Microservices architecture is an architectural style that structures an application as a collection of small, loosely coupled services. Each service is self-contained and can be developed, deployed, and scaled independently. The services communicate with each other through lightweight protocols such as HTTP or messaging systems.

Microservices architecture promotes modularity, scalability, and resilience. It allows teams to quickly develop and deploy new features or make changes to existing ones without impacting the entire application. It also enables scaling individual services based on demand, making the system more resilient to failures.

Some key characteristics of microservices architecture include:

1. Service isolation: Each microservice is developed, deployed, and managed independently, allowing teams to work on different services simultaneously.

2. Bounded contexts: Microservices are organized around specific business capabilities or bounded contexts, which helps in maintaining the autonomy and cohesion of each service.

3. Decentralized data management: Each microservice has its own database or data store, reducing the risk of data coupling and enabling independent evolution of services.

4. Inter-service communication: Microservices communicate with each other through lightweight protocols such as HTTP or messaging systems. This enables loose coupling between services and enables them to be developed and deployed independently.

5. Resilience: Microservices architecture promotes fault isolation. If one service fails, it does not affect the entire system, as other services can continue to function.

6. Scalability: Microservices architecture allows each service to be scaled independently based on demand. This enables better utilization of resources and improves system performance.

However, microservices architecture also introduces complexities such as service discovery, load balancing, and fault tolerance. It requires careful planning and design to ensure the overall system is cohesive and manageable.