Kelsey Hightower and Ben Sigelman Debate Microservices vs. Monoliths
Welcome to The New Stack Context, a podcast where we discuss the latest news and perspectives in the world of cloud native computing. For this week’s episode, we spoke with Kelsey Hightower, a developer advocate at Google, and Ben Sigelman, CEO and co-founder of observability services provider LightStep, about whether or not teams should favor a monolith over a microservices approach when architecting cloud native applications.
TNS editorial and marketing director Libby Clark hosted this episode, alongside founder and TNS publisher Alex Williams and TNS managing editor Joab Jackson.
Hightower recently tweeted a prediction that “Monolithic applications will be back in style after people discover the drawbacks of distributed monolithic applications.” It was quite a surprise for those who have been advocating the for operational benefits of microservices. Why go back to a monolith?
As Hightower explains in the podcast: “There are a lot of people who have never left a monolith. So there’s really not anything to go back to. So it’s really about the challenges of adopting a microservices architecture. From a design perspective, like very few companies talk about, here’s how we designed our monolith.”
Sigelman, on the other hand, maintained that microservices are necessary for rapid development, which, in turn, is necessary for sustaining a business. “It’s not so much that you should use microservices, it’s more like, if you don’t innovate faster than your competitors, your company will eventually be erased, like, that’s the actual problem. And in order to do that, you need to build a lot of differentiated technology,” he said. Microservices is the most logical approach for maintaining a large software team while still maintaining a competitive velocity of development.
Later in the show, we discuss some of the top TNS podcasts and news posts of the week, including an interview with IBM’s Lin Sun on the importance of the service mesh, as Sysdig’s offer of a distributed, scalable Prometheus, a group of chief technology officers who want to help the U.S. government with the current COVID-19 pandemic, and the hidden vulnerabilities that come with open source security.