When Not To Use Microservices Architecture

The Microservices Architecture is becoming increasingly popular. Developed from the Service-oriented architecture, this approach splits the application into smaller and independent services. In theory, this enables smoother deployment, scalability and allows for customizing of the product. But when should it not be used? Here we will analyze when it might not be the preferred architecture, and other approaches that can be better.

On a practical level, there are a few drawbacks to using the Microservices Architecture. Firstly, there is complexity due to the many moving parts. Each of the services must be written, tested and managed separately, which requires an ample and competent DevOps team. Moreover, deployments can be more challenging due to the number of components and services. Moreover, there are distributed systems vulnerabilities to bear in mind and a need for a service mesh to handle service-to-service communication.

The computing power and resources needed to use the microservices architecture are also a factor. Smaller services require higher numbers of instances, which can be expensive. Similarly, the network latency and setup time required for all the components can be lengthy. All this means that, depending on the product, the microservices approach may not be ideal.

In terms of scalability, there are other approaches that can be more suitable. For example, Cloud Computing provides a solution. The advantages of this approach include the ability to easily scale and to use cloud services that offer high availability, like Kubernetes, Amazon EC2 and Azure. Moreover, the architecture is simpler and requires fewer components. Similarly, the benefits of ‘bin packing’ or ‘auto-scaling’ can be a better solution.

Additionally, there can be security issues with the Microservices Architecture. With so many components there are more seams in the code, which can potentially lead to greater vulnerabilities. Therefore, a thorough security component is needed for secure communication and authentication. This can be very expensive in terms of money, time and effort.

In terms of maintenance costs, the micro services approach can be more expensive than other architectures. In particular, as each service needs to be updated separately, this can incur extra costs. Moreover, an extensive DevOps team may be needed in order to cover each component. Therefore, for those with a limited budget, the microservices architecture may not be the ideal solution.

Software Programing Languages

Choosing the right software programming language is also critical when using the Microservice architecture. It is important to pick a language with specific performance requirements, as well as compatibility with the technology of the platform where it will run. For example, if the application is destined to run on an Android device, a framework like Kotlin may be a better fit than Java. Additionally, the language selected must be agile enough to respond to the changing requirements of the application.

It is therefore recommended to perform research and select the right language for the application. This may include several different considerations such as compatibility and readability. Moreover, open source programming languages are often more suitable for the Microservices architecture due to their flexibility and extensibility.

In terms of debugging and diagnosis, debugging and tracing of distributed systems can be difficult as there are many components. This can be further complicated if the application is running on multiple machines and in multiple cloud environments. Therefore, it is important to have the tools available to monitor, analyze and debug the application. This includes the use of a logging system for collecting data, and Automated Testing for catching bugs and verifying code.

Data Replication and Sync

Another aspect to consider is the need for data replication and synchronization. This is especially important because data needs to be consistent across all services. Therefore, a mechanism needs to be in place to ensure that data is replicated and synchronized in an efficient manner.

Traditional approaches such as polling or using a pub/sub model often result in latency issues or scalability issues. Therefore, the use of distributed databases or messaging queues can be a better solution. In particular, technologies such as Apache Kafka and RabbitMQ offer high throughput and scalability, reducing latency and enabling reliable message exchange.

Finally, debugging and testing must be taken into consideration. With the many components and services, it can be quite challenging to identify the source of an error or to perform extensive testing. Therefore, it is important to have the appropriate tools and frameworks for debugging and testing. This includes the use of Mock libraries for isolating the code and verifying it, as well as Automated Testing for catching bugs and ensuring reliability.

Integration Tools and APIs

Integration tools and APIs are key components of the microservices architecture, as they allow the services to communicate with each other. These tools must be reliable and secure, and they must meet industry security compliance standards. Furthermore, they should be easy to use and understand, as well as extensible to allow developers to extend and customize the APIs.

In addition, API gateways are often used for API services management, allowing developers to control and manage APIs securely, fault-tolerant and quickly. Moreover, integrating service-oriented architecture can provide extra features such as mediation, routing, security and version control.

Furthermore, it is important to consider the cost of the integration tools. This can include monthly fees, setup costs, etc. It is therefore important to select the right integration technology which has the right pricing model. Additionally, finding the right balance between users and API calls is essential to ensure the application is not overloading the services with useless API calls.

Analytics and Monitoring

Analytics and monitoring are essential components of the microservices architecture. This requires the use of appropriate tools in order to collect and analyze data, as well as monitor and respond to distributed applications. This includes the ability to capture logging data from all of the services and components, as well as monitor and trace application performance.

The aim is to be able to debug and optimize the system efficiently. For this, it is important to have the right solutions in place. This could mean the use of data analysis tools to capture requests and responses, such as Splunk and ELK. Additionally, there are monitoring tools such as Prometheus and Dynatrace available for performance monitoring and visualization.

Finally, the ability to store data in a reliable and organized manner is critical. This includes the need for a central repository to store data acquired from the different services. This could be a data lake or a data warehouse, both of which are readily available solutions that can be used to store and analyze large amounts of data.


The microservices architecture is becoming increasingly popular but it is important to ensure it is the right solution. Considerations include the cost, complexity and scalability of the product. In some cases it might not be the best solution, as there are other architectures such as Cloud Computing and Bin Packing that can be more suitable. Furthermore, it is important to select the appropriate programming language and integration tools, as well as the appropriate solutions for data replication and analytics.

Anita Johnson is an award-winning author and editor with over 15 years of experience in the fields of architecture, design, and urbanism. She has contributed articles and reviews to a variety of print and online publications on topics related to culture, art, architecture, and design from the late 19th century to the present day. Johnson's deep interest in these topics has informed both her writing and curatorial practice as she seeks to connect readers to the built environment around them.

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