Monoliths to Microservices

Modernizing applications for the cloud is a pain.
But it doesn’t have to be.

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Technology change is less remarkable than ways we have discovered to use it.

The cloud, for instance, has opened up an entirely new frontier, giving companies greater scalability, flexibility, reliability, capabilities and cost reductions. But peek behind the curtain at most enterprises and you’ll still find plenty of legacy applications that have yet to be digitally transformed to operate in the cloud. They are typically monolithic applications with large codebases, architected as one huge application whose functions are tightly coupled. There is no way to make a change to one element without impacting and potentially breaking other dependent parts of the monolith, thus requiring longer test cycles, longer startup times, and much harder debugging. 

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“Technological change isn’t any faster than at other points in history. We’ve seen technological innovation before. But what has changed is the way we’re using technology to transform our jobs and our relationship to work.”

What Are Monoliths?

Monolithic applications can be massive and highly complex systems that are difficult to maintain, update, and scale. Many were developed over the last 10-20 years, run on aging platforms and operating systems, and use outdated architectures and frameworks that weren’t built for the cloud. These monoliths are difficult to update as-is and incredibly cost-and-labor-intensive to scale.

vfunction platform chart assessment modernization hub

Why Should Some Monoliths Be Broken Into Microservices?

The most efficient way to modernize a monolith to better leverage the cloud is to break it into smaller microservices that are much easier to manage, update, horizontally scale, and maintain over time, even as newer technology and use cases arise. Microservices enable software development to better leverage modern DevOps methodologies such as continuous integration and continuous delivery or continuous deployment (CI/CD). 

Not all monolithic applications need modernizing, but plenty do, leaving companies with the arduous task of determining which ones to convert to microservices and how best to accomplish it.

Monoliths to Microservices Resources

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What Converting a Monolithic Application to Microservices Means and Why It’s Good for Your Company

Go in-depth into the context and problem of conversion and the best methods for organizations to convert from monolithic applications to microservices. You’ll be able to better decide how to break down monoliths to microservices, with pros and cons to each approach.

monoliths to microservices 4 modernization best practices

Monoliths to Microservices: 4 Modernization Best Practices

Learn where to start modernizing monolithic applications to microservices, including how to assess your application landscape and best practices that include leveraging artificial intelligence and automation so you don’t have to attempt modernization manually.

Monoliths to Microservices on OCI

Spend less than three minutes to learn how to accelerate your journey to cloud-native architecture on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI)


Cloud Migration Strategies: The 7 Rs


assessment hub

application owners icon Rehost

Rehost, also known as “lift and shift,” involves the process of lifting applications from their current non-cloud hosting environments and shifting them as-is to the cloud or a rehosting infrastructure. Rehosting is the most common strategy to bring legacy applications to the cloud because it is simple, fast, and doesn’t carry as much risk compared to other strategies because there is no new code to write and test. But because the application is still a monolith, the application still cannot take advantage of cloud-native capabilities.


vFunction icon Location Replatform

This modified rehosting strategy requires some modifications to the platform such as containerizing the monolith but does not change the architecure. This can  enable the application to take advantage of some of the advanced capabilities available using DevOps methodologies. 

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vFunction refactor

system integrators icon Repurchase

Repurchasing, also known as “drop and shop,” drops all or part of the existing architecture in favor or replacing it with a cloud-based or SaaS version. This approach can be risky as you are adopting an entirely new application, and it gives up all control to the provider, including the data within the application and security measures. Many enterprises lose valuable intellectual property that was embedded in the existing monolith but could gain some leverage using COTS (commercial off the shelf software) to replace applications that don’t represent key competitive advantages for their business.


scale icon Refactor

Refactoring refers to re-architecting one or more services or applications to improve its internal structure without losing its external behavior. Refactoring transforms the codebase to take full advantage of the cloud’s capabilities, but without automation and AI, it can be highly complex, time-consuming, resource-intensive, and risky.

vFunction factory dashboard

vFunction app modernization platform

optimize icon Retain

The retain approach allows organizations to keep the parts of the architecture that works for them, at least for now. These applications typically do not need to move to the cloud to work, but they are unable to adapt to changes.


learn icon Rewrite

Rewriting is just as it sounds—rewriting a monolithic application completely. While it delivers great benefits in that it is fully cloud-enabled, it is highly complex and requires intense coordination, time, and is the most risky of all the options.

vFunction factory dashboard

vFunction app modernization platform

extract icon Retire

Sometimes it makes sense to simply retire the services and assets that don’t meet business needs or are no longer in use.

Cloud Migration Strategy Resources

Trend Micro Uses vFunction to Refactor Critical Monoliths for AWS

Read how Trend Micro was able to increase modernization efforts by 4x over manual efforts, decrease deployment time for critical service by 90%, and improve development morale and training by using the vFunction Platform.

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Go-to Guide to Refactoring a Monolith to Microservices

Explore seven benefits of refactoring a monolithic application to microservices and why the lift-and-shift approach is typically not ideal for the hefty nature of monolithic applications. Take away seven migration best practices, including how using a migration platform can effectively and automatically refactor a monolith to microservices. 

Fast Track Application Refactoring to Microservices on AWS

Learn how Refactor Spaces simplifies refactoring and operating an application across multiple accounts to reroute traffic from your existing application to your new microservice endpoints without any interruption to end users.


Technology leaders can now evaluate the cost of technical debt, determine what to modernize first, and then take action – all in one platform.