Cloud-native can be translated to “built for the cloud”. It is a software design approach consisting of a set of fundamental principles and technologies that allow for optimal performance in cloud-based environments. So, instead of just designing applications, we nowadays need to design them in a cloud-native manner. What that means and what to keep in mind when designing cloud-natively, you’ll learn in this article.
Everything today is about being agile, scalable, flexible, and cloud-based. If we want our technology to leverage the cloud’s full potential, we have to design it in a way that works well with the cloud’s capabilities. Cloud-native foundations represent a modern approach embracing the full potential of cloud computing to build, deploy, and manage applications. Read on to understand the core concepts and advantages of cloud-native foundations.
💡 A definition of cloud-native foundations: Cloud-native foundations are the fundamental principles, tools, and practices used to design, build, and run applications that are optimized for cloud environments, enabling efficient utilization of cloud resources.
So let’s start by looking at the fundamental principles of cloud-native software design:
For a more in-depth explanation of the single components of cloud-native ecosystems, jump to the next section!
Cloud-native’s backbone. Microservices (as opposed to "monolithic architecture”, which is one single large unit) break down applications into smaller, independent services focusing on specific tasks or functions. They are the architectural foundation of cloud-native applications:
Empowering portability and consistency. Containers “bundle” applications with all they need (code, executables, runtime, system libraries, settings, files, and anything else essential for the application to function correctly). This way, the application can function consistently on a wide variety of different machine setups.
The open-source container orchestration platform Kubernetes is one of the main pillars of cloud-native ecosystems. It automates and coordinates the service and component management:
Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) pipelines simplify development and deployment by automating testing and release processes. This ensures consistent, bug-free releases, and minimizes manual tasks to reduce the risk of human errors.
Change is never easy, especially when traditional ways of working need to be reinvented completely. For companies to start adopting cloud-native development comes with challenges:
If you want to learn more about managing change within your organization, check out our whitepaper “Leading Change in the Context of a Cloud Transformation”.Proper change management when first adopting cloud-native processes is key to their successful implementation.
Many of the big digital players heavily rely on cloud services to offer their service portfolio to users all over the world. Below, we’ll list a few examples, each with their main cloud nativity benefit and a short explanation of how cloud computing supports their business.
|Company||✅ Cloud Benefit||❓ What they did|
|Netflix||Enhanced Scalability||Cloud-native architecture allows Netflix to rapidly scale its services to meet high demand on rainy Sundays, during popular shows or events, providing a seamless streaming experience for users.|
|Airbnb||High Availability||Leveraging cloud-native practices, Airbnb ensures high availability of their platform, allowing hosts and guests to access and book accommodations reliably at any time.|
|Spotify||Rapid Innovation and Deployment||Spotify's cloud-native approach with microservices enables them to innovate and deploy new features quickly, staying ahead in the competitive music streaming market.|
|Uber||Real-Time Responsiveness||Through cloud-native technologies, Uber achieves real-time responsiveness in ride requests and driver dispatch, ensuring a smooth experience for both riders and drivers with minimal loading times.|
❌ Cloud computing is no longer “the future”, but already defines the present. Therefore, embracing cloud-native foundations has become a strategic imperative. If your business strives for agility, scalability, and efficiency, it’s key to design your applications based on cloud-native principles: modularity, containerization, dynamic orchestration, and continuous integration. This way, you’ll build future-ready applications!
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