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Demystifying microservices architecture: Design, benefits and more

The Contentstack TeamFeb 12, 20247 min read

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A microservice architecture boosts business capabilities and leads to faster products to market. Yet, moving from monolithic to microservices throws up challenges. Learn how to overcome such challenges to enjoy its flexibility and control. Contentstack's composable DXP offers a reliable solution to ease the process and get you winning. Request a demo to see it in action.


You’ll learn about building a microservices architecture, its design principles, benefits and more!

  • Microservices architecture is a distributed software development approach.
  • It divides applications into independent services that are easier for you to manage.
  • You can develop each service with various programming languages.
  • Each service focuses on a specific business capability, allowing you to update faster.
  • This architecture promotes faster development cycles and better fault isolation and offers flexibility and scalability.

Enjoy the benefits of microservices architecture using Contentstack's composable DXP. Request a demo to get started.

Keep reading to learn more!

 Microservices architecture offers a flexible way to develop software. Hence, composable DXP platforms are using it to deliver scalable, data-driven solutions. It is a resilient and secure solution for enterprises. This article explores microservices architecture, its benefits, and steps to implement it.

Introduction to microservices architecture

Microservices architecture is a modern, modular approach to software development. It splits an application into several services, each having a single function. 

Since it is decentralized, you can develop, deploy, and manage each service independently. However, you must also set up the right tools to enable them to communicate. Tools, such as HTTP or messaging queues, do the job.

Microservices also allow tech diversity. For instance, you can use Go and Java for business logic, Node.js for API gateways, and Python for analytics.

The benefits of microservices architecture

So, why microservices? They are flexible. You can scale each service on demand and reduce overhead. It improves resource efficiency and enables you to develop software faster.

You can also deploy and integrate them regularly. Creators can add new features with little impact on the system. You can also separate faults. So, if one service fails, it does not affect the whole system. It also improves fault tolerance and agility.


Microservices vs. monolithic architecture

In a monolithic architecture, application pieces share the same resources and memory space. Its designs integrate applications into one service unit. The microservices technology is different. It divides applications into separate small services, each one using separate resources. 

Since they are unified, monolithic systems can be slow. For instance, to make an update, you must update the whole system. You cannot do anything on one part without affecting the entire setup.

Microservices solve that problem by isolating the services. However, this approach has challenges. For instance, it is difficult to ensure data is consistent, and you may incur extra costs on network communication. So, while going from monolith to microservices transforms your business, you must follow the proper steps to do it right.

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Best practices for microservices architecture

Design principles

The design principles are autonomy, monitoring, tech diversity, design for failure, and decentralized systems. There is also security and automation, all of which contribute to building a reliable system. These principles work with design patterns such as auto-scaling, circuit breakers, API gateways, etc., making it easy to track, scale, and manage microservices.

Strategies to deploy microservices

There are many ways to deploy microservices, such as Containers, orchestration tools, serverless, single machines running multiple processes, and multiple machines running multiple processes. Some container applications are Docker and Apache Mesos, while OpensShift and Kubernetes are popular orchestration tools.

Monitoring tools

It is essential to monitor microservices because they are distributed; Otherwise, you may find them difficult to manage. Monitoring tools like Splunk, Grafana, and ELK offer a central way to log and track performance and service health.

The role of microservices in modern software development

Microservices architecture simplifies and speeds up the process. You can find and fix faults faster than in monolithic systems. Failure to one service instance does not affect the others, so you can keep building while fixing that part.

Development teams also collaborate well while you integrate and deliver software on demand. It also allows you to respond to change and new customer needs. Also, it offers better fault tolerance. All these lead to faster products and updates.

The benefits of embracing microservices architecture

It supports innovation and agility and eases software development. You can manage, update, build and deploy at scale and pace. You are also at liberty to use the best-suited tech stacks. Microservices also support DevOps integration.

Unlike monolithic systems, you can update or add to one instance of the microservice without impacting others or the entire system. It's like building a LEGO set. You go piece by piece, and you may also need to remove and replace some pieces. Yet, doing that never breaks the whole structure. That is essential for businesses that want to scale. As your business expands, the system grows with you by increasing its capacity. Microservice technology gives your business new powers.


Service-oriented architecture vs. microservices

A service-oriented architecture and microservices have many things in common. For instance, they break up and organize applications into smaller services. But the scope and how they do it differs,

Microservices have a narrow scope, while SOA is broader. Microservices are more application-focused, while SOA is more enterprise-focused. They also store data in different ways. In an SOA, services share a single storage, while microservices free up storage or assign a database for each service that needs it.

Microservices also handle data governance in a different way. It is more flexible and may not offer the same consistency as you will get from SOA, as SOA encourages shared data governance.

SOA services are mainly standardized, while microservices allow you to use various technologies. Finally, consider the way both systems communicate. Microservices architectures use RESTful APIs, while SOA uses the enterprise service bus (ESB).

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Steps to implement a microservices architecture

  1. Identify the right services: Identify the services you need to break into smaller components. Pro tip: Look at the current system and find ways to improve it.
  2. Define service boundaries: Define the role of each service based on business needs. This ensures each service stays within its function.
  3. Choose a technology stack: Choose the programming language or tech stack that fits each service. 
  4. Establish secure communication: Establish secure APIs and standards to make it easy.
  5. Integrate and deliver: Adopt a DevOps approach for steady, reliable and independent service deployment.
  6. Track and maintain: Monitoring helps you identify any issues that need attention. That way, you can maintain and update the system as and when due.


The role of technology in implementing microservices

Technology provides the tools to design, build, and deploy, and manage microservices. It also provides security, containers, CI/CD pipelines, and other tools for configuring and updating the system. You can also monitor loads and secure the system with the help of technology.

Automated deployment

Automated deployment enables you to push services without manual intervention. They are fast and reliable. GitLab CI, Jenkins, and Travis CI are essential tools for continuous integration and deployment (CI/CD). You can also test and deploy new code changes with these tools.

Load balancing

Incoming traffic that is not properly distributed can overwhelm one instance of the service. Load balancing ensures that does not happen. It distributes the traffic across the services. It also ensures the system can maintain its performance and handle changing loads. It ensures that no single service takes more load than others.

API Gateway

An API Gateway controls traffic. It manages traffic requests from the client side and routes them to the right services. It also collects results from each service to return to the user. This creates a simple, central interface for clients and security, enabling you to verify and authorize users.

Message brokers 

Message brokers help the microservices to communicate with each other. Although it creates loosely coupled services, it ensures they remain in contact. Aside from that, message brokers support message queuing and event streaming. They guarantee that services can exchange data during high-load periods or when they are updating.

Developing and deploying microservices

From the way they are designed, microservices develop, deploy, and scale multiple services. You can update services without relying on the other application pieces. 

Case studies 


Emma was experiencing growth and struggled to scale their technology. 

"Anticipating Emma's highly ambitious business goals, it became apparent that its current technical landscape would not suffice, and simple, incremental improvement would not be enough to transform. We needed a radical step ahead." Westerndorpf said.

That radical step came when they opted for Contentstack's composable DXP. It gave them a flexible front end and improved back-end efficiency and content reuse capabilities. That resulted in an eight times faster campaign launch time while publishing time dropped to 30 minutes.

Read more about Emma's composable DXP success story.


Millions of people rely on Chronodrive for their grocery needs. And as demand increased, they started to struggle. Their legacy system was old and inefficient. Worst still, it was hosted offside.

Contentstack's composable DXP offered them an effective solution. Opting for Contentstack has enabled them to reduce campaign release time by 50%, while the traffic to their mobile app also increased by 14%.

Hear from Celine Nabais Vicente. "The way Contentstack has transformed our organization is spectacular. Can you imagine that before, our team had to be in the office - every day - at 6 am to ensure that content could be published and available to customers by 8:30 am? Today, the work is strategically planned and can be easily adapted to customers according to their region, for example, for targeted promotional operations. The platform is agile and responsive, enabling us to react quickly to unexpected circumstances."

Read more about how Chronodrive transformed its content publishing through Contentstack's composable DXP.

FAQ section

How does microservices architecture work?

Microservices architecture breaks up applications into smaller, standalone parts. These parts use separate resources, making them easier to update, monitor and manage.

How do microservices contribute to scalable architecture?

It makes services more manageable. Since they are small, they can be easily monitored too. When there is a new request or update, you can add it to the relevant instance without impacting the whole system.

What sets microservices architecture apart from monolithic systems?

What sets it apart is the level of control it gives you and the level of independence it provides to the services. Individual services also focus on only one single business function. In monolithic architecture, the system is an integrated unit with high dependency.

What are the main benefits of microservices architecture?

Microservices architecture is agile and resilient. It supports DevOps. You can use various programming languages according to the service requirement. It also offers robust fault isolation and tolerance, leading to a more resilient system.

How can microservices be deployed independently?

You can deploy microservices through different ways, such as orchestration tools, docker containers, serverless, CI/CD pipelines, and database schema management.

What role does an API gateway play in microservices architecture?

It controls traffic flow. As the client makes a request to the system, the API gateway receives it, authenticates it, and routes it to the right service. It also aggregates responses, monitors the system and manages features like load balancing and caching.

What are the challenges when going from a monolithic architecture to microservices?

You may encounter some problems when trying to migrate data. Also, microservices are complex, so it may take a while for your team to understand how it works. There could also be extra costs for network communication. 

Learn more

Microservices architecture speeds up software development. It allows you to take control and collaborate better with your team members.

Yet, moving from a monolithic application to microservices presents is never easy. So, you need a reliable solution to get you through it. Contentstack's composable DXP does that. Take the right steps today. Request our free demo to see how it works.

About Contentstack

The Contentstack team comprises highly skilled professionals specializing in product marketing, customer acquisition and retention, and digital marketing strategy. With extensive experience holding senior positions in notable technology companies across various sectors, they bring diverse backgrounds and deep industry knowledge to deliver impactful solutions.  

Contentstack stands out in the composable DXP and Headless CMS markets with an impressive track record of 87 G2 user awards, 6 analyst recognitions, and 3 industry accolades, showcasing its robust market presence and user satisfaction.

Check out our case studies to see why industry-leading companies trust Contentstack.

Experience the power of Contentstack's award-winning platform by scheduling a demo, starting a free trial, or joining a small group demo today.

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