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Cloud Native: What Is It, What You’ve Missed, And What You Really Should Know

Cloud Native solutions, beyond a shadow of doubt, is one of the biggest trends in recent times. And (due to similarities in the names) it often confused with cloud-ready solutions. The cloud-ready, of course is the revolutionary first step that helped us step away from the traditional on-premise physical infrastructure, however, there was a downside to it. Since cloud technology itself a vast infrastructure, the cloud-ready was not able to take full advantage of all the benefits of cloud.

Thus born Cloud Native.

Despite its rising popularity, not many know the true facets significance of cloud native – what they are actually, what makes up cloud native, its benefits, and when cloud native should be used. This blog sets out to explore these areas and shed some light on them to help you better understand Cloud Native.

What is Cloud Native

As described earlier the motto behind the arrival of Cloud Native is to help leverage the full potential of cloud that cloud-ready was unable to provide. In a way it could be said that cloud ready is sort of a trial version and cloud Native a full version.

Cloud Native is more than you just signing up with a provider. It is all about the way it lets you design, develop, deploy, and operate your software products.

What you may have missed about Cloud Native

One of the biggest concerns of cloud native is the handling of data. It is relatively easy to deploy an application in the cloud, nevertheless its a challenge to get the data required to power the applications into the cloud. Many businesses tend to overlook the data aspect, and as a result, some the cloud simply don’t work for them.

What one thing that application owners need to bear in mind is that the handling of data and the choice of technology should decide in advance before building your application on cloud. For example, in on-premise systems, the data is stored in databases like SQL Server, MySQL or Oracle. However, in cloud data storage technologies for cloud native include Azure Data Lake, Redshift, and Google Big Query. The challenge here is that you simply cannot change you databases on a whim, as this would have serious repercussions on your overall project.

So, be clear about the choice of technology you make before you dive in.

Benefits of Cloud Native

Cloud Native offer several interesting benefits over your traditional physical data center. Here are some of them:

Cost: This is one of the most obvious and the top benefits of cloud native. Almost all global cloud service providers such as Google, Microsoft and Amazon offer competitive and cost effective cloud services for businesses.

Edge computing: A new benefit on the block, the cloud native edge computing is a purpose-built environment that help you enable machines or devices to work remotely and in real-time. If you said edge computing will be the future, it would not be an overstatement because businesses are looking at innovative ways to make use of cloud native edge computing. Look at Netflix allow users to instantly stream movies to millions of users across the globe.

Business Agility: A decade or more earlier, When the founder the Microsoft mentioned that ‘business at the speed of thought’ looks like he must have had some idea about where the future of businesses was heading. Today, with cloud native businesses can develop and deploy functionality at a much faster rate, reducing the time from months to days, and even hours.

Flexibility: Cloud native apps are not meant to just work on public clouds, they can seamlessly work on both public and private cloud without any modifications.

With Cloud-Native, businesses can substantially reduce the time it takes to develop and deploy applications, globally.” 
How does the cloud native work

There are three important elements make cloud native different from traditional enterprise application development. Let us take a look into each one of them and see how they function.

Containers

You must have already heard about them. If not, here’s it for you. Containers can be termed as an exclusive package for your software which consists of everything you need to develop an app. The container isolate application into small and lightweight parts (execution environments). For example, the Java VM or the application itself can be put inside the container.

The biggest advantage these containers offer is portability, which means they can simultaneously run development system, test system and the production system. All you have to do is to run the container.

Microservices

It is a process of gathering various small independent services (that run its own processes and implement their business capabilities) to develop a cloud native application is called as microservices.

The entire development of cloud native app is basically done as a series of microservices. In other words it is an approach to develop an app as a suite of small services. This way the app can be easily scaled.

Orchestration (The automation process)

As containers come out as a great help to developers it is just the first step. Thereafter you might have to manage several things manually, such as turning off and on containers, system monitoring, adjusting configuration parameters and so on. However, doing these things manually is a time consuming process. In order to make things easier and faster, cloud native offers a special way to automate all this, called Orchestration. And the tools to automate these tasks are called Orchestration tools.

Some of the orchestration tools are: Apache Mesos, Kubernetes, Nomad, Amazon’s ECS and Kontena.

Top companies that are using cloud native
  • Netflix
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • Amazon
  • Uber
  • Twitter
When Cloud Native should be used
  • If you want to build an application entirely on cloud
  • If you are planning to enhance your existing product by reducing the operating costs (and improving your margins)
  • Businesses wanting to be part of digital transformation and want to create cloud native in one way or the other
Cloud Native and Cloud-based – A comparison

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