Get Ahead Using Cloud Native Potential
Even though many organizations are just getting started with their Cloud Native initiatives, it’s already become one of the biggest trends in the industry.
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Zip-disks, iPods, BetaMax, Google Glass. If there's one thing that's constant in the world of technology, it's change. Today, cloud adoption has provided one of the fastest routes to business transformation. In the past, IT systems had to be retrofitted for cloud capabilities. Now, applications have evolved to leverage new capabilities; Cloud Native.
Cloud Native applications are designed, built, and deployed specifically for either public, private, or hybrid cloud. They are “born into” the cloud environment and bound not to exist elsewhere, taking the best advantage of what a cloud can offer. They derived from the modern IT development approaches popularized and well-acclaimed over the years, including microservices, continuous development, and continuous integration and DevOps.
Depending on who you ask, Cloud Native can mean a lot of different things. Ten years ago, it was coined by companies like Netflix, who leveraged cloud technologies, going from a mail-order company to one of the world’s largest consumer on-demand content delivery networks. Netflix pioneered what we’ve come to call Cloud Native, reinventing, transforming, and scaling how we all want to be doing software development.
To date, cloud-based applications were either originally installed on-premise and later migrated into the cloud, or their creators used only a part of the cloud capabilities. With Cloud Native, the structure is motivated by cloud capabilities and no time for adjusting is required. They are created with readiness for instability in mind: changing availability of resources, and all different kinds of expected and unexpected failures. To summarize, Cloud Native apps' essential functionality is centralized around cloud, designed with modern paradigms utilized in the cloud.
Cloud = Convenience
Many of today’s modern IT departments have wrapped legacy applications in cloud-based hosting in order to unlock the many benefits of cloud computing. But with many complications around support, maintenance, and innovation, this is not the guaranteed golden bullet to time, cost, and efficiency savings.
If you’ve been considering adopting this cloud computing model to strengthen your app offering, the advantages are many;
Who would like to devote days or weeks on selecting and preparing an underlying infrastructure like data storage? Not I. Less time spent on managing — or maintaining — infrastructure means more focus elsewhere.
MODERN TOOLS AND TECHNIQUES
Concentrate on the functionalities that lie in the core of your application whilst secure in the knowledge that you can rely on best-in-class cloud services and tools.
Forget planning and orchestration of physical servers and other hardware. Simply "borrow" hardware from the cloud and enjoy the cost savings without the risk.
TESTED and TRUSTED
Expert knowledge is not a must as cloud services offer high-level, well-tested functionality to build upon. Simply focus on execution and let the tools and services do the rest.
When legacy infrastructure fails, services can suffer. In a Cloud Native world, developers and architects enjoy the comfort of designing systems that will stay online regardless of downtime.
Public cloud providers continue to offer impressive services at reasonable costs. But most enterprises aren’t ready to choose just one infrastructure. With a platform that supports a Cloud Native approach, enterprises build applications that run on any (public or private) cloud without modification. Teams retain the ability to run apps and services where it makes the most business sense, without being locked into one vendor’s cloud.
Why Does Cloud Native Matter to Business?
There are many benefits to being Cloud Native, and keeping them in mind will help you drive business growth and prioritize what’s important along the way.
Confidently rolling out innovations and new features to clients quickly and ahead of the competition.
Allowing cloud providers to orchestrate processes and provide rapid recovery from failures.
Saving costs on hardware and software (Pay as you go billing) and reducing risk such as down-time.
Costing the Cloud: Development by the numbers
A typical client would need three environments; Production, UAT and disaster recovery. Hardware and software licences have to be decided on and then implemented by the client or by the vendor.
With each installation being unique, the cost can vary between $50,000 and $300,000 per year to run. Every 3 years, the hardware will need to be refreshed. The cost here is far more in time than hardware and software. Add engineers, project staff, procurement, business management, suppliers, delivery and co-ordination are among some of the hidden costs.
In a Cloud Native world, you can summon an AWS server as and when required. At $8 for one hour - and without the need of IT engineers - a 40-core server stack might cost $71,000 per year, but as it is only needed for one hour per day, you would be paying less than $3000 for the year.
Where Do I Start?
In general, if your project lends itself to elasticity and the freedom to experiment, it is a suitable candidate for Cloud Native. Other factors include:
Your project is greenfield and doesn’t carry references to an old project, probably created with a non-complementary approach, or doesn't have to adhere to limitations set by older projects.
Your app’s functionality can be broken into separate tasks (microservices).
There is a strong correlation between prompt updates and improvements and delivering these via rapid releases.
Different projects within your organization have overlapping functions that can be outsourced by the cloud.
You are considering migrating your app between different cloud providers.
However, Cloud Native might not be the answer if:
Your team has negligible cloud experience.
Your app is already published or well-developed and is near end of life or has decreasing or infrequent users.
Your existing application is complex and migration will be time-consuming and costly.
Security or other requirements are industry-specific and cannot be met by any cloud provider or legally restricted to operate on a cloud app (e.g. some public organizations).
A New Way of Thinking
It is crucial to note that all the efforts of building a project in a Cloud Native environment are wasted if the underlying logic does not go along with a certain design approach nor utilize the offerings of Cloud Native environments in a fashion outlined by cloud services creators.
Cloud Native development requires Cloud Native thinking and a complete breach from a monolithic approach. In the case of some teams, that could mean a total paradigm shift. Unfortunately, mixing the newest technology trends into your business does not work like conjuring up a magical potion, ROI still needs to be thoughtfully calculated and time needs to be devoted to sift through deployment models, cloud vendors, and products.
Ready to Switch?
Repackage, reformat, refactor or build from scratch?
Not every application can be hurled into a cloud provider’s space and expected to perform well. As a given, the application should be well-partitioned with each element separated and isolated (i.e. each application should be held in its own container). For this very reason, Cloud Native and microservices architectural design go well together.
Switching to Cloud Native does not have to be sudden and sharp. The Cloud Native software patterns are based on the well-known development concepts that have been around for years, if not decades, already. The difference is that they were tweaked in order to adjust to a new environment in order to handle communication, boundaries, and control flow between applications or systems.
Click. Click. Cloud
Looking for the best tools to get started. Our selection is below.
Azure Serverless is a fully managed platform from Microsoft embodying the idea that modern business should not invest their developers’ time into building app infrastructures from scratch. The platform handles scaling, availability, provisioning and performance, letting the focus be put on the app’s inner logic. The possibilities with Azure Serverless include tools for creating APIs, low-code & no-code services and ready-to-use machine learning and cognitive models.
Kubernetes, also referred to as K8s, was designed by Google as a system to manage containerized applications. It is an open-source solution and is constantly improved. You should take interest in K8 if your application is designed as a set of microservices and requires mechanisms for deployment, maintenance, and scaling of applications across multiple hosts. The drawback is that the learning curve is steep.
Linx combines a no-code approach with process automation, dedicated to build and host highly-customized backend applications. With functionalities under its belt such as connectivity to AWS and Azure cloud providers, RESTful APIs, messaging, database and integration tools, Linx is a great choice when combining flexibility and independence in business apps. Since you can choose to host the solutions either on-premise or in the cloud, Linx can serve as a bridge between your business and cloud, where you can opt to start on-premise and switch to the cloud when required.
For most businesses, recognizing the potential uses of cloud for your business and utilizing them is a must in order to stay in the game. There’s never been a better time to realize the full potential of the cloud by re-architecting or rebuilding your applications as Cloud Native.
But, building a culture of continuous innovation can be difficult without proper infrastructure. For the first time, organizations have access to software and services that go far beyond their in-house capabilities. If you’ve got a scrappy startup, you could compete with giants in your industry quickly, as in right now. Consider the benefits and the downsides to see if you’re ready to make the switch to a Cloud Native system.
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