The wave of digitalization is sweeping the globe away from paper. Organizations become freer as they digitize their information and operations. The cloud helps interested—and preferably only authorized—parties gain 24/7 remote access to digital assets. However, not all cloud services are made alike.
There is a major difference between ‘cloud-native’ and ‘cloud-based’ applications. One is made for the cloud, the other needs to be repurposed, and while both promote collaboration, only one is created with automation in mind. In this article, we’ll define the cloud-native approach, and offer a review of five significant benefits of cloud-native applications.
Cloud-native is a software development approach that promotes the design of applications specifically for cloud environments. The purpose is to create and applications for deployment in the cloud, rather than repurposing existing on-premise applications.
In a cloud-native development environment, developers delegate operation tasks, such as networking and resource allocations, to a cloud service provider. The DevOps team is then free to focus on software development and security, using microservices and managed service to create agile processes and continuous delivery workflows.
In 2015, the Linux Foundation launched the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), which is an “open-source software foundation dedicated to making cloud-native computing universal and sustainable”. The CNCF definition of the cloud-native approach involves the use of containerized and microservices-oriented open-source software for optimized efficiency.
Today’s cloud-native applications are built especially for the cloud, with the CNCF definition as a guideline that differentiates between ‘cloud-based’ applications and ‘cloud-native’ applications. If your application is located in the cloud, it’s ‘cloud-based’. A cloud-native application uses dynamic technologies, such as immutable infrastructure and microservices, to build scalable applications.
DevOps is a software development methodology that combines software development with IT operations. DevOps prioritizes software delivery speed, through the use of continuous processes that involve integration, automation, collaboration, and communication. In a DevOps environment, different teams use agile workflows to work together on the same project.
CI/CD pipelines use Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD) to promote fast software delivery. The goal is to eliminate backlogs through the use of an automated and cyclical process. The CI part of the pipeline ensures that teams continuously improve the codebase, while the CD part of the pipeline speeds up the process through automation.
DevOps and CI/CD are integral to the development of cloud-native applications, and cloud-native applications support the organization’s DevOps and CI/CD efforts. By prioritizing fast delivery and using automation, organizations can work more efficiently.
Containers are immutable pieces of execution code. Once you run a container, it can’t be changed. Each container is based on a container image, which contains the components of the code. Containers are often used as microservices, each representing a unique task that needs to be performed within the scope of a larger system or operating system.
In large scale operations, organizations use a container management system to orchestrate the deployment of hundreds and thousands of containers. Kubernetes, for example, is a Container as a Service (CaaS) orchestration system, available as an OSS or as a managed service. Managed Kubernetes services help organizations reduce costs by saving time.
Cloud-native environments enable fast-paced deployment. Organizations can use containers to deploy updates on a continuous basis, providing their users with secure, current, and improved applications on a daily basis.
Cloud-native serverless service providers offer intuitive and simple management platforms with each service. Whether you’re using a storage, backup, orchestration, or analysis module, you’ll get the benefit of using a ready-made frontend. Through the frontend, you’ll be able to control and configure your service, while the service provider takes care of the backend responsibilities.
Nowadays, automation has become a rudimentary feature, and you’ll be able to find a variety of automation capabilities offered as a built-in or configurable feature. Auto-provisioning features enable the automatic management of resources, auto-scalability can automatically handle payment optimization, and auto-redundancy processes automatically minimize failure risk.
The advanced automation capabilities available in cloud-native environments help organizations build more reliable systems. The cloud infrastructure is scalable, flexible, and automated, providing organizations with advanced features, such as built-in resiliency and self-healing for preventing downtime.
Organizations collect a lot of information, most of which could be repurposed and offered for use in cloud-native environments. You can offer your customers and employees access to valuable information about your product, services, and the industry. You can design a cloud-native educational hub for your personnel, and a cloud-native customer service hub for your customer.
A cloud-native hub provides users with 24/7 access, from any location, and any device, through API-based integration. Cloud-native integration also enables simple integration with chatboxes, which provide users with 24/7 AI-powered customer service. With the help of machine learning processes, the AI will be able to learn the needs of your users and solve their problems online.
There used to be a time when vendors tried to lock-in customers with complicated licensing. Nowadays, organizations are free to design their own cloud-native infrastructure, while using cloud computing services. Each cloud provider offers a variety of integration features, some built-in while others require manual configuration.
The hybrid model is composed of cloud services and on-premise data centers, the latter often used as a backup in cases on vendor outages. The multi-cloud model combines a variety of cloud vendors, to ensure organizations can use the services they need, even if it requires integrating with two or more cloud vendors.
The cloud-native approach helps organizations create a fast fast-paced software delivery pipeline. Cloud service providers offer organizations automation capabilities at scale, which in turn enables a fast-paced CI/CD pipeline. Cloud-native applications provide intuitive and user-friendly platforms that support the agile processes required for a DevOps operation.
If you want to add AI to your UI/UX, on a budget, a cloud-native application is your best bet. Cloud-native services are just getting better over time, and there are plenty to choose from. So you’re free to design the architecture model that serves your organization best.