April 20, 2024
Cloud Native Software

Cloud Native Software: The Future of Application Development

With the growth of cloud computing, a new paradigm of software development called “cloud native” is emerging. Cloud native applications are purpose-built for cloud environments from the ground up.

What is Cloud Native Software?

Cloud Native Software refers to applications that are developed and designed specifically for deployment and scaling in cloud environments. The core principles of cloud native architecture focus on agility, reliability, and flexibility through loosely coupled, fine-grained components that use declarative APIs to manage applications and infrastructure.

Cloud native applications leverage elastic scaling, pay-as-you-go pricing models, and distributed, redundant infrastructure of cloud platforms. They are containerized using tools like Docker and Kubernetes for deployment in highly scalable cloud environments as microservices. Using a microservices architecture approach, cloud native apps are broken down into loosely coupled components that can be developed, deployed and scaled independently.

Key Principles of Cloud Native Software

There are some key principles that define cloud native applications:

– Microservices architecture: Apps are broken into small, independent services that work together through well-defined APIs. This improves modularity, scalability and resilience.

– Containers: Services and dependencies are packaged into containers using tools like Docker. This enables portable and reproducible deployments across infrastructures.

– Dynamic scaling: Apps can autoscale services both vertically (scale up/down resources within a container/VM) and horizontally (scale out/in number of instances) based on demand.

– Declarative deployments: Infrastructure and apps are provisioned and managed through code using technologies like Kubernetes manifests, Helm charts etc.

– Elastic infrastructure: Apps leverage elastic capabilities of cloud like auto-scaling, pay-as-you-go models, redundant and globally distributed infrastructure.

– Automation: Provisioning infrastructure and releasing/deploying apps is automated through Continuous Integration/Delivery (CI/CD) pipelines.

– Observability: Apps incorporate monitoring, metrics and logging capabilities for observability of an increasingly distributed and complex application landscape.

– Configuration as Code: All configurations are stored in code not edited manually. This enables versioning, reviewing, and rollback of config changes.

Benefits over Traditional Applications

Cloud native apps offer significant benefits over monolithic, legacy applications:

Agility and Speed:

– Microservices and containerization enable independent development, deployment and scaling of services.
– Changes can be released continuously through CI/CD pipelines.
– Apps automatically scale based on demand.

Resilience:

– Faults are isolated to individual services and rapidly recovered through auto-scaling and self-healing technologies.
– Geographic distribution of infrastructure enhances resilience against regional outages.

Cost Optimization:

– Only required infrastructure is provisioned based on demand patterns, avoiding over-provisioning.
– Finer control over resource allocation and billing with container-level metering.
– Pay-as-you-go pricing for scalable, Elastic infrastructure.

Flexibility:

– Apps can leverage innovations from third parties rapidly through open source and services without dependencies.
– Services can be developed in different languages, frameworks and run on any infrastructure supporting containers.

Cloud Native is the Future

Today most new applications are being developed using cloud native practices to harness the agility, scalability, resilience and cost benefits of cloud platforms. The12 factor app methodology has become widely adopted for building apps meant for cloud deployments on platforms like GCP, AWS, Azure etc.

Traditional monolithic apps are increasingly being broken into services and containerized for migration to clouds. Vendors like Pivotal provide practices, tools and platforms to transform legacy apps into cloud native architectures. Companies realize that being cloud native is pivotal for business advantage in the digital era through rapid innovation and resilience.

*Note:
1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it