Cloud-native applications are built for cloud computing architecture and operate on cloud technology. They are developed to utilize the features of the cloud computing delivery models.
Cloud-native apps use microservice architecture, which provides resources to each service that the app uses. It makes the application run smoothly in the cloud architecture. Those who advocate DevOps use cloud-native apps to promote innovation in businesses. These applications are different from cloud-based monolithic apps.
Cloud-native apps have a shorter life cycle but are very resilient and can be managed and observed easily. This blog will explore the features, advantages, best practices for developing cloud-native apps, and much more. Let’s get started.
What Are The Features of Cloud Native Applications?
The Microservices, part of cloud-native app architecture, are packed in containers that connect and communicate via APIs. Orchestration tools manage all these components.
Here are some capabilities of these applications:
- Microservice-based: It breaks down an app into independent services. These services refer to their data and pursue an assigned business goal. They communicate with each other via APIs (application program interface)
- Container-based: Containers logically isolate the application and remove its dependence on physical resources. It ensures that microservices don’t interfere with each other and prevent the apps from consuming the host’s shared resources. Containers also enable multiple instances of the same service.
- API-based: It connects microservices and containers while providing maintenance and security. Enables microservice to communicate and holds all loosely coupled services together.
- Dynamically Orchestrated: Container orchestration tools are used in managing container lifecycles. It handles resource management, load balancing, and scheduling of restarts after internal failure. These tools also assign containers onto server cluster nodes.
Cloud-Native Apps have many advantages over traditional ones. Let’s take a look at these.
- Traditional apps require downtimes during updates, but cloud-native apps remain updated always. You can easily make any changes to it. Also, cloud-native apps provide continuous delivery and follow blue/green deployment.
- Cloud-native apps use elastic and automatic scaling for sharing resources, reducing costs and making them more efficient. Traditional applications cannot support dynamic scaling and need more resources for handling peak traffic.
- Locally deployed traditional apps depend on network resources like IP or ports, but that’s not the case with cloud-native apps. They are not held back by network and storage limits.
- Cloud-native apps support automatic deployment and maintenance. For traditional apps, you will have to manually do both.
- Traditional apps depend on their system, but cloud-native apps run on virtual infrastructure.
Here are the six benefits of cloud-native applications:
- Cost-Effective: You won’t have to purchase extra hardware or worry about load balancing as computing and storage resources can be scaled out as required. It’s easy to add virtual servers, and containers can increase the number of microservices running on the host, saving time and money.
- Independent scalability: Every microservice is isolated logically and will scale independently. So, changes in one will not affect others. If you want to update specific components of an app faster than others, then this is possible too with cloud-native architecture.
- Portability: Cloud-native apps are vendor-neutral. So, they can avoid vendor lock-ins by enabling containers to port microservices between different vendors’ infrastructures.
- Reliable: If one microservice experiences a failure, it will not affect other services as cloud-based apps use containers.
- Easy to manage: Cloud-native apps use automation to deploy their features and updates. You can track all microservices and components as they get updated. Cloud-native apps get divided into microservices, so developers can focus on one without worrying about others.
- Visibility: The microservice architecture isolates services, so it’s easier to study apps and how they function together.
These practices are based on the DevOps principle of operational excellence. There are no unique rules in cloud-native architecture. So, you have complete freedom to approach the development differently, depending on the problem you are trying to solve.
Here are the five best practices:
- Automate: It consistently allows provisioning of cloud application environments across multiple cloud vendors. You can use the IAC (Infrastructure as code) to track the source code repository changes.
- Monitor: Keep tabs on the development environment and how the application is used. Both should make it easy to monitor everything from supporting infrastructure to the application.
- Document: Documentation will help you keep track of all the changes and keeps you aware of other teams’ contribution to the application. Limited visibility of what other groups are doing can lead to problems.
- Make Gradual Changes: Changes to the application or architecture should be reversible and gradual. It will allow teams to learn from it and avoid making serious mistakes. IAC will enable developers to track any changes in the source repository.
- Design for failure: The process should be designed to withstand failure in the cloud environment. So, developers should implement test frameworks to simulate failures and learn from them.
Here, I will highlight some popular tools that you can use in developing cloud-native apps.
It’s an open-source platform that creates, deploys, and manages virtualized application containers through a common OS. Docker isolates resources, allowing multiple containers to use the OS without issues.
It’s used in managing and orchestrating Linux containers, deciding how and where the containers will run.
It’s designed to implement IAC. Terraform treats resources as code and implements version control so everyone can see when and where resources got altered.
- GitLab CI/CD
It’s a continuous integration and development software that allows users to automate software testing and deployment. You can use GitLab for security analysis, static analysis, and unit tests.
It’s a valuable tool for developing real-time applications like chat, news feeds, and other microservices.
Cloud-native applications are the future of software development. The number of developers in this field has grown from 4.7 million in 2019 to 6.5 million in 2020.
You get in touch with the leading cloud-native developers at GoodTal if you want to invest in cloud-native app development. You will get the lists of the best cloud developers with streamlined workflow at an affordable rate. Building a cloud-native application will no longer be a hassle for you.
Darren is a writer passionate about Technology, Business, and the evolving relationship between the two. He often tries to bring intriguing perspectives to otherwise familiar ideas, striving to help his audience reimagine the ever-changing tech landscape. He works as a blogger and content marketeer at GoodFirms—a leading review and rating platform built to help brands pick the right service providers for them.