With software increasingly, the key to how users engage with businesses and how businesses innovate to stay competitive, the speed of application development and delivery is the new digital business imperative. Technology leaders are rapidly being disrupted, and they’re being disrupted by businesses with software at their core. Companies like Square, Uber, Netflix, Deliveroo, Airbnb, and Tesla continue to generate enormous economic growth and business value and turn the heads of executives of their industries’ historical leaders.
What do these innovative companies have in common?
- Speed of innovation
- Always-available services
- Mobile-centric user experiences
Cloud-native application architectures are at the center of how these companies are disrupting the Technology leaders. Their success is driven by their ability to fully harness the elasticity of the cloud by adopting a “cloud-native” approach to application development. Time has come to replace the traditional workloads with cloud-native architecture to reap the full benefits, capture business opportunities and avoid irrelevancy.
Gartner has to say the same about cloud-native – “Technology leaders must deliver cloud-native offerings now to capture business opportunities and avoid irrelevancy. ” — Craig Lowery, Gartner Principal Analyst
There are three driving forces behind moving to cloud-native application architectures are: Speed, Scale, and Safety
- Speed: It’s become clear that speed wins in the marketplace. Businesses that are able to innovate, experiment, and deliver software-based solutions quickly are outcompeting those that follow more traditional delivery models. Cloud Native approach allowing companies to delegate more aggressively and thus become more responsive.
- Scale: As businesses grow, it becomes strategically necessary to support more users or customers, in more locations, with a broader range of devices, while maintaining responsiveness, managing costs, and not falling over. Cloud-native applications can be quickly created and destroyed, as well as attached to and detached from external state managers, which your ability to respond to changes in demand.
- Safety: Cloud-native application architectures don’t wait for manual intervention in failure situations. Instead, they employ automated detection and recovery. In other words, they let a computer wear pager instead of a human.
So, what exactly is Cloud- Native?
Cloud-native is an approach to building and deploying applications that maximize the advantages of the cloud computing delivery model. Despite its name, a cloud-native approach is not focused on where applications are deployed, but instead on how applications are built, deployed, and managed. It’s appropriate for both public and private clouds. Most important is the ability to offer nearly limitless computing power, on-demand, along with modern data and application services for developers. When companies build and operate applications in a cloud-native fashion, they bring new ideas to market faster and respond sooner to customer demands.
FOUR ELEMENTS OF CLOUD-NATIVE APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT AND DEPLOYMENT
Cloud-native application development is an approach to building and running applications that takes full advantage of the cloud computing model based upon four key elements: Microservices architecture, API-based communication, container-based infrastructure, and DevOps processes.
1. Service-based architecture (Microservices) – Service-based architecture, such as microservices, advocates building modular, loosely coupled services and making application easier to develop and test. It helps organizations increase application deployment speed without increasing complexity and scale their services independently. According to IDC research has found that 100 percent of businesses with “optimized” cloud adoption have adopted microservices compared to just 18 percent of those with an “ad hoc” approach— just lines of business or other groups experimenting with the cloud. Read more about microservices here.
2. API Based Communication – Services are exposed via lightweight, technology-agnostic APIs that reduce the complexity and overhead of deployment, scalability, and maintenance. Businesses can create new capabilities and opportunities internally and externally via the exposed APIs. API-based design only allows communication via service interface calls over the network, avoiding the risks of direct linking, shared memory models, or direct reads of another team’s datastore. This design extends the reach of applications and services to different devices and forms.
3. Container Based Infrastructure – Cloud-native applications rely on containers for a common operational model across technology environments and true application portability across different environments and infrastructure, including public, private, and hybrid. Container technology uses operating system virtualization capabilities to divide available compute resources among multiple applications while ensuring applications are secure and isolated from each other.
Cloud-native applications scale horizontally, adding more capacity by simply adding more application instances, often through automation within the container infrastructure. The low overhead and high density of containers, allowing many of them to be hosted inside the same virtual machine or physical server, makes them ideal for delivering cloud-native applications.
4. DevOps Process – Application development for cloud-native approaches follows agile methods with continuous delivery and DevOps principles that focus on building and delivering applications collaboratively by development, quality assurance, security, IT operations, and other teams involved in the delivery. Agile is all about coping with and driving change—making development processes fast and easy.
Benefits of the Cloud-Native Approach
The benefits of implementing cloud-native features typically include the following:
- Faster Time to Market: Undoubtedly, re-architecting and rebuilding apps on the cloud has made the software delivery pipeline faster. The modern cloud-native approach supports DevOps processes, which further enables this automation and collaboration. This automation and fast pace were hard to imagine in the era of local development and limited server-based software delivery processes.
- More agility, more productivity: Unlike traditional monolith, cloud-native apps are composed of small, independently built, tested, and managed microservices. These small code packages are safe and easy to manage and this has eventually led to another top-class level of agility via continuous integration.
- Easy to manage: Through containers, cloud-native apps typically cost less to run. In short, containers make it easy to manage and secure applications independently of the infrastructure that supports them.
- Autoscaling: Writing code in the cloud-native interfaces allows auto-scaling of cloud instances so certain parts of the system can automatically scale out during a traffic spike.
Ready to adopt a cloud-native journey?
Depending on your stage within and cloud-native journey and your priorities, Knoldus has the technologies and services to support you at every step of your cloud-native journey. Knoldus cloud-native expertise can help your team to move forward – whether you have to modernize existing application, build new cloud-native apps, accelerate app delivery or drive business innovation. Book a meeting or drop us a message here or at firstname.lastname@example.org to get you started on your cloud-native journey.