Digital Themes

Cloud Native

What is cloud native?

Cloud native refers to applications that are designed, built, and deployed entirely on cloud platforms. Cloud native applications are designed to utilize all the advantages of the cloud. Cloud native development can occur on any type of cloud environment, such as public, private, or hybrid clouds, with public clouds generally offering the most economic option. The general approach to building cloud native apps is for software developers to focus on loosely coupled cloud environments, meaning no aspect of the application is fully dependent on the infrastructure, thereby allowing for easy scaling based on business needs.

The architectural style of cloud native applications relies on being highly scalable. Rather than being monolithic in design, cloud native apps are generally modular and utilize microservices architecture. This type of architecture allows for developers and operators to focus on how each different piece interacts with the system as a whole, while also allowing for changes to each module without interrupting the entire application. Along the same lines, cloud native development typically also focuses on being able to easily port between operating systems. Rather than only being able to run on Windows PCs, cloud native development will often focus on easy portability to other operating systems, such as iOS or Android. This ensures the widest possible release for software.

Cloud native applications also allow for continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD). Continuous integration automatically creates a shared repository of code while simultaneously verifying the security of the build of the application. If code is noted to compromise the build, then an alert will be issued, and that code will not be added to the repository. After completing a build stage, continuous delivery allows for automatic delivery of all updated code that pass automated testing. This can be triggered by pressing a button, or scheduled for delivery at designated time frames, such as every week or every month. CI/CD pipelines allow for continuous monitoring and analysis at every stop of the application development process.

Benefits of cloud native applications and development include:

  • Scalability: Cloud native applications are designed to be able to increase or decrease any aspect of the program necessary in order to ensure cost effectiveness and smooth operation.

  • Automation: Cloud platforms allow for increased automation, particularly for cloud native apps. Organizations can automate code checks, software releases, and even security checks. Rather than relying on someone to investigate every issue themselves, automation can pool and analyze information to enable organizations to choose the best course of action.

  • Wide availability: Applications created and hosted on cloud platforms can increase their availability in comparison to those hosted on-premises. Cloud platforms generally have infrastructure spread throughout the globe, which can reduce the time it takes for client’s in one part of the world to access data and software created elsewhere. Additionally, many cloud platforms offer open-source frameworks that enable easy portability of software across different operating systems.

  • Increased security: By incorporating security checks and automation at every step of the application creation process, organizations can minimize the vulnerabilities in the program. Continued monitoring allows for early notification of any potential security breaches.
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