especially if you’re processing low-volume, CPU-intensive data, Node isn’t really a great idea. Single-threading is excellent at dealing with request volume but it’s going to struggle when that single thread gets choked up by more complex data. The key is to understand both and make an informed decision as to what is the best choice for your ambitions.