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Table of Contents
From Monolithic Architecture to Microservices
Elements of Service Design
Benefits of Service Modelling
Implementation of Devops
The purpose of this assignment is to understand the differences between monolithic architecture and multiservice architecture, draw a comparison between the two platforms and examine the reasons to make a transition from one to the other. We will be looking at a company named Greer John Wealth Management Private Limited and explore its options in terms of what are the changes it needs to make in order to stay on top of the investment game, provide the best to its investors and be at par with their competitors. The technology used by Greer John Wealth Management has not changed since the 2000s and has served the company well all this while. However, now is the time to implement changes in the technology so that the company is better prepared to take on the challenges of the current scenario and meet the demands of their investors. It is time the company thinks about ways of progressing as, being stuck with primitive means could cost them their investors who may look elsewhere for better services. Since the company is new to microservices, there are a lot of factors to be considered before making the shift. These factors will be highlighted in this report. Approaches such as DevOps, service design and software service modelling will also be looked into and explored so that a clear understanding of what can work for the growth of the company can be formed.
Monolithic architecture is a traditional application. The approach involves creating a single unit of application which will consist of all the possible practical and useful elements, such as database operations and background processing. All of these components are put to work together and run on the same servers. Though monolithic architecture is simple, convenient easy to run and requires only one application to run for everything, it does have its limitations and drawbacks. For starters, it is extremely inconvenient to run the entire application when only a minor change is required to be made. To modify maybe a small unit or one bug using a simple code, one needs to create codes for the entire monolithic system (Chen, 2018). This wastes a lot of time as well as other resources. Also, organisations tend to struggle with monolith architecture as a lot of effort goes into scaling the entire system when only a part of it is required. This hinders innovation and advancement.
Microservices architecture is the procedure of creating applications by putting together several small services. Different components have a different service, set of programs, language, database and framework that is developed and maintained separately. This means the functioning of each service is independent of the other and problems arising in one system will not hamper the functioning of the other systems. In other words, it is the collaboration of different independent services that together form a complex and complete system. Microservices architecture is easier to manage and can be developed using a variety of programming languages, such as Python and Java. Communication in microservices architecture takes place via specific protocols such as HTTP or TCP. Unlike monolithic services, complex applications requiring scaling on a larger level work better with microservices architecture. Some of the big companies and organizations of the world have adopted microservices architecture, including famous names such as Netflix, Amazon and eBay. In other words, it can be said that all of the problems arising from the use of monolithic architecture is solved upon switching to microservices architecture (Hasselbring & Steinacker, 2017).
Greer John Wealth Management Private Limited is an investment company catering to the needs of numerous investment customers who trust the firm with their investment portfolios. The technology used by the firm to manage the accounts and investments date back to the 2000s. Though the technology was revolutionary and the best in line at the time, a change is required keeping in mind, the present times. Monolithic services have worked well for the company in the past, but with the amount of technological advancement taking place, they need to update their platforms and facilities as well. The company’s competitors have upgraded their digital platforms and technology to better cater to the needs of the changing market. Also, the changes and reforms made in the field of wealth management require a change in approach and the services offered by the company. Hence, given the competition and reforms, a switch from the monolithic approach to a microservices platform would be a necessary and beneficial move (Kalske, Mäkitalo, & Mikkonen, 2017).
A change in the strategy for Greer John Wealth Management would require investing in a digital approach that would help in making a switch from its old outdated platform to a new cutting edge and flexible platform, catering to all the digital needs of its customers. The benefits the company would experience upon shifting to the microservices platform would be in terms of scalability, flexibility, higher levels of productivity, simplified communication and easy maintenance (Miteva, 2020).
Scalability implies that instead of changing the entire set up, changing only the target element or the component that requires a change can be done while keeping the other components intact (Hasselbring & Steinacker, 2017). This will help avoid the inconvenience associated with making small changes.
Flexibility is another advantage provided by the use of microservices platforms. Developers are not limited to the use of a restricted number of tools and technology. Thus, it provides more and superior options which are relevant for the problem at hand.
Higher Productivity allows numerous teams of people to work on different parts of the same platform without getting in the way of one another, ensuring maximum productivity and an increase in output.
Simplified Communication is another benefit provided by the microservices architecture. Remote teams can function efficiently as well as independently while using this application. Individuals also have the freedom to continue with their work and make the necessary decisions without waiting for others on their team to catch up.
By Easy Maintenance, we mean that detection and repair of errors in the system can be done in a hassle-free manner. This way the developers have more control over the smallest components and codes and a problem-free and efficient system can be easily established.
Huge companies which plan on growing and expanding even further should consider microservices architecture. A growing number of projects and customer require more developers and better technology. Also, huge companies cannot afford to waste time and resources which is a major inconvenience when it comes to the outdated monolithic approach. Though the microservices are not perfect themselves, it is the only practical solution available in the present scenario. Since making a move from monolithic to microservices is a huge undertaking and requires a lot of work, it must be seriously discussed before going through with it.
By service design, we mean the planning and organization of various components involving people, communication and infrastructure involved in a particular service so that an improvement in quality can be brought about. Both monolithic and microservices platforms are services provided to the customers by a firm. Before making such a drastic change in an organization, it is advisable to check first if microservices is indeed benefitting the overall functioning and operations of the firm or not. As discussed previously, it has been established that it is beneficial for a firm to switch from a monolithic architecture to microservices. While splitting monolithic architecture to microservices, there are multiple aspects to be considered as it is not easy. One needs to establish clear goals for future projects and how the microservices architecture can be implemented in the best possible way to achieve these goals. Preparing the organisation for major changes is essential. They have been used to working in a certain way and may require additional guidance and training while shifting to a new system. Failure should be regarded as a learning experience. Changes should be made in performance metrics and indicators keeping in mind and accommodating the new system instead of the old. Instead of introducing all the changes at once, it is advisable to start with small changes and gradually move to bigger problems (Maki, 2020). Additionally, changes also have to be made to the teams and their structure as microservices require different operators, developers and owners. An ideal strategy would be to build a team that can strategize, execute and support services independently without external aid or approval. The new team should have all the resources needed to rapidly build, test and debug services. The new system should not be dependent on the monolithic system and should be its independent entity. Projects undertaken by the organisation in future should be in line with microservices architecture and not the monolithic platform. A gradual shift from dependency on monolithic services is recommended. It is important to practise to test new codes before implementing them so that they do not impact the investors negatively. Also, when a system shifts from one codebase to another, better perspective and insight is required to access the performance of the service. Thus, being observant from the start concerning the initial projects will be beneficial in the long run. Defining and working on the modifications required with respect to the infrastructure will help in obtaining as well as maintaining it. Care should be taken that the infrastructure related to microservices comes with complexities that are not present in the monolithic infrastructure. So, it may be a problem for developers who are not accustomed to such complexities and would require proper resources to tackle this issue. A scaling strategy which is different from the previous system is also to be considered while moving to a newer system. Understanding the microservices ecosystem and being able to utilize it to its maximum potential is the ultimate objective. Having a dedicated plan, budget, training, adequate support and resources will help in transitioning in a smooth manner.
Service modelling is the procedure of creating a software and business system that aims to cater to specific systems within multiple architectural styles and paradigms. The purpose of service modelling is to provide an in-depth analysis, design and architecture of all the software related components in an organization. This method requires a modelling language, employed by the problem and solution domains of the organization as it is their perspective which impacts the service development strategy. There are numerous advantages associated with service modelling, which include the following –
Low Long-Term Costs: A lot of money and resources such as time are required to update or repair the entire system when only a specific part needs to be modified. After service modelling, this problem gets solved as only a small set of codes are required to bring about the desired changes instead of writing huge codes accommodating the entire system. This saves time and is convenient for the developers and other stakeholders involved.
In case of issues with the system, it is the responsibility of the organization or vendor to get it fixed. If the software is malfunctioning, it will directly impact the company as its investors may be dissatisfied with the services they are provided and will take their business elsewhere, resulting in a loss for the vendor. Hence, they are motivated to fix the problem and ensure a hassle-free experience to their customers.
Another benefit involves less risk in terms of investments. Instead of spending too much money all at once, smaller amounts of money are needed at one time to keep the system afloat. This strategy is less intimidating, less scary and is highly preferred.
Security of the environment is guaranteed by the company otherwise it will be difficult for them to keep their customers and investors. Data needs to be backed up regularly and the security levels of the system must be checked to avoid a breach into the database. When the customers are guaranteed safety, there are lower chances of them to shift their businesses elsewhere.
DevOps stands for Development and Operations and it comprises of a set of applications combining IT operations and software development which are extremely elastic and a fitting alternative to the monolithic architecture (Mazlami, Cito & Leitner, 2017). DevOps aligns with Agile methodology and Agile software development. The Agile methodology is a process of software development approach where requirements and solutions are discovered and developed through the collaboration of teams that are cross-functioning and self-organizing and their customers. DevOps merges various philosophies, cultural practices and tools that expand the ability of the organization to deliver services, and evolve and improve its products at a quicker pace, as compared to those organizations that are still using traditional software and infrastructure (Zhu, Bass & Champlin-Scharff, 2016). This increase in momentum allows organizations to improve their customer service and efficiently compete in the market.
The central build for DevOps requires microservices architecture (Balalaie, Heydarnoori & Jamshidi, 2016). This enhances the reliability and scalability of the system. Using microservices will provide the opportunity to the teams to work together on different services, improving output and productivity. The DevOps built is automated and it refers to the processes involved in the conversion of assets such as files into a software product and is ready to be consumed. The build may consist of compiling source files, packing these files into a compressed format, such as .zip, creating installers and generating or updating of the database. Since the focus is on an automated build, these mechanisms can be repeated without external intervention and can be performed at any time based on the information fed to the source codes in the database.
Certain points and protocols are required to be kept in mind while implementing DevOps. The developers should make sure that the test activities are aligned in such a manner that they fall in one cycle. Both pre-tests and pro-tests should be automated to assure 100% coverage and encourage continuation integration and delivery. To achieve this investment in powerful software should be done by the company to ensure that the entire DevOps cycle is automated. Professionals must also open the doors for continuous integration, as this will permit team members in charge of quality control to perform tests that will check the quality of codes added to the code base regularly. This will lead to quicker identification of errors if any, and the efficient use of time. Given the huge coverage of DevOps in relation to the different activities carried out for software development, developers must monitor the testing process from the initial stages of development right to its implementation. Running parallel tests should also be encouraged, as this would enable developers and professionals overseeing quality control to run the tests under various conditions and providing reliable test results. Programmers and professionals should ideally establish an environment where the entire team is able to stay connected to and communicate with each other, without any issues or barriers. Open and clear communication is important in any organization. In order to function smoothly, one must be able to express their concerns and requirements to each team member so that the maximum benefits of the DevOps test are reaped by everyone. One of the most significant aspects of testing is providing feedback. Quick and precise feedback regarding the different operations should be provided so that they can be rectified and ensure the seamless working of the system. The build and test processes mentioned above are the basic changes required to be made by a company that is beginning to explore the domain of DevOps.
Since Greer John Wealth Management is starting out on the path of digital development, they should ideally examine the pros and cons of making a transition to a new platform. Once the benefits of switching to a newer and more advanced platform is clear to them, their first undertaking should be to switch from the monolithic architecture to the microservices platform. After the transition is made by them, they should explore the avenue of DevOps and implement it within their system so as to be at par with their competitors, offer the best possible service and modern solutions to their investors and be able to run their organization smoothly and efficiently. The implementation of DevOps can bring several technical benefits to the company, such as continuous delivery of software, fewer complications and quicker resolution to problems. Additionally, they also lead to the teams being more productive, higher professional efficiency and development, stable operations, higher instances of innovation and improved communication. Finally, they would be able to match up to their competitors and provide their best to their investors which would increase customer satisfaction and would bring them more businesses and investment portfolios.
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Chen, L. (2018, April). Microservices: Architecting for continuous delivery and devops. In 2018 IEEE International Conference on Software Architecture (ICSA) (pp. 39-397). IEEE. https://doi.org/10.1109/ICSA.2018.00013.
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Zhu, L., Bass, L., & Champlin-Scharff, G. (2016). DevOps and Its Practices. IEEE Software, 33(3), 32–34. https://doi.org/10.1109/ms.2016.81
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