A cloud-native application is a program that is designed for a cloud computing architecture. These applications are run and hosted in the cloud and are designed to capitalize on the inherent characteristics of a cloud computing software delivery model. A native app is software that is developed for use on a specific platform or device.
Cloud-native applications use a microservice architecture. This architecture efficiently allocates resources to each service that the application uses, making the application flexible and adaptable to a cloud architecture.
Proponents of DevOps use cloud-native applications for their ability to promote business agility. They are designed, built and delivered differently from traditional cloud-based monolithic applications. Cloud-native applications feature shorter application lifecycles and are highly resilient, manageable and observable.
Cloud-native apps take advantage of cloud computing frameworks and their loosely coupled cloud services. Because not all services are on the same server, cloud-native application developers must create a network between machines using software-based architectures. The services reside on different servers and they run in different locations. This architecture enables applications to scale out horizontally.
At the same time, because the infrastructure that supports a cloud-native app does not run locally, these applications must be designed with redundancy. This allows the application to withstand an equipment failure and remap Internet Protocol (IP) addresses automatically.
The microservices that are part of the cloud-native app architecture are packaged in containers that connect and communicate via APIs. Orchestration tools are used to manage all of these components.
Here are some of the key capabilities of these applications:
The terms cloud-native and cloud-based applications are often confused. While they both run on public, private or hybrid cloud infrastructures, they differ in design as follows:
These are designed to use the cloud and cloud platforms Cloud-based applications may use dynamic cloud infrastructure but do not take full advantage of the inherent characteristics of the cloud.
These are designed specifically for the cloud. Cloud-native application development is optimized for the inherent characteristics of the cloud and is adaptable to the cloud’s dynamic environment.
Cloud-native applications are designed to take advantage of the speed and efficiency of the cloud. Some of the benefits from using them include the following:
Best practices for designing cloud-native applications are based on the DevOps principal of operational excellence. Cloud-native architecture has no unique rules, and businesses will approach development differently based on the business problem they are solving and the software they are using.
All cloud-native application designs should consider how the app will be built, how performance is measured and how teams foster continuous improvement through the app lifecycle. Here are the five parts of design:
Several software tools are used for each cloud-native application development process. Together, they create a development stack.
Here is the software found in a cloud-native development stack:
Docker. The Docker platform is open source. It creates, deploys and manages virtualized application containers using a common operating system (OS). It isolates resources allowing multiple containers to use the same OS without contention.
Kubernetes. The Kubernetes platform is used to manage and orchestrate Linux containers, determining how and where the containers will run.
Terraform. Designed for implementing IaC, Terraform defines resources as code and applies version control so users can see when and where resources were altered.
GitLab CI/CD. This continuous integration/continuous development (CI/CD) software lets users automate software testing and deployment. GitLab can be used for security analysis, static analysis and unit tests.
Cloud-native applications solve some of cloud computing’s inherent problems. Nevertheless, migrating to the cloud to improve operational efficiencies has a range of challenges. Contact Musato Technologies to learn more about our ICT services and solutions that empower business to succeed.
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