Cloud Native Application is an emerging approach to application development that takes full advantage of cloud computing solutions and enables organizations to build, deploy, and manage their applications more efficiently.
This blog is intended for software developers and other professionals who are passionate about the advantages of cloud-native applications and how to implement them in their organizations. Have a thorough understanding of the Cloud Native Application architecture and its benefits for creating and deploying Cloud Native Applications by the end of this blog.
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What is Cloud Native Application?
A cloud-native application is a software application designed to operate in a cloud computing environment. This approach involves breaking down the application into smaller, more manageable components built and deployed as independent microservices.
The architecture of a cloud-native application is designed to take full advantage of the dynamic resource allocation capabilities of the cloud. The application can automatically scale up or down based on demand without manual intervention. Additionally, cloud-native applications are highly resilient and can automatically recover from failures and also, maintain service as per availability.
Cloud-native applications are built, using the fundamentals of DevOps practices, which automate development, testing, and deployment processes. This approach provides faster and more reliable application delivery along with greater collaboration between the development and operations teams.
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Characteristics of a Cloud Native Application
Cloud-native applications are software applications that are designed, developed, and deployed with a set of cloud computing principles.
Some of the key characteristics of cloud-native applications are discussed below points:
- Containerization- Cloud-native apps are frequently created using containers, which are compact and portable software bundles that include all the required code, libraries, and dependencies to run the application. Applications may be quickly scaled and deployed across many environments due to containers.
- Microservices Architecture- Microservices architecture, which entails breaking the application down into smaller, modular components that can be independently built, tested, and deployed, is commonly used to construct cloud-native apps. Greater flexibility, scalability, and resilience are made possible by this strategy.
- DevOps Automation- When developing cloud-native apps, developers frequently follow DevOps concepts, which include automating the development, testing, and deployment processes. DevOps automation allows development and operations teams to collaborate more closely while delivering solutions more quickly and reliably.
- APIs- APIs provide a consistent and defined method for services to exchange data and function calls, allowing microservices to connect. Developers can build autonomous, modular microservices that can be quickly integrated and scaled as necessary by using APIs. As a result, the deployment and development of applications can be done with more agility and flexibility.
- Infrastructure as code- Infrastructure as Code (IaC) is a process of managing and provisioning infrastructure with the support of code rather than manually configuring it. This approach allows developers to easily deploy, configure, and manage infrastructure and enables version control and automated testing. By automating infrastructure management, IaC improves efficiency, reduces errors, and enhances collaboration between cloud native development and operations teams.
- Cloud-Native Technologies- Cloud-Native Technologies applications are developed to run on cloud-native infrastructure, such as Kubernetes or various other cloud platforms. Furthermore, this allows businesses to take advantage of the scalability, flexibility, and agility that cloud computing provides.
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Cloud Native Tools
Cloud-native tools mostly refer to a set of software tools and technologies that are developed to run and manage applications in a cloud-native environment. These technologies make it easier for developers to design scalable and resilient apps by streamlining the process of deploying and managing cloud-native applications.
The following are some well-known cloud-native tools:
- Kubernetes- Automating the deployment, scaling, and maintenance of containerized applications is Kubernetes, an open-source platform for container orchestration.
- Docker- Developing and running distributed programs in containers is made possible by the open-source platform Docker.
- Prometheus- It is a free toolset for monitoring and alerting that facilitates the gathering and visualization of information from many systems.
- Istio- It is a platform for managing and securing service mesh-based applications that are open-source.
- Helm- Applications can be managed, installed, and upgraded with the help of Helm, a package manager for Kubernetes.
- Envoy- It is a free and open-source edge and service proxy that facilitates the management and security of traffic between microservices.
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Advantages of Cloud Native Applications
Cloud-native applications have become popular due to several advantages. Understanding these advantages can help organizations make informed decisions when adopting this technology.
Below are a few of the advantages of cloud-native applications:
- Scalability- Cloud-native applications are designed to be highly scalable and can easily handle fluctuations in traffic and user demand. The use of microservices and containerization allows for horizontal scaling, where additional instances of a service can be added or removed to match demand.
- Agility- These applications can be developed, deployed, and updated quickly and efficiently. The use of DevOps practices and automation tools allows for rapid iteration and deployment of new features.
- Resilience- These are designed to be resilient and fault-tolerant. The use of container orchestration and distributed data stores ensures that the application can continue to function even if some components fail.
- Cost-effective- It can be cost-effective as it can be deployed on a pay-as-you-go basis, where you only pay for the resources you use. The use of serverless computing can further reduce costs by eliminating the need to manage and provision servers.
- Platform independence- Cloud-native applications can be deployed on any cloud platform or on-premises infrastructure, making them highly portable and flexible.
Disadvantages of Cloud Native Applications
Despite the many benefits of cloud-native applications, there are also some disadvantages to consider. It is important to assess these factors carefully when deciding to adopt a cloud-native approach.
The disadvantages of cloud-native applications are:
- Complexity- Cloud-native applications can be complex to design, develop, deploy, and manage. The use of microservices, containers, and orchestration requires a steep learning curve and can be challenging to implement.
- Security- Cloud-native applications can be vulnerable to security threats due to their distributed and decentralized nature. Additional security measures, such as encryption and network segmentation, may be required to ensure data protection.
- Cost- While cloud-native applications can be cost-effective, they can also be expensive to develop and maintain. The use of specialized tools and expertise required to build and manage cloud-native applications can be costly.
- Infrastructure dependency- Cloud-native applications are dependent on the underlying cloud infrastructure, which can be subject to outages, downtime, or compatibility issues. The need for constant monitoring and maintenance of the infrastructure can be a challenge.
- Vendor lock-in- Cloud-native applications can be tied to a specific cloud provider or technology stack, which can limit flexibility and portability. The use of open-source tools and standards can mitigate this risk to some extent.
Examples of Cloud Native Applications
Below we will highlight some of the popular examples of cloud-native applications that utilize the power of cloud technologies.
Netflix is an excellent example of a cloud-native application. It has transitioned from a traditional DVD rental service to a leading global video streaming platform. Netflix relies heavily on cloud technologies, using microservices architecture, containerization with Docker, and container orchestration with Kubernetes. These cloud-native principles allow them to scale their infrastructure dynamically, deploy updates seamlessly, and provide a smooth streaming experience to millions of users worldwide.
Airbnb, the popular online marketplace for lodging and hospitality services, is built as a cloud-native application. It utilizes cloud services like Amazon Web Services (AWS) to handle its website and mobile app infrastructure. By adopting a cloud-native approach, Airbnb can scale its platform elastically, manage user reservations and payments, and handle geographically distributed data efficiently.
Spotify, the popular music streaming platform, is another real-world example of a cloud-native application. Spotify utilizes cloud services and container orchestration to handle the vast music catalog, deliver personalized recommendations, and support millions of concurrent users across various devices. By taking advantage of cloud-native technologies, Spotify can scale its services on-demand, optimize resource allocation, and continuously deliver new features and updates.
Pinterest, the visual discovery and bookmarking platform, is built as a cloud-native application. It leverages cloud infrastructure to store and serve millions of images, handle user interactions, and provide personalized recommendations. With a microservices architecture and containerization, Pinterest can scale its services based on user demand, improve performance, and continuously deploy new features and updates.
Cloud Native Applications Vs. Traditional Enterprise Applications
|Cloud-Native Applications||Traditional Enterprise Applications|
|Cloud-native applications are designed to be highly scalable and can handle fluctuations in traffic and user demand.||Traditional enterprise applications are often limited by the infrastructure they are deployed on, making it challenging to scale up or down as needed.|
|They are more agile and can be developed, deployed, and updated quickly and efficiently. They are majorly built using modern development methodologies like DevOps and are often deployed in containers or serverless environments.||On the other hand, they are often monolithic and require manual intervention for deployment and updates.|
|It is more resilient and fault-tolerant. They use microservices and container orchestration to ensure that the application can continue to function even if some components fail.||It is often less resilient and can experience downtime if a component fails.|
|These applications are designed to be platform-independent and can be deployed on any cloud platform or on-premises infrastructure.||These applications are often tied to specific hardware or software environments, which can limit flexibility and portability.|
Cloud Native Applications are revolutionizing modern software development. It helps companies create applications that can adapt to changing business needs by utilizing the advantages of cloud computing while embracing a set of basic principles.
As a result, Cloud Native Applications are the process that will navigate the development of software in the future. The methods for developing, deploying, and maintaining software are rapidly changing as a result of these applications. Therefore, it’s time to embrace Cloud Native and experience the revolution if you want to stay ahead of your competition.
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