The world has certainly come a long way since the cloud came into existence. Technology which was considered a tool for the bigwigs of any industry sector had become the preferred technology for most.
Riding on the coattails of success, companies worldwide took notice of the cloud as it was the technology that stunted capital expenditures and made resources readily available for organizations. Although companies were adopting cloud at their own pace, the pandemic propelled cloud integration requirements faster than ever.
However, this rushed migration has left many in the lurch as developing and maintaining solutions on the cloud was a different ball game altogether. As new problems cropped up, cloud users came up with a new development approach: Cloud native architecture. Let’s understand what cloud native architecture is and what it constitutes.
Cloud Native Architecture
Every problem brings forth the requirement to seek or create a new solution. Rigid age-old work approaches gave away to simplified and dynamic methodologies. The same is the case with software development. With the onset of the cloud, cloud users devised an intuitive software production approach that allows them to leverage cloud technology completely.
Harnessing the spirit of cloud and combining it with DevOps, cloud native architecture propagates development based on existing but improved software development principles. With all the IT layers ingrained in data centers, servers, firewalls, and other critical IT infrastructures, cloud native architecture allows companies to develop software as loosely networked applications. They are built using microservices architecture and can be deployed on dynamically orchestrated platforms.
What makes cloud native methodology a lucrative deal for companies is that cloud native applications are much more robust and reliable. It also allows the companies to experience a faster time to market.
As hinted previously, companies developed software using outdated and rigid methodologies. It is likely that you, like every software developer, must have guessed that the ‘waterfall’ methodology is being alluded to. The waterfall methodology has its merits, and it certainly helped companies develop robust solutions. However, it required everyone to follow a rigid process where the software was developed in specific steps.
Firstly, the designers would prepare comprehensive product design documents to allow the developers to pen the code. This is where the testers would allow testing of the written application code. While it is smooth sailing until here if the testers find errors in the developed software package, the developers would be compelled to go back to the drawing board to rewrite the code.
All this painstaking process would not make the companies expend monetary resources but also time. Furthermore, this development made adding or updating the software with new features an arduous task as one would have to restart the entire process.
To address the ineptness of waterfall, microservices architecture came forth. The productivity-oriented methodology allowed the applications to be developed as an independent service that interacts with other applications with Application Programming Interface or APIs’. Furthermore, this approach allowed software teams to work on various services while employing different languages.
What lent microservices an advantage over the waterfall was that companies could use the central repository system as a version control mechanism. The companies could expend their efforts simultaneously on multiple aspects, ranging from code development to feature addition. All this can be performed without triggering any downtime to the software. And with automation, companies can execute huge modifications with little to no effort.
Cloud native methodology takes the microservices idea and implements it on cloud technology to help the organizations create continuous delivery apps. Its edge over the other approaches is that one can integrate every layer of the company’s infrastructure. Be it security or network; one can automate the application and manage every layer with the help of a script.
Simultaneously, one can rejig the software infrastructure by coding. This helps the DevOps team members and other project members add or modify the software. Cloud native architecture also axes regular problems such as runtime environment execution by allowing developers to orchestrate the application seamlessly.
Advantages Of Cloud Native Architecture
As you can see, cloud native makes life easy for most. So, let’s dig deep into all advantages it has. After all, this is the core aspect that motivates you and others to adopt the architecture.
• Swift Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)
SDLC encompasses various stages involved in developing an application. Typically, SDLC starts from the planning phase and winds up at maintenance/operations, following deployment.
Cloud Native goes together with DevOps’s CI/CD model as developers get to ingrain automation capabilities in the product. This automation integration allows rapid changes and ensures quality. Also, with the team members working in tandem, there is a greater scope for transparency which trims the SDLC time.
• Better Time To Market
With automation and modifications done better, companies can experience stunted time to market. What’s more is that the team focuses on multiple aspects, and due to this reason, the team can finish the project file faster and better than in waterfall. Finally, the DevOps principles make the product easier to manage and roll out, be it an entire product or an iterative update.
• Resilient Software Applications
Every outage in this IT-reliant world leaves a sour taste for the clients and the companies orchestrating the solution. Cloud native applications are better off because they can be isolated from the malfunctioning system. The underlying architecture, which brings together microservices and Kubernetes, makes this isolation and resilience possible, the combination amps up the application resilience and, in return, improves the customer experience.
• Stunted Capital Expenditure
Cloud has popularized a pay-as-you-go model, which reduced the capital expenditure burden. Cloud native supports and betters this aspect with its supportive capabilities for automation and collaboration.
Furthermore, while cloud demands OpEx, cloud native brings in higher scope for containerization, which can be managed with the open-source Kubernetes. In addition, the architecture’s compatibility with serverless computing and open-source tools brings down the operation costs further.
As you can see, the cloud native architecture is a great technology offering and one of the best cloud compatible methodologies that can boost productivity. However, while it sounds great, you should know that this approach is favored for service-oriented applications (or customer-centric, in other words). This is primarily why we witness the most customer-centric organizations developing cloud native apps.
They are high on automation and low on outages. However, making the architecture work better with open-source tools and overcoming other challenges such as orchestration is not everyone’s game.
So, while acknowledging the benefits of cloud native technology, novices, and overburdened companies should rope in an MSP to mitigate the underlying challenges of cloud native architecture.
With Burbank’s best managed service providers, businesses can truly leverage the advantages of cloud native architecture for a competitive edge.