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What is Monolithic Architecture? Explained.

Mohammed NaserMohammed Naser

A monolithic architecture is the traditional unified model for the design of a software program. What more should you know? Read on.

Making the right architectural choice relies on several factors, especially the expertise of developers and management capabilities. Monolithic architecture is one of the first things people talk about while discussing types of IT architecture. Here is a look at what the term means and its various benefits.

What is Monolithic Architecture?

Monolithic architecture is a traditional unified model meant to design a software program. The term 'Monolithic' here means composed all in one piece. Such software is crafted to be self-contained. Different program components are not loosely coupled with modular software programs but are somewhat interdependent and interconnected. In such a tightly-coupled architecture, each element and its associated components must be present for code execution and compilation.

In Contrast with Modular Architecture

Additionally, if any program component must be updated, the whole application has to be rewritten. Separate modules such as microservices can be changed in modular applications without affecting other elements within the program. Such an architecture lowers the risk that a change made within one element will create unanticipated changes within other factors since modules are generally independent. Modular programs also allow themselves to perform iterative processes more efficiently than monolithic programs.

Fundamental Benefits of Monolithic Architecture

However, there are many advantages to monolithic architectures as well.

Particularly when it comes to operational overhead requirements, here are some of those primary benefits:

  • Simplicity - monolithic architectures are simple to build, test and deploy. Scaling within monolith apps can happen horizontally. This process happens in one direction by running several application copies behind a load balancer.
  • Performance - components in a monolith app use IPC or other mechanisms and usually share memory faster than service-to-service communications.
  • Cross-cutting concerns: - with a single codebase, monolithic apps can easily handle cross-cutting concerns, such as logging, configuration management, and performance monitoring.

Compared to a modular approach, monolithic programs typically have better throughput - an example is a microservice architecture (MSA). Furthermore, since they have fewer elements, fewer variables come into play, and they can be easy for testing and debugging.

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