Businesses are rapidly making the shift to the cloud to leverage its speed and flexibility. Often, they migrate their existing applications either directly or after suitably modifying them for the cloud environment. Such apps, called cloud-based, may still function well, and deliver results. But, applications built for the cloud from the ground up tend to leverage the features of the cloud better. They are referred to as cloud-native applications, and are designed to be highly scalable, flexible, and secure. It is critical that these cloud-native apps are built with the right architecture from day zero – so the process of adding new features, capabilities, and modules becomes seamless. It must also be designed for easy integration with other business systems, ensuring there is an easy flow of data and information across systems.
For this, applications are developed on cloud infrastructure using modern tools and techniques. Using cloud-native technologies benefits businesses as they enable quick and frequent changes to applications without affecting service delivery, this helps businesses break barriers to innovation and improve their competitive advantage.
For cloud-native applications to be effective and deliver on their promise, it is important to plan the right cloud architecture and document the cloud engineering strategy so the apps can be scalable, flexible, and resilient.
The availability of digital technologies such as cloud, AI/ML, and IoT are transforming the way businesses operate today. Increased access to data is seeing a corresponding increase in the need for storage and computing power. Traditional, on-prem systems cannot cope with this pace of change and the investment can be formidable.
By modernizing their application and migrating to the cloud, businesses can reap many benefits. But, modernizing goes beyond mere migration of apps. Some or most apps must be made cloud-native to provide the intended benefits, which include:
Cloud-native architecture is designed such that it is easy to maintain, cost-effective, and self-healing. It does not depend on physical servers, hence called serverless technology, and provides greater flexibility.
APIs are needed for the cloud-native microservices to communicate with each other using an event-driven architecture for enhanced performance of every application. The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) is an open-source platform that facilitates cloud-native development with support for projects such as Kubernetes, Prometheus, and Envoy.
The cloud-native architecture typically consists of:
Despite the many advantages and ease of development and maintenance of cloud-native applications, it is not without challenges. As the business expands, so can the number of microservices, requiring more oversight and maintenance. It requires strong integrators, APIs, and the right tools for improved management of asynchronous operations. Ensuring that each integrates well with the overall system and performs as expected is critical. Further, regulations such as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) make security and governance critical for compliance.
These challenges make comprehensive testing and quality assurance essential. Therefore, a good cloud-native app development approach should include:
The two are often used interchangeably, but they are different. Cloud-based applications can run on the cloud and cloud platforms but cannot leverage the inherent benefits of the cloud. Cloud-native applications are developed specifically for the cloud and optimized to leverage the inherent characteristics of the cloud.
Microservices architecture is now one of the most common approaches for cloud-native application development. By breaking down an application into small, independent services, developers can increase the agility of their application, making it easier to deploy, scale, and update. Microservices also enable developers to work on different services independently, allowing for faster development and easier maintenance. Additionally, microservices can enhance application resilience, as individual services can fail without affecting the entire application. Overall, a microservices architecture can help developers build more flexible, scalable, and resilient cloud-native applications.
By Ankit Kumar Ojha
By Uma Raj
Indium Software is a leading digital engineering company that provides Application Engineering, Cloud Engineering, Data and Analytics, DevOps, Digital Assurance, and Gaming services. We assist companies in their digital transformation journey at every stage of digital adoption, allowing them to become market leaders.