The need for cloud native applications has never been greater. And businesses developing cloud native applications must know that it requires more than migrating t the cloud. They have to move from legacy systems, move to public or private cloud, and increase the pace at which applications are released to stay strong in Industry 4.0.
This article focuses on five essential things about cloud native applications and touches upon the benefits of adopting cloud native technologies.
What are cloud native applications?
Cloud native applications are designed to take advantage of the cloud computing model. They are built from the ground up to be hosted on a cloud platform, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud Platform. Cloud native applications are scalable, fault-tolerant, and self-healing. They are typically built using microservices, which are small, modular, and independently deployable components. The cloud native approach helps organizations release new features and updates faster and to better manage and monitor their applications.
Five essential things about cloud native applications
While several elements are fundamental to cloud-native applications, the five below are critical. Cloud native applications are designed to be run in the cloud and are built to take advantage of the cloud’s scalability and flexibility. The success of cloud native applications depends on the below factors.
1) Microservices based applications
Cloud native applications are composed of independent services that can be deployed and scaled independently. Microservices architecture is an approach to building cloud native applications composed of independent services that communicate with each other using well-defined APIs. This type of architecture enables developers to build scalable, reliable, and easy-to-maintain applications.
Cloud native applications with microservices offer several benefits:
● Allows developers to deploy services independently of each other, i.e., each service can be deployed, updated, and scaled without affecting the other services in the application.
● Allows for a high degree of scalability, with each service being scalable independently of the others.
● Each service is independent of the others; it is easy to change one service without affecting the others. It makes it easier to keep applications up-to-date and fix bugs.
2) Following DevOps practices
Cloud native applications are built using DevOps practices with automation, i.e., a set of practices that aim to improve the collaboration between development and operations teams. Developers must focus on automation, continuous delivery, and monitoring when building cloud native applications. By automating application deployments, developers can push out new code changes more frequently and quickly, without manual intervention, speeding up the development process and reducing the chances of human error.
Continuous delivery is another critical DevOps practice for cloud native application development. It ensures that new code changes are automatically pushed to production without requiring manual testing or approval. It allows for a more rapid development cycle, as new features can be quickly and easily pushed to users. Finally, monitoring is essential for cloud native applications. By monitoring the performance of your application, you can quickly identify and fix any issues that may arise, helping you keep your application running smoothly and efficiently and avoiding potential downtime.
Testing cloud native applications can be a challenge, but it’s essential to have a good strategy in place. Using a combination of unit, integration, and automated tests ensures that your application is working as intended. Microservices may be deployed on different platforms, so it can be difficult to test all the possible permutations. In addition, cloud native applications are often built using open-source components, which can introduce additional complexity.
You could use a cloud-based testing platform, such as AWS Device Farm or Google Cloud Test Lab. These platforms can test your application on various devices and configurations. Another approach is to use a local testing platform, such as Cloud9 IDE or Docker. These platforms allow you to test your application locally on your own devices. The QA process should include both unit and integration tests. Unit tests focus on individual components, while integration tests check how the components work together. It’s also essential to have a way to automate your tests using a tool like Jenkins or Bamboo. Automated testing saves considerable time, especially for cloud native applications, which are often deployed multiple times daily.
4) Cloud native applications are often containerized
Cloud native applications are packaged in lightweight containers that can be easily deployed and scaled. Using containers, developers package their applications with all the necessary dependencies and ship them out as a single unit. It makes it much easier to deploy and manage applications in the cloud. There are many benefits to using containers for cloud-native applications.
Containers are very lightweight and can be deployed quickly with flexibility and scalability.
Containers isolate each application from the others, so if one application crashes, it will not affect the others. It is a significant advantage over traditional virtualization technologies, which can be much more complex to manage.
Containers make it easy to manage application dependencies. In the past, developers would have to manually install all of the required libraries and dependencies for their applications. With containers, these dependencies can be bundled with the application, making it much easier to keep everything up to date.
5) Operational integration
Operational integration is essential for cloud native applications to ensure that the various services work together seamlessly and that the overall system can function as a cohesive whole. For instance:
● Service discovery: Each service is typically deployed independently and may run on a different host or in another data center. Identifying the location of each service so that requests can be routed correctly is done using a service registry, which is a database of all the available services and their locations.
● Load balancing: In a microservices architecture, each service is typically stateless, meaning that any instance of the service can handle any request. It makes it possible to scale each service independently by adding or removing instances as needed. Load balancing is distributing requests across a service’s available instances so that no one instance is overwhelmed.
● Monitoring: Monitoring the health of each service independently so that problems can be detected and fixed quickly is essential. It requires setting up tracking for each service, which can be a challenge in itself.
● Logging: In a microservices architecture, you collect logs from each service so that you can troubleshoot problems and track down issues. It can be challenging if each service runs on a different host or in a different data center.
● Deployment: Since each service is deployed independently, coordinating multiple services can be a challenge, simplified by partitioning the environment.
With operational integration, it would be easier to manage cloud native applications, and they would be more likely to have zero outages or other problems.
Overall, cloud native applications offer many benefits, including improved scalability, availability, and efficiency. Therefore, companies moving to cloud native application development is essential to stay competitive. However, it requires a shift in business strategy and putting systems and processes in place to make cloud adoption a smooth transition. As a way forward, businesses must develop applications using containers, microservices, continuous workflows, and the necessary DevOps practices.
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