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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: