Driven by new technologies, software, data storage, and infrastructure are moving dramatically into the cloud, making workloads easy to develop and execute in a cloud environment.
According to cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) :
"Cloud native technologies enable enterprises to build and run scalable applications in modern, dynamic environments such as public, private and hybrid clouds. Containers, service grids, microservices, immutable infrastructures, and declarative apis are examples of applications in this area.
Don't worry if this is a bit foreign to you, we'll cover it in the next section.
Cloud computing in its various forms is the new face of business technology and is now a full-fledged feature of the enterprise. It's fair to say that many big companies run their businesses on cloud applications. This includes not only "startups" such as Uber and DoorDash, but also financial firms that provide stock trading apps for brokers.
Data from CNCF shows that more than 6 million developers are currently building cloud-native applications for various business functions. These applications are based on best practices such as DevOps and are therefore scalable to the limits of the underlying infrastructure.
Let's explore what cloud native application development is and how it can bring more value to your business.
What is cloud native application development?
Cloud native application development is the process of developing applications in and for the cloud.
Sounds too simple, right?
The actual process may seem complicated, but the core idea is not hard to understand. Breaking down the process further, a cloud native application is a collection of containerized microservices managed through an adaptive infrastructure that can be delivered continuously.
In some traditional projects, the infrastructure is assigned to a system administrator. In the development life cycle of cloud native applications, however, the choreography engine controls the process. This means that developers or managers no longer have to spend time dealing with resource allocation issues. Instead, each resource allocation decision is based on pre-configured rules in the system.
The development environment or technical infrastructure on which the application depends is "abstract" or invisible to the developer. They can use technologies of their choice to develop microservices that enhance the portability of their applications and allow rapid code changes. This is one of the core tenets of agile development: rapid development, rapid release, and meeting the real-time needs of business users.
From a process perspective, here's how to do cloud native application development:
Internalize DevOps practices for development, IT management, and leadership teams.
Choose a container management platform such as Kubernetes, which forms the basis for running and developing microservices.
Make sure developers are familiar with containerization techniques and that resource allocation is managed through the choreography engine. DevOps teams can monitor projects through their lifecycle.
Project delivery must be automated, sustainable, with sandbox and built-in observability.
Business value of cloud native applications
Cloud native apps offer several examples of high efficiency and high performance for your business, and here are a few obvious benefits:
- More cost effective project life cycle
Resource management is one of the biggest challenges for application development projects. Experienced teams tend to overallocate resources for security. While this ensures a smooth project life cycle, it ultimately increases the cost of application development and reduces the potential payback for the project.
An important aspect of cloud native is that it does not require load balancing, configuration, or even manual distribution. Cloud resources are self-managed, allowing them to expand and contract as needed for testing and deployment. The cost savings will accrue over the life of the project, making the cloud native application development process more cost-effective.
- Resilient architecture
Because uptime is directly related to the uptime of virtual machines (VMS) in a VDI environment in a data center or public or private cloud, some developers find it challenging to use cloud deployments. Cloud native applications are portable and run independently of the virtual machine. In other words, unless a particular microservice requires a dedicated GPU, the architecture works seamlessly and requires almost no dependencies.
With fewer dependencies, the workload is more resilient, and troubleshooting becomes easier and faster. Since cloud infrastructure dependencies are no longer an issue, project managers can focus their efforts on isolating other potential threats.
- Bring products to market faster
Continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) are key to the success of cloud native application development. Until now, the software delivery process has been subject to various phases -- thorough testing is required before alpha, beta, and production releases are released.
Today, the process can be fully automated for on-demand intelligence testing and continuous deployment in a cloud environment. Synchronizing with DevOps allows project teams to collaborate on a larger scale, reducing the risk of a product release and significantly reducing the time from development to first release.
- Don't rely on suppliers
Vendor lock-in is a major issue for almost all applications, including those deployed on major cloud providers such as Google, Amazon, or Microsoft. Unless you're a tech giant yourself, the smooth running of your workload depends on the availability and efficiency of your cloud storage provider.
Because cloud native applications are portable, they eliminate the need to rely on a single platform or cloud infrastructure. Regardless of the underlying architecture, developers can continue to update and upgrade applications and take advantage of new PaaS and IaaS services.
Key features of cloud native applications
The defining features of cloud native applications are as follows:
The architecture of microservices
Use continuous integration and Continuous delivery (CI/CD)
DevOps agile development
In summary, these all translate into many benefits of the application development process:
- Modular management
One of the biggest challenges for monolithic applications is scalability. At the beginning, it scales proportionately with the size and expertise of the development team. However, with each additional function and feature, the monolithic architecture becomes more complex.
As a result, during the product lifecycle, there are situations where the product owner doesn't understand the entire application, the development team doesn't know how their module integrates with other modules, and the QA team can't test the impact of changing a feature on the entire application.
The lack of visibility in the application creates more problems because the developer can't handle the extra functionality. The application architecture becomes chaotic, and a small change can cause a major failure.
These structural issues can be addressed by using microservices, which are individually built modules, each responsible for a specific feature. As a result, parts of the application can be tested and updated without changing the entire application's code or execution.
- Independent resource allocation
With cloud native applications, developers do not need to interact directly with the cloud infrastructure provider's application programming interfaces (apis). Instead, a DevOps team can set a centralized policy for allocating computing, memory, and storage resources to each container in which applications are developed.
Automatic resource allocation directly affects the return on investment (ROI) of a project. As a result, one more or one less decimal point in the amount of money allocated can change the chances of a successful application. Resource autonomy mitigated these risks by precisely matching application requirements with available resources.
- Asynchronous development
Cloud native applications are essentially aggregated and containerized microservices. For users, this means that when one microservice fails, it does not affect the performance of other microservices. Each microservice is encapsulated and has its own dependencies, so one microservice doesn't put the entire application at risk.
The same logic applies to the development process. Unless containerized microservices have common dependencies, in which case they can be copied or separated, they can be developed, tested, and added to production applications asynchronously. Thus, you can develop multiple features or application modules in parallel without worrying about integration.
- Scale quickly
While cloud services and microservices are both paving the way for the future, companies still have a legacy of infrastructure investments that have not been fully tapped. Because cloud native applications are collections of autonomous services packaged into containers, they can scale out and in dynamically (more or less using computing or storage resources), unlike virtual machines in traditional infrastructures.
Cloud native applications allow apI-based integration with legacy systems and data. This allows even small businesses to accelerate the digital transformation process as they transition from traditional infrastructure to cloud computing.
- Comprehensive application function
Microservices are ideal for independent review, analysis, and evaluation. As a result, developers can evaluate the performance of each microservice on a standalone basis and in the context of the entire project. With a modular and resilient architecture, the visibility of the full stack and specific monitoring mechanisms make it easier to adjust the application.
Cloud native applications are designed for the next era of software development and cloud technology. With its versatility and agility, cloud native technology allows enterprises to align their technology investments with business goals. Whether you are a small business or a large enterprise, you can now use cloud native intelligently to help solve business problems and improve operational efficiency.