Applications that have been migrated to the cloud are generally well-known in this technological era, but what about applications that were designed and created specifically for the cloud? Cloud-native applications are built for the cloud, taking advantage of the infrastructure that the cloud offers. Instead of reverse engineering an application that started out as an on-premise program, cloud-native applications start where they will live: the cloud.
How Cloud-Native Applications Came to Be - From IaaS to PaaS
Most companies use infrastructure as a service (IaaS) to get started on the cloud. Relocating existing applications to the cloud means recreating the infrastructure that once existed on-site, essentially duplicating the existing setup — thus, infrastructure as a service.
Companies benefit from IaaS because it is highly scalable and practically foolproof, as the infrastructure is already known to work well. Businesses see cost savings from not having to buy, repair, and maintain on-site servers, machines, and other infrastructure.
The next step is typically platform as a service (PaaS). Once comfortable in the IaaS environment, businesses have the time and experience to see that their applications can be built on cloud platforms that provide the services that they have previously been handling on-site. While this is not quite cloud-native development, it is a good step toward it. Cloud-native applications are essentially next in line; an improvement over both IaaS and PaaS, though these applications may run on IaaS.
The Benefits of Cloud-Native Applications
Cloud-native applications are backed by strong computing power as needed, and incredibly fast development and deployment times.
An important concept in cloud-native applications is microservices. Cloud-native applications are containerized, which means they are individually packaged. With microservices, every application is actually a collection of small services that implement capabilities, run processes, and communicate, all of which can be deployed, adjusted, scaled, etc., independent of the other application services.
Often, these microservices are automated as part of cloud-native applications, so processes like updates happen on their own without disrupting the entire app or its users. With microservices in place, companies will not falter under the pressures of failing infrastructure, outages, or other common tech issues. In most cases, systems will stay online and functional even with a small malfunction in one area.
Automated redundancies move app-processing from one data center to another. In the unlikely event that the whole application does fail, it is as easy as fixing one microservice instead of having to pull the whole app apart. Cloud-native applications give companies a competitive edge, with a focus on business growth. The speed of development and deployment ensure that businesses are always able to respond to user needs, as quickly as possible.
If you need to roll back part of a cloud-native app, it is simple thanks to this containerization. In many cases, you can automate the system to do a rollback to a stable version of your application if an error is detected. With cloud-native applications, scalability and infrastructure-provisioning are automated. The automation capabilities that come with cloud-native applications equate to cost savings and better time management and productivity for staff.
As always, when the mundane, routine tasks can do themselves, it frees staff up to do what makes the business grow and thrive — customer service, reaching core goals, and driving success.
Considerations for Cloud-Native Applications
Your teams will need to make a few shifts to jump into cloud-native application development. This type of application development often works better with a collaborative, DevOps approach rather than the traditional app approach of having each team work individually.
With microservices in place, your teams can work in a multi-functional capacity, each supporting their own service while working together as a larger DevOps style team. With collaboration and speed on your side, you will find that development and deployment happen quickly, with less conflict. Get used to moving from an idea for an app, to deploying and updating the app, faster than you had ever imagined. If you harness the power of cloud-native applications, you will be amazed at how fast your business can move.
When you make these changes and adopt cloud-native application development, you will not be alone. Cloud-native technologies are expanding into all sizes of companies, in North America, Europe, and beyond. Cloud-native application development is occurring on a global basis. In addition, we have seen that the challenges of networking, security and storage are decreasing as cloud-native application development becomes more widespread.
Companies deploying large volumes of containers are concerned with monitoring and scaling based on loads. If you intend to do a lot of container deployment, consider how you will address these issues, in advance.
One of the most important things to consider, whether you are creating your own application or buying into an existing app, is that cloud-based or cloud-enabled applications are different from cloud-native applications. The key difference is that cloud-native applications are built to function in the cloud, and the cloud only. Cloud-based or cloud-enabled products have some sort of roots in an on-site location.
Why does this matter? Cloud-native applications are multi-tenant and do not rely on on-site servers, so:
power outages are not a problem updates do not require downtime or disruption usage can be scaled almost immediately without the need for extra servers, and all security features and certificates apply to all application clients.
Cloud-native applications are the way of the future, and growing in scope. Jump on board and realize the benefits of cloud-native app development.
Posted in Cloud Development on May 10, 2018