What are cloud native application and their competitive edges?
Cloud Native Application Development has gained a tremendous momentum in the last few couple of years, and now 75% of the global organizations are focussing on developing cloud native application architecture.
But haven’t you wondered, what are the reasons behind such a humungous popularity of the cloud native application design?
Well, firstly the pressing need for rapid digitalization in the pandemic period called for the agile and robust development tools & technologies. Though the work was in pipeline but the greatest impetus came in that era. Moreover, the incredible leading edges made the cloud native application development much more popular. In the year 2021, only 30% of the digital workloads were deployed through the cloud native application architecture, But Gartner predicts that by 2025, with this pace, the percentage will enhance to a whopping 95%!
With this article team Technovature throws light on various aspects of the cloud native application architecture and elaborate the benefits leading to its greater popularity. So, let’s delve into the details.
What are cloud native applications?
In the simplest terms, cloud native applications are the programs designed for the cloud computing architecture. Cloud native application designs are developed, executed, and hosted in cloud and are designed to leverage the intrinsic characteristics of software delivery model over cloud computing. These applications use micro-service architecture, which makes them much more efficient. And this is because such architecture efficiently allocates the necessary resources for each service. This makes the application more flexible and highly adaptable to cloud architecture.
How to architect & design Cloud Native Applications
The principle of cloud native architecture centres attention towards optimizing the system architecture for the special capabilities of cloud computing. Traditional architecture tends to optimize the high-end infrastructure, requiring a heavy load of manual efforts. Therefore only a small number of components are worked on in it.
While in the cloud a fixed infrastructure makes lesser sense because cloud services are charged on the usage basis and reducing the presence means lesser expense. Easier automation and scalability are other perks. So we can conclude that cloud native architecture takes care of accomplishing resilience through horizontal scaling, parallel processing, and automated replacement of the failed components.
Now let’s specifically check out the cloud native application architecture
Cloud Native Application Architecture
Cloud native is about where the application is developed & deployed, not where put on! And cloud native architecture is a design practice, which utilizing the cloud services like AWS, AZURE, EC2, S3, allows the development techniques for agile and dynamic application development. This methodology empowers the developers with a modular approach to craft, run, and update software through a set of cloud-based micro-services. Micro-services and containerization bolster the agility and dynamism cloud native application development by facilitating the easier transfer between the service providers and deploying the services independently in different scripts or frameworks without any conflict.
Cloud Native Application Design
Cloud native application designs are based on following 8 main principles:
1. Loosely coupled micro-services
To develop a single application as a suite of many small services, each running their process and communicating with light protocols.
2. Omni-language & Framework support
To let the developer teams utilize the script they master and leverage the sporadic expertise at all nooks & corner of the world.
3. APIs for Interaction & Collaboration
To leverage protocol based lightweight API for exposing the functionality. Internal communication within the system occur using binary protocol.
4. Stateless but high scalability
To make the system impervious to any external entity making a change by storing state in database form. Architecture must be able to scale up by simple addition of server nodes.
To respond to the failures by successfully avoiding data loss or downtime
6. Orchestrated Lightweight Containers
To isolate applications into small execution environments that shares the operating system kernel
7. CI/CD for Agile DevOps and Automation
To empower the developers deliver code changes frequently and reliably, and establish a consistent & automated process to develop, assemble, and test applications.
8. Dynamic Scalability
To leverage cloud’s flexibility in using increased or decreased resources using demand spike or slow down.
Traditional vs. Cloud Native Application
|1.||OS Abstraction||With PaaS developers need not fret about the layer management of the operating system, as it is delegated to the cloud service provider||Traditional software development is completely coupled with the underlying operating system, making it harder to migrate and scale over different hosting environments.|
|2.||Modularity||Micro services and containers impart a very high modularity. For this the development & maintenance processes need not to be performed on the whole app but on independent parts.||Services and functionality are coupled with the application deployment. There is a modular structure in development aspects and deployed as monoliths.|
|3.||Management Cost||For the high modularity improvements, scaling and testing cost is relatively lower.||For the monolith model improvement, scaling and testing is not only expensive but also harder.|
|4.||Resource Utilization||For the dynamic allocation of the resources based on the current needs, resources are efficiently utilized.||Resources in a fixed amount need to be allocated in advance.|
|5.||Collaboration||Team collaboration is oriented to the DevOps principles and agile development method, leading to closer collaboration.||The waterfall model leads to not so high collaboration among developers. Velocity and quality to the release cycle is lesser.|
|6.||Automation||Built using CI/CD over a series of automated processes the overall procedure in app life-cycle is highly automated.||Built using manual operation approach the automation level is lower in traditional app development approach.|
Cloud Native Application Protection Platform- CNAPP
CNAPP is a cloud native platform security model encompassing cloud security posture management, Cloud service network security, and also the cloud workload Protection Platform in one overarching platform.
It emphasizes the need for the businesses to ponder on cloud native platform security solutions. This way, in place of patchwork of tools, a complete holistic security to the applications can be provided.
Benefits of Cloud Native Applications
The aforementioned dissection would have already concluded a lot of benefits of the cloud native applications. Now let’s have a look specifically.
1. Independent Scalability
All micro services are isolable, and independently scalable- without affecting other components.
2. High Portability
As there are containers to port micro-services among different infrastructure, these applications are vendor-neutral and avoid vendor-lock-in.
3. Greater Reliability
For using containers, the cloud native applications do not affect adjacent services in case of failure in one micro service.
4. Easier Management
Automated deployment and updates along with traceability & management of each micro service independently makes the overall management a cakewalk, comparatively.
5. Greater visibility
The micro service architecture isolating the services makes it easier for the developers to look out & study everything easily.
Here, as the computing and storage resources can be scaled up or down with needs, the elimination of overprovisioning greatly reduces the operational cost.
Frequently Asked Questions
For a quick roundup or to get a glimpse of what you were thinking in regards with Cloud Native Applications, let’s have a nippy look at the rapid-fire question!
1. What is cloud native development?
It is a methodology to develop, run, and update apps in the distributed computing facilitated by the cloud delivery model.
2. What are the characteristics of cloud native applications?
Discrete, reusable components (micro-services) working in unison and able to integrate in any cloud environment and the dynamic orchestration of computing, storing, and networking resources are the major attributes.
3. Which practices are used while building a cloud native application?
Micro services, lightweight containers, automated release pipeline, provision resource with IaaC, server less development, are some practices followed in building a cloud native application.
4. Can cloud native applications access local file systems?
Special CSI drivers can facilitate the cloud native application access the local storage files.
5. Do cloud native applications use micro services architecture?
Yes, micro services are the core of cloud native applications and a key tools for businesses planning to go cloud.