What is Cloud Native App Development?
Cloud-native application development is a platform base to developing and running applications that utilizes a cloud computing delivery model. The term “Cloud-native”, originated from the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), is all about creating and deploying applications in the cloud by leveraging its computing and orchestration capabilities. It also implies that apps reside in the public cloud, not in an on-premises data center.
Kubernetes and CNCF communities define Cloud native development as contain-based, dynamically orchestrated software development techniques that are based on microservices architecture. Kubernetes is an open-source system used for containerized microservices for automating application deployment, scaling, and management.
Interesting Read: Migration from Legacy System to the Cloud. Is Your Organization Ready?
With cloud-native institutionalization in development and operations of mission-critical apps, businesses can equip themselves to bring new ideas to life at lightning speed and can respond to customer requirements in a timely manner.
What are Microservices?
Most of the forward-thinking minds are reshaping how organizations handle application development process. With the new approach like Microservices, defined as smaller independent software constructs, can improve resilience, and expedite time to market for applications.
Microservices have been making waves in the world of software development, according to a recent survey from Nginx, 36% of organizations are currently using microservices based architecture.
Another survey from IDC research predicts that 90% of all new apps will be built on microservices architecture that enhance the ability to design, debug, update and integration of third-party code.
Now the term ‘Microservices’ can be stated as the method of decomposing an application into standalone modules that each independent module performs only one business function. These modules or services come with well-defined interfaces that are individually deployed and operated by a team of software architects who are looking after the entire lifecycle of the service.
These microservices can communicate via a mechanism known as container to achieve a unique business objective.
The Case of Microservices
One common example of cloud native and microservice could be CSCS, a not-for-profit organization for Construction Skills Certification Scheme within the UK construction industry. The organization works for authorizing, approving, validating construction certificates, and providing a valid card. These cards are widely recognized to prove that the construction workers have the necessary qualifications to work.
To provide an omnichannel customer experience platform for its users, the organization was partnered up with Icreon and moved away from manual processes to automated architecture. This included transition of multiple applications running on manual processes to a big central system.
Icreon has helped the organization in developing independent services: Users for users and user’s role management; Application for applying cards and cards processing; Card for finding the appropriate card and issuing of cards. These modular services are up and running on AWS and microservice architecture. Now each microservice i.e., different services may share features independent of other services.
So, major advantages of choosing microservice over traditional approach in the above case are improved fault isolation & better resiliency for easy maintenance, faster updates & deployments for greater business agility, and flexible resource provisioning in case of spike in traffic to the website. While the web application remains the same, but each microservice can work individually without impacting the functioning of other services.
Cloud Native vs Traditional Development
The breakneck pace of digital transformation can no longer be supported by traditional, legacy application methodology. As we move from monolithic traditional development to the cloud native and microservices architecture, we see a lot of differences from abstraction of the OS to automated scalability. Let’s find out those differences in detail.
Cloud Native- OS Independent/ OS Abstraction, Traditional – OS Dependent
A cloud native application architecture is OS independent that means developers can use a platform without having any dependency on the underlying infrastructure. Instead of configuring, finding fixes, and maintaining OS, teams can focus on the development of the software.
When we talk about the traditional approach, it carries close dependency between the application and the underlying OS, hardware, and storage. These dependencies sometime create roadblocks in the migration and scaling processes.
Cloud Native- Automated, Traditional- Manual
In cloud-native, automation at scale is possible as it eliminates downtime which happens due to human error. Moreover, it brings speed and agility in delivery, and enhances application resilience. By implementing continuous integration and continuous delivery, development, testing, and deployment processes become faster. As a result, the development teams can focus on the software, while the operation teams can handle deployment in a predictable manner.
On the other hand, the traditional approach of software development requires heavy in-house administration as they are manually operated. At the time of scaling, human operators are slow to diagnose errors and easily fail to correctly implement due to monolithic architecture.
Cloud Native- Predictable, Traditional- Hard to Predict
Cloud native platforms maximize resiliency through predictable behaviors. For instance, on-premises applications can be shifted to the cloud using highly automated, container orchestration tools, which encapsulate older applications and configuration code, and re-platforms them. Re-platforming is done by harnessing computing and network capabilities of the cloud infrastructure. It involves rewriting of the new code and frameworks and then redeploying them as an immutable infrastructure using dev-test production environment.
In contrast, traditional applications struggle with customization because of the way they architected and developed. The monolithic architecture of the application takes longer to build, upgrade and release. They generally follow waterfall methodology, which scales gradually, and the app relies on dependent services. Moreover, these systems do not replicate in dev-test production environment, which introduces failures when new releases are being deployed.
Cloud Native- Capacity Utilization, Traditional- Over-sized Capacity
In the cloud native development, infrastructure provisioning, allocating resources at deploy time happen on the need basis. The development also optimizes application lifecycle management, such as resource utilization, orchestration, and recovery from failures to eliminate downtime. While the traditional infrastructure is over-sized in nature that lacks scalability to meet the evolving need of modern applications. Traditional IT systems work on a dedicated infrastructure for an application, which delays the deployment of the application. Sometimes, the solution is over-sized based or worst-case capacity to scale and meet the growing need.
Cloud Native- Collaborative, Traditional- Siloed
DevOps in cloud native approach includes people, processes, and tools, which results in closed collaboration between development and operation teams. This helps in speeding up the development process and making it faster to the production level. While in the traditional development, operations team get the finished build of applications from developers and then they will run this in production. Organizational priorities will take over the customer value, causing conflicts amongst the teams and compromised delivery of the application.
Relevant Read: Why Modernization and Important components of App Modernization
It’s Time to Make your Move to the Cloud Native
Today’s market requires fast delivery and innovation to fulfil ever-increasing needs of customers. Modular architecture and continuous integration and continuous delivery are becoming the best practices for the new age of development.
Container orchestration service offers high fault tolerance, fast updates, and zero downtime, which indubitably increases user experience to a great extent. And on top of that, automated resource provisioning enables organizations to pay only for what they use to reduce operational costs, when compared to traditional resource utilization.
All these advantages of the cloud native and microservice architecture make organizations to achieve unbridled growth with faster time to market over traditional development.
Make your apps count with cloud native development. Consult with our technical architects to modernize your existing platform or launch your next digital service.