Authors: Mario Villamizar, Oscar Garcés, Lina Ochoa, Harold Castro, Lorena Salamanca, Mauricio Verano, Rubby Casallas, Santiago Gil, Carlos Valencia, Angee Zambrano, and Mery Lang.
Venue: Service Oriented Computing and Applications
Large Internet companies like Amazon, Netflix, and LinkedIn are using the microservice architecture pattern to deploy large applications in the cloud as a set of small services that can be independently developed, tested, deployed, scaled, operated, and upgraded. However, aside from gaining agility, independent development, and scalability, how microservices affect the infrastructure costs is a major evaluation topic for companies adopting this pattern. This paper presents a cost comparison of a web application developed and deployed using the same scalable scenarios with three different approaches 1) a monolithic architecture, 2) a microservice architecture operated by the cloud customer, and 3) a microservice architecture operated by the cloud provider. Test results show that microservices can help reduce infrastructure costs in comparison with standard monolithic architectures. Moreover, the use of services specifically designed to deploy and scale microservices, such as AWS Lambda, reduces infrastructure costs by 70% or more, and unlike microservices operated by cloud customers, these specialized services help to guarantee the same performance and response times as the number of users increases. Lastly, we also describe the challenges we faced while implementing and deploying microservice applications, and include a discussion on how to replicate the results on other cloud providers.