Senior full stack developer and CTO at Ideamotive.
Reflecting back from 2023, the Microservices Adoption report published by O'Reilly in 2020 underscored the increasing popularity of microservices and the triumphs experienced by companies that incorporated this architecture. This comprehensive study, which surveyed 1,500 individuals comprising software engineers, technical architects, and decision-makers, revealed that 77% of enterprises had embraced microservices. Furthermore, an impressive 92% of these reported a high degree of satisfaction with their decision to adopt this architectural style, highlighting its potential in enhancing software development and deployment processes.
In addition, microservices are becoming one of the leading software architectures due to their scalable framework. According to this report, almost 85% of senior engineers and managers believe that microservices will become the standard for back-end development and complex systems.
In 2023, the microservices trend is booming. But are microservices right for your project? Should you turn to Go/Golang developers for this purpose?
These questions can be answered by explaining what microservices are, how they differ from a monolithic architecture, and how Google’s programming language can assist you in this matter.
Let’s finally plunge into it!
Microservices architecture is a development methodology where you can break a single application into a number of smaller services, each running in its own process and interacting with lightweight mechanisms.
Microservices are designed with business capabilities in mind, which can be deployed independently using an automated deployment mechanism. The architecture of microservices requires minimal management of these services built in different programming languages and using different data storage technologies.
Microservices or microservices architecture is a software development approach that allows you to structure an application as a collection of small services within a business domain. In other words, the software is made up of small, independent services that communicate through well-defined application programming interfaces (APIs).
Monolithic architecture is the exact opposite of microservices. With this method, the entire software is a single piece designed as standalone. All components of a monolithic program are interconnected and interdependent.
Monolithic architecture is a common method for building applications. It makes it relatively easy to implement, develop, and test software. Thus, if you choose this method, you will receive the final product faster and at a better price.
Monolithic architecture is a good choice for creating an experimental concept or for companies at the founding stage.
However, when your application needs increased scalability, it is better to use a microservices architecture. If you choose a monolithic application, you will need to modify the entire stack to make a small change. This is time-consuming, difficult, and risky as one point of failure can cause the entire program to fail.
Microservices architecture means being able to change any function yourself - and avoid all the risks and additional costs.
Netflix uses microservices to provide its popular video streaming service worldwide. Microservices are also used by global companies such as Amazon, Apple, and Uber. So it’s hard to say that this architecture type is mentioned only in narrow circles.
Let's see what business opportunities make microservices solutions so popular:
Microservices can be developed using different programming languages, frameworks, and even hardware without compromising interoperability.
The microservices architecture provides software flexibility, which means that you can always extend a microservices solution with new features and deploy new services independently of existing ones.
Microservices are simple because they are organized around business opportunities. Since each service is a separate block of code with its own database, testing and development become easier and take less time.
In the event that one service stops working (due to maintenance or failures), its temporary unavailability will not affect the operation of the rest of the system.
Once you have chosen microservices for your project, the next step is to choose the technology that will allow you to get the most out of this architecture.
As we already mentioned, various frameworks and programming languages can be used to develop microservices. However, the actual development process depends entirely on your requirements, which determine what works best for your solution. Choosing a programming language is one of the most important steps in the development process.
In theory, any programming language will do. However, to avoid certain issues and maximize the benefits of microservices, the technology you use must meet the following requirements:
The microservices solution has to be as fast as possible with databases and routing.
The minimum number of third-party libraries. Most third-party libraries use licenses that are not suitable for enterprise solutions. In addition, although these libraries provide robust functionality, their use may not be safe from a cybersecurity point of view.
Development and testing processes should be automated as much as possible to reduce the time required to implement software and reduce the risk of human error.
Each service should be decentralized to speed up software development and simplify maintenance.
The system should be designed in such a way that it is easy to find people who can support it.
This allows you to deploy and update the product as quickly as possible at a minimal cost. The CI/CD culture also makes development faster and easier.
For instance, The Economist chose the Go language for developing microservices when moving from a monolith to a microservice architecture (primarily due to its excellent consistency with the platform architecture). In addition, Go's syntax is relatively simple, so it was easy to get started writing functional code right away. A quick victory for the team during the transition period.
There is no better union than Go and microservices. The Golang language meets and exceeds all the requirements outlined in the previous section. Here are a few more reasons why your business would benefit from building Golang microservices:
Go is a simple language that is easy to learn, and this is perhaps the best feature of a programming language in terms of business processes. The syntax of Golang is relatively small and has been used for a long time without significant changes. Since there is no need to learn new paradigms or syntax, code written in Go is transparent and easy to understand.
This makes Go an ideal choice for backends, microservices, cloud computing systems, and more. In addition, its characteristics help mitigate the shortcomings of microservices:
Golang's microservice architecture ensures that developers don't spend a lot of time reading other people's code and get up to speed faster. Even if you need to change the development team, you can still maintain and update your software without any problems.
Golang compiles faster than most other languages, saving developers time and business owners money. Here are some of the reasons:
Go's performance is also excellent. Here are some tests illustrating that in many cases Golang outperforms popular programming languages
Source: Benchmarks Game
Due to the strict separation of modules. It promotes independent components to provide business logic that follows microservices design patterns. Not only that, but the effective size of the compiled Go binaries is indicative of the desired small design of the microservice itself.
It promotes event-driven programming without the need for inheritance, callbacks, futures, promises, or strategies that can often lead to unnecessarily complex logic. Keeping it concise, Go microservices avoid being tied to each other by single job responsibilities.
It has its drawbacks, but its strengths make it a great addition to a microservice-based architecture.
Each microservice is independent from other microservices, it is encapsulated. Hence, you can change and update each microservice according to your requirements and revise independently.
Developers can create each microservice using different development tools because it will not affect the development of other microservices. Similarly, each microservice can have a different database store.
Because Golang microservices are independent of each other, they can have different release dates. As such, they are unrelated and have flexible release schedules.
After all, over 16,000 developers from a HackerEarth Insights survey found that Go was the most popular language to learn in 2020. Among students (29%) and experienced developers (32%), Go was the clear winner as the most in-demand programming language.
Moreover, the Go community boasts a huge number of Go bloggers. No wonder Go itself and Golang microservices are growing in popularity side by side.
Undoubtedly, product owners won’t face Go web developers shortage in the coming years.
Now let's discuss the frameworks we can use for microservice architecture. Frameworks that we will take into account are below:
Go Micro is by far the most popular RPC framework we've come across. This is a pluggable RPC framework. Go Micro provides us with the following:
The Go Micro architecture can be represented as follows -
This is a three-layer stack:
There are plugins of the following types:
It also provides a feature called Sidecar. Sidecar allows you to integrate services written in languages other than Go. It also provides us with gRPC encoding/decoding, service registration, and HTTP handlers.
Go Kit is a set of tools for building microservices. Unlike Go Micro, this is a library that can be imported as a binary package. The Go Kit rules are pretty simple:
The Go Kit provides you with packages for the following:
The Go Kit service architecture looks like this -
Gizmo is a microservices toolkit from The New York Times. It provides packages to combine server and pubsub daemons. It provides the following packages:
The Pubsub package provides interfaces for working with the following queues:
Gizmo is somewhere between Go Micro and Go Kit. It's not a complete “black box'' like Go Micro. At the same time, it is not as raw as the Go Kit. It provides higher-level assembly components such as config and pubsub packages.
Kite is a Golang microservice framework. It provides RPC client and server packages. The created services are automatically registered in Kontrol's service discovery system. Kontrol is written in Kite and is a Kite service itself. This means that Kite microservices work well in their environment. If you need to connect the Kite microservice to another service discovery system, a configuration is required.
Basically, there are two reasons why Google’s programming language is used by companies of various tiers:
Golang was created with cloud computing in mind. It takes advantage of the parallelism and concurrency provided by modern hardware.
This approach to parallelism is very easy to work with. Compared to Python/Java, running a function in a goroutine requires minimal boilerplate code.
Goroutines and a channel-based approach to parallelism make it very easy to use all available CPU cores and handle parallel I/O without complicating development.
Over time, new complex systems have been built on top of these foundational systems/libraries and languages. Too often people don't think about the hidden costs of complexity. The truth is that code is read much more often than it is written. The team's speed is greatly burdened by complexity.
The Go code is very simple and easy to read. This simplicity allows teams to collaborate in ways that were previously impossible.
Technology platforms provide a common set of features that accelerate application development, so solutions can be deployed to businesses faster. They often require high scalability and reliability, which Golang 100% provides.
The online booking system allows you to order services and pay for them through web applications or mobile applications, which allows businesses to scale their operations. As part of daily operations, these systems require the highest reliability, scalability, and integration with other systems. Given Golang's microservices opportunities, why not write your code in it?
E-commerce startups, SMBs, and large enterprises face challenges with page load times, scalability issues, and website availability, such as during major promotions. Golang is widely used to solve these problems.
With 24/7 global operations and tight SLAs, stability and automatic recovery are a must as each step in the payment processing pipeline requires the lowest possible latency that Golang provides.
Protocols such as Golang's HLS make it easy to build a streaming service that is easy to install and provides the most efficient performance. It supports the most commonly used file formats and encodings. The big advantage of language streaming is speed, especially when it comes to live streaming. Without a smooth transition when encoding, decoding, and packaging video and audio, live streaming is not possible. Go handles all of these processes seamlessly, which can provide the viewer with a high-quality experience with minimal interruptions.
Dropbox owes a lot of its success to Python, a language that has allowed the company to iterate and develop quickly. However, as the user base grew, they began to look for ways to scale systems more efficiently. This led to the transfer of performance-critical backends from Python to Go in order to take advantage of better concurrency support and faster execution speed.
It was a huge amount of work - about 200,000 lines of Go code - done by a small team of engineers. They have successfully migrated major parts of our infrastructure to Go. Zviad Metreveli pre-set the details of this effort in the Go microservice at Dropbox.
People are getting very productive in Go very quickly, our infrastructure is built on Go today, and we build all new things on Go.
— Zviad Metreveli, Senior Lead Engineer, Dropbox.
In addition, Dropbox has open-sourced several Golang libraries that help improve caching, the standard error interface, and more.
In 2022, Dropbox will continue to break apart the monolithic Python codebase and turn it into a serverless managed platform that will reduce code obfuscation and free services and their underlying engineering teams from intertwining with each other. To do this, they update the architecture, for example, gRPC standardization and the use of Envoy's gRPC-HTTP transcoding. See their blog post.
While Uber has historically been primarily a Node.js and Python result, Go is becoming the language of choice for building many new Uber Engineering services.
Uber has written over a hundred services in Golang. Geobase is one of the latest Uber services written in it. It matches riders with drivers, breaking down matches by car. In fact, Golang powers most of Uber's high RPS services.
Looking back, we are very happy with our decision to go for it and write our service in a new language.
— Kai Wei.
Alibaba Group's PouchContainer (container engine) is written in Golang. It can package, deliver and run any application. It provides applications with a lightweight runtime environment with strong isolation and minimal overhead.
PouchContainer ran stably across tens of thousands of nodes in Alibaba and helped seamlessly process all online transactions during Alibaba's Singles Day 2017 on millions of containers.
American Express is primarily known for its credit cards and payment processing.
In 2016, their payments and rewards platform teams were among the first to start evaluating Go. Their main focus was on microservices, transaction routing, and load balancing use cases, and they needed to modernize their architecture.
After working in Go, most of our developers don't want to go back to other languages.
— Benjamin Cain, Vice President, and Chief Engineer, American Express
To help other businesses determine if Go is right for them, they have published a Go example: American Express Uses Go for Payments & Rewards.
Source: Choosing Go at American Express
PayPal was the pioneer of online payments and remains the leading payment processor for online merchants, auction sites, and many other commercial users around the world.
PayPal currently employs over 100 Go developers. While Go may never replace Node.js for some applications, Go is the top-notch language at PayPal.
Go provides channels and subroutines to solve complex problems, we were able to structure the code according to our requirements.
— Bala Natarajan, Senior CTO, Developer Experience at PayPal.
SoundCloud is a consumer website that is the internet's leading audio platform and that means anything from home DJs uploading their mixes to professional interviewers uploading interviews and podcasts.
SoundCloud maintains about half a dozen services and over a dozen repositories written entirely in Go. And we are increasingly turning to Go when we launch new server projects.
It is a live video streaming platform that focuses on the live streaming of video games, music broadcasts, creative content, esports competitions, and more.
Twitch uses Go for many of our busiest systems. Its simplicity, security, performance, and readability make it a good tool to solve the problems we face in providing live video and chat to our millions of users. Go is an important part of scaling Twitch, especially when combined with AWS Lambda.
— Spencer Nelson, Engineer at Twitch.
In 2018, Twitch released the RPC framework they use to communicate between internal servers written in Go - Twirp: a sweet new RPC framework for Go
Microservices may not be the fastest way to build software, but they are a smart choice in the long run. More cost-effective and flexible than monolithic architectures, microservices can be developed and tested simultaneously and almost independently by small teams. The microservices architecture also simplifies deployment and troubleshooting. Not to mention that microservices are the right choice for scalable projects.
If at least part of the mentioned above applies to your project, go ahead, just remember that you will need the right technology stack to get the most out of this type of architecture. The Go language is an excellent choice for this purpose. Not only does it meet all the criteria for a microservices stack, but it also offers huge business benefits.
Golang differs from other languages in its young age and the ability to develop interesting projects from the very beginning of its release.
Golang provides high performance like C/C++, highly efficient parallel processing like Java, and crisp readability like Python, Perl, and Erlang. It is designed to run highly loaded systems using the 100 percent multiprocessor architecture. For these reasons, many companies are moving to Go from other languages and developing efficient software using a microservices architecture.
Golang microservices are easy to read and therefore easy to maintain. If over time you need to make changes to the team, this will not jeopardize the entire business.
At Ideamotive, we have been using Golang for a long time therefore our vast Talent Network can supplement your team with great experts. Otherwise, we can come up with an experienced fully autonomous dedicated team of outsourced developers, PMs, and designers matched with your project’s idea.
Contact us to discuss which architecture and language are best for your idea and project!
Dawid is a full stack developer experienced in creating Ruby on Rails and React Native apps from naught to implementation. Technological superhero, delivering amazing solutions for our clients and helping them grow.View all author posts
Dawid Karczewski 16 min read
Michał Pruciak 7 min read
Dawid Karczewski 10 min read
Dawid Karczewski 14 min read
Michał Pruciak 7 min read
There are dozens of vetted Golang professionals in our talent network.
Business registry data:
Most desired experts
Hire the Article Author
Dawid is a full-stack developer with extensive experience in Golang Development. Sounds interesting? Let’s discuss Dawid’s availability over a call.