Moving From Monolith to Microservices: Mark Porter and Accenture’s Michael Ljung Explain

Cara Heimbaugh


The first step in digital transformation for many organizations is to migrate from legacy on-premises environments and move as many workloads as possible into the public cloud. As seen in the first in our series of conversations between Mark Porter, CTO of MongoDB, and Michael Ljung, Accenture’s Global Lead, Software Engineering, Accenture Cloud First, this is not always easy, but with the right tools and planning, that migration can reap great benefits.

The next step in many organizations’ transformation is to dismantle their monolithic applications — which often limit businesses’ ability to quickly innovate — and move to applications built on a microservices architecture. Many organizations are already well on their way. Research shows that 36% of large companies, 50% of medium companies, and 44% of small companies are already using microservices in their production and development.

To explain this migration away from the monolith, Porter and Ljung sat down to discuss the benefits of microservices, how to size those services properly for best results, and how an Accenture customer used a microservices approach to quickly roll out new features to help provide COVID-19 vaccinations. Watch their full discussion:

Why microservices?

Although teams choose a microservice architecture for a variety of reasons and use cases, one driving force is that businesses now rely so heavily on software for competitive advantage that they require a more rapid development cycle for new releases. A monolithic approach does not support the fast time-to-market cycles needed, nor does it provide the working environment developers need to speed the release process.

In their conversation, Porter and Ljung cover several benefits of moving away from the monolith and adopting microservices at the proper size, including the following:

  • Microservices align to how humans work best together. A large, monolithic codebase leads to complexity and creates immense cognitive loads for the developers.

  • They offer protection from complete downtime. Microservices allow for compartmentalization to avoid a single point of failure. By contrast, with a monolithic application, if something goes wrong, everything goes wrong.

  • They allow for better application scaling. With a microservices architecture, only the features that require extra performance need to be scaled.

  • And they allow you to increase your speed to market. Some teams have reported that moving to microservices and containers saw a 13x increase in the frequency of software releases.

Read the first installment in this cloud migration series, “Migrating to the Cloud Isn't As Easy As Most People Think.”