Monolithic vs. Microservices Architecture: Advantages and Disadvantages

Chris Bateson
3 min readNov 29, 2023

Over the past decade, the modern app development process has been rendered a rather dynamic and multifaceted journey — one in which technology plays a crucial role. However, the fact remains that companies and developers are now faced with the challenge of creating not only user-friendly but also equally scalable and flexible apps so they can adapt to the market’s continually evolving needs. This is where app architecture comes in.

In this article, I will discuss the two most common architecture types, i.e., Monolithic and Microservices, what they are about, and their respective pros and cons. Let’s get started.

What is Monolithic Architecture?

The monolithic architecture is a software design approach, and a rather traditional one at that, where a whole app is built as a single, tightly integrated unit. That means that all of the app’s components, such as its user interface, business logic, data access, and other required functionalities, are combined and deployed as a single unit with a single codebase.

Key Pros of Monolithic Architecture:

  1. Ease of development: Monolithic architectures are pretty simple to design and develop and maintain. This architecture makes for a terrific choice for small teams. Since all components are tightly coupled, developers can focus on the features without worrying about managing communication between separate services.
  2. Single codebase: We know by now that the monolithic architecture involves a single codebase, making version control and deployment easier. Plus, changes or updates to the application can be made more quickly.
  3. Cost: Compared to microservices architectures, monolithic architecture is usually not as expensive to develop and maintain.

Cons of Monolithic Architecture:

  1. Reduced scalability: Monolithic architectures don’t do so well in the scaling department, meaning developers can find it challenging to bring in more resources to handle the increased load.
  2. Poor agility: Since in this architecture, any changes to the app’s code can have a cascading effect on other components, introducing new features is quite challenging — at least to accomplish quickly.

What is Microservices Architecture?

Microservices architecture is an approach to designing and building software applications as a collection of small, independent, and loosely coupled services. Instead of creating a monolithic application where all functionalities are tightly integrated, microservices break down the application into a set of independently deployable services, each responsible for a specific business capability.

Key Pros of Microservices Architecture:

  1. Scalability: What you need to know about the microservices architecture is that it allows the development of individual components. Following this, they can be deployed and scaled independently. Because of such modularity, developers find it easier to scale specific services based on demand for them.
  2. Agility: The microservices architecture is as agile as it is scalable. With it, changes to one microservice can be made in isolation from other microservices, thus reducing the risk of bringing in new bugs to the code.
  3. Conducive to modern technologies: The microservices architecture is conducive to using different technologies for every service, thus fostering innovation in app development.

Cons of Microservices Architecture:

  1. Complexity: Since microservices architectures need additional infrastructure to manage communication between different microservices, such architectures can be quite complex.
  2. Costs: It is more expensive to develop and maintain because it needs additional resources, such as servers, storage, and networking.

Final Words

In the dynamic landscape of software architecture, choosing between monolithic vs microservices architecture requires careful consideration of their pros and cons. Monolithic architectures provide simplicity and ease of management, ideal for smaller projects. On the other hand, microservices offer scalability and flexibility, catering to the demands of complex, rapidly evolving applications. While monoliths excel in straightforward deployment, microservices empower organizations to embrace agility and independent scaling. In conclusion, the decision hinges on project requirements, team expertise, and long-term objectives. Whether opting for the cohesion of monoliths or the modularity of microservices, success lies in aligning architectural choices with the project’s unique needs.

Well, I hope this quick but handy guide to the monolithic vs microservices architecture debate helps you make an informed decision about which of the two is better suited for your project.



Chris Bateson

Explorer of Technology. Loves to Stay updated with News & Trends in the Business & Tech Space.