Cloud-native is currently one of the biggest trends in the software industry. It is changing the way people think about developing, deploying and operating software products.
But what exactly is “cloud native”?
What does cloud-native mean?
According to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, cloud-native technologies “empower organisations to build and run scalable applications in modern, dynamic environments such as public, private, and hybrid clouds.”
Source: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) – Cloud Native Foundation
In its simplest form, cloud-native is an approach to designing, building and running applications that exploit the advantages of the cloud computing delivery model.
Based on an infrastructure-as-a-service platform (IaaS), combined with new operational tools and services like continuous integration, container engines and orchestrators, the overall objective is to improve speed, scalability and costs.
Why does cloud-native matter?
When companies build and operate applications in a cloud-native manner, they can release new ideas to market faster and respond sooner to customer demands. And it’s well known that the cloud provides the ability to offer nearly limitless computing power, on-demand, along with modern data and application services for developers.
How does cloud-native work?
The Cloud Native Computing Foundation, dedicated to create and drive the adoption of cloud-native programming, describes the three fundamentals of cloud-native as container packaging, dynamic management, and a microservices-oriented architecture. Container Solutions proposes a more simplified approach to becoming cloud-native based around five key principles:
- Use infrastructure-as-a-service: run on servers that can be flexibly provisioned on demand.
- Design systems using a microservices architecture: individual components are small and decoupled.
- Automate and encode: replace manual tasks with scripts or code.
- Containerise: package processes with their dependencies making them easy to test, move and deploy.
- Orchestrate: abstract away individual servers in production using off-the-shelf management and orchestration tools
What are the benefits of going cloud-native?
Cloud native enables organisations to switch cloud goals from IT cost savings to focus on business growth. They can quickly build and deliver applications in response to citizens needs and deliver value for tax payers or give the business a competitive advantage.
A cloud-native approach allows companies to move quickly, ultimately becoming more responsive. By automating IT operations, enterprises can transform into a lean, focused team aligned to driving business priorities.
A cloud-native focus also enables teams to focus on resilience, where developers and architects can design systems that remain online regardless of interruptions anywhere in the environment.
Working with a platform that supports a cloud-native approach offers greater flexibility as enterprises can build applications that run on any (public or private) cloud and run apps and services where it makes the most sense—without locking into one particular vendor’s cloud.
“The top three benefits of cloud-native technology are faster deployment time, improved scalability and cloud portability.”
The challenges of cloud-native computing
As cloud-native technologies change the way companies are designing and building applications, challenges are inevitable. According to a recent survey by the Cloud Native Computer Foundation, the top challenges that respondents face are:
- Cultural Changes with Development Team (41%)
- Complexity (40% up from 35%)
- Lack of Training (40%)
- Security (38% down from 43%)
- Monitoring (34% down from 38%)
- Storage (30% down from 41%)
- Networking (30% down from 38%)
A lift and shift approach – to simply move legacy on-premises apps to the cloud – is also not recommended.
Why not? As attempting to shift legacy applications onto a cloud infrastructure will not take advantage of cloud-native features. To succeed, you need to look to do new things in new ways, such as putting new applications into a new cloud infrastructure or by rebuilding existing legacy apps using cloud-native principles.
How to get started
Trustmarque’s Azure Solutions, helps organisations become cloud-native.
Using Trustmarque to plan, deliver and migrate to your new cloud datacentre, you can have a full virtual datacentre with your suitable applications migrated into it and enjoy all the benefits of cloud-native computing.
We are offering cloud workshops with our cloud specialists to help identify your organisation’s needs and how you can remove the complexities of moving to a cloud-based architecture.