Cloud-native is the name for an approach to building and running applications across private, public, and hybrid clouds. Cloud-native apps are explicitly designed to be developed and managed in the cloud. As companies are increasingly adopting cloud-native technology to accelerate their application delivery, increase agility, and meet customer expectations for speed and performance, they face many challenges.
Unlike many traditional applications that may run in the cloud, cloud-native applications are purpose-built for the cloud. They are designed for existing in public, private, or hybrid clouds from day one, rather than a traditional on-premises data center.
Cloud-native architecture relies on several essential technologies, including containers, microservices, and open-source software.
With a cloud-native approach, developers create specialized and designed services to do one thing well, known as microservices. The individual units that make up a complete application—and each one of those units can be deployed, upgraded, and managed on its own. Microservice independence allows you to focus on the fundamental operations of a component.
Containers are a vital component of cloud-native applications. They make it possible for lightweight applications to run quickly in the cloud. This is a valuable method of operating system virtualization that is often used to make microservices easy to manage. Containers aren’t just for developers, but anyone can use containers for many purposes, such as creating a backup server, developing applications or even running a web server or email server. Scaling a microservices architecture requires packaging all the code and resources that run a service to be easily deployed to other servers.
Containers that run microservices are often deployed in public clouds like AWS or Google Cloud using platforms like Docker and Kubernetes, the open-source software commonly used to automate deploying and scaling cloud-native applications.
Application delivery controller
Another critical component of cloud-native networking is the application delivery controller (ADC). It enables secure communication between the outside world and microservices. Cloud-native technologies also enable security in applications and provide traffic routing and load balancing to secure traffic among microservices. As a result, many organizations are moving beyond traditional application delivery controllers to utilize cloud-based applications.
Cloud-based development has become the latest trend in software development. Companies are increasingly looking to move legacy applications to the cloud, and many startups embrace this DevOps approach from the outset. Cloud-native application development takes advantage of cloud technology to build applications as sets of portable, resilient, and highly available microservices. Most commonly used benefits include:
You can chunk up an application’s code into smaller, more manageable units of microservices by pushing code to production much more frequently than once a month or quarter. One release isn’t enough. Engineers can make changes frequently, incrementally, and even automatically, allowing companies to add new and improved application features to existing applications at the pace customers expect.
With traditional application development, making updates requires a complete software rewrite. No, IT department will be able to identify or fix a problem if it doesn’t impact the entire system and cause hours of downtime. Continuous delivery means your software remains online while individual issues are addressed. If you’re a cloud-native app developer, that gives you flexibility for developing apps that are ready for use immediately. Containers mean that you can update your application without taking the whole thing down, which means you’ll be able to respond quickly to bugs and issues.
Because cloud-native applications can be easily moved to different environments, companies can distribute their apps across cloud providers. Cloud-native applications can be easily migrated to the public cloud or private cloud, so organizations can easily leverage the cloud infrastructure that works best for their budgets and business priorities.