Is Cloud-Native the future of software development?

What is Cloud-Native?

Ask ten different people and you will receive ten different answers.

So, according to Cloud-Native Computing Foundation’s official definition:

“Cloud-native technologies empower organizations to build and run scalable applications in modern, dynamic environments such as public, private, and hybrid clouds. Containers, service meshes, microservices, immutable infrastructure, and declarative APIs exemplify this approach.

These techniques enable loosely coupled systems that are resilient, manageable, and observable. Combined with robust automation, they allow engineers to make high-impact changes frequently and predictably with minimal toil.”

Developing an application has become very complex with users demanding more and more and better UI/UX. Users expect rapid responsiveness, innovative features, and zero downtime. Problems with performance, errors, or speed are no longer acceptable.

Businesses now focus on strategic transformation that can speed up business velocity and growth. Cloud-native is all about that speed and agility. Selling an idea to the market has become more crucial. 

Companies like Netflix, Uber, WeChat have achieved great pace, agility, and scalability with this.

“Netflix has 600+ services in production. Deploys hundred times per day.”

This architecture enables these companies to respond to market conditions. They can immediately update small areas of a live, complex application, and scale those areas as required.

This blog series will tell you all you need to know about what cloud-native is and why it matters. There are three parts:

  • Cloud-native architecture: what is it and why does it matter?
  • Cloud-native development: how does the cloud change how you develop?
  • Principles and practices for Cloud-native: tips on how to go ahead on cloud

In this blog, we will be discussing Cloud-Native Architecture.

Cloud-Native Architecture: What is it and why does it matter?

What is Cloud-Native Architecture?

An architecture or a system built to exist and run in the cloud is a cloud-native architecture. Unlike legacy systems, cloud systems don’t rely on hardware and software. Flexibility is one of the main advantages of this architecture.

Cloud-native architectures are deployed on a cloud platform. It leverages the cloud philosophy of distributed systems. This thus enables these architectures to take full advantage of the latest and best technologies around distributed systems.

The cloud-native architecture utilizes cloud services such as EC2, S3, Lambda from AWS, etc. to allow dynamic and agile application development. Microservices are at the core of cloud-native application architecture. Each microservice is made to execute a different function, whether implementing capabilities, communicating, or running processes.

Why Is this Architecture Important?

Cloud-native removes constraints and shortens the path to business value.

Let me explain with an example.

You have a payment application and, the user feedback for your app suggests that users want a passbook feature in the app.

Now, without cloud-native, you will start by thinking, how to deploy, what network you need, and, you will think about the customer.

But this setup removes the need for servers, operating systems, orchestration layers, and networking which, puts your code front and centre of everything. Your team can straight away try out and experiment with things.

Cloud-native removes the constraints of “what if we did this?” With this, you focus more on the products and not pipelines. Fix errors in your app and not in your database replication.

The Benefits of Cloud-Native Architecture

~ Removes Constraints to Rapid Innovation

The traditional systems are slow to adapt and at times are inflexible to the changing needs. But, with this architecture, the software delivery pipeline has undergone a huge transformation. Be it with build automation, test automation, or deployment automation.  In DevOps, the automation is done across the software delivery process.

~ Brings You Closer to the User

The key benefit of cloud-native is eliminating non-customer-focused activities. The closer developers are to the users, the better understanding they have of the product. 

Customers these days expect a rapid release. Cloud-native architecture lets you roll out features to a small percentage of your users, where you can test prototypes with actual customers in real-life situations.

~ Cost-effective

In the cloud, you only pay for what you use and don’t have to buy anything up front. Rather than using infrastructure, containers are used in cloud-native which are easier to manage and secure applications. Kubernetes is used for managing resources in the cloud. Kubernetes along with an open-source model and few cloud-native tools drives down costs. 

~ Easy Access to New Tools and Services

With the cloud, we have access to new tools and services. Cloud-native has many options to make infrastructure management effortless for example serverless platforms like Azure Functions and AWS Lambda.  

Serverless computing platforms let you upload code in the form of functions and the platform runs those functions for you so you don’t have to worry about provisioning cloud instances, configuring networking, or allocating enough storage.

~ Secure, Transparent, and Reliable

With modern cloud-native approaches like microservices architecture and Kubernetes in the cloud, you can easily build applications to be fault-tolerant with resiliency and self-healing built-in.

Because of this design, even if any failures happen you can isolate the impact of the incident. Therefore, it doesn’t take down the entire application.

~ DevOps and agile frameworks

For this approach, groups within IT and business lines need to collaborate.

Development teams must partner with IT operations and the lines of business to deliver needed business functionalities. This, therefore, leads to a shift in culture away from step-by-step monolithic development practices to a more collaborative, agile method. While new tools and technology can help start to break down the barriers that monolithic processes have created over time, a DevOps culture is predicated on collaboration.

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Marketing manager at Deqode who is proficient in helping clients with virtual and offshore team processes. Experienced in blockchain advisory, and asset tokenization.

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