Strangler Pattern

What is Strangler Pattern?

The Strangler Pattern is a software development approach used to gradually replace or upgrade legacy systems with new implementations. Inspired by the strangler fig, which grows over and eventually replaces the host tree, the pattern involves building and deploying new components alongside the existing systems, gradually replacing and retiring old components as the new ones become more capable.

Functionality and Features

  • Incremental Migration: The Strangler Pattern focuses on the step-by-step migration of existing functionalities to new systems, minimizing risk and organizational disruption.
  • Flexible Implementation: The pattern provides flexibility to developers in choosing the tools, technologies, and languages best suited for the new system.
  • Parallel Processing: New components run alongside the legacy system, allowing for simultaneous processing and reducing downtime.

Benefits and Use Cases

Strangler Pattern offers a range of advantages, such as:

  • Reduced Risk: Incremental migration minimizes the chances of breaking the existing system during the modernization process.
  • Faster Deployment: As new components are developed and deployed independently, they can be released faster.
  • Lower Maintenance Cost: Gradually retiring legacy components leads to reduced maintenance costs and improved overall system performance.

Use cases include:

  • Modernizing monolithic applications
  • Transitioning from legacy data warehouses to data lakehouses
  • Shifting to microservices architecture from monolithic systems

Challenges and Limitations

  • Resource Management: Running new and old components simultaneously can lead to increased resource consumption.
  • Complexity: Managing the coexistence of legacy and new components can become complex and challenging.
  • Time-Consuming: The pattern might not be suitable for projects with tight deadlines, as migration takes place gradually over time.

Integration with Data Lakehouse

In a data lakehouse environment, the Strangler Pattern can be employed to migrate legacy data warehouses to modern data lakehouses incrementally. The Pattern allows organizations to keep their existing data warehouses operational while new data lakehouses are developed, tested, and integrated. This ensures a seamless transition from the legacy data warehouse to the data lakehouse without disrupting business operations.


  • What inspired the name "Strangler Pattern"?
  • The Strangler Pattern is inspired by the strangler fig, which grows on and eventually replaces its host tree.

  • When should Strangler Pattern be used?
  • The pattern is suitable for situations that require gradual modernization, reduced risk, and uninterrupted business operations.

  • Can Strangler Pattern be applied to data-related projects?
  • Yes, the pattern can be employed to migrate and modernize legacy data warehouses, data lakes, and other data-related systems.

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