Go cloud-native or fade into obscurity

With cloud computing now a well-established best practice, organizations are now on the hunt for the next step in their cloud migration. More and more companies are using cloud-native applications that can fully leverage the benefits of the cloud. So what does “cloud-native” mean exactly, and what is the importance of cloud-native development for businesses?

What is cloud-native development?

The term “cloud-native” can describe both software applications and the development process used to create them.

An application that is cloud-native is one that has been built from the ground up to take advantage of a cloud computing environment. Cloud-native applications stand in contrast to applications that run on-premises on a local server, as well as applications that originally ran on-premises before being migrated to the cloud (which are sometimes called “cloud-enabled”).

The software development process can also be described as cloud-native, as well as the organizations that use such a process. In this case, cloud-native development means that software developers build applications with cloud computing as the intended deployment platform. Developers use this knowledge to take advantage of the cloud’s benefits, including scalability, flexibility, resiliency, and high availability.

Why cloud-native is crucial for businesses

Cloud-native development is growing in popularity because the underlying principles are simply good practice for building software. The tenets of cloud-native development include:

    • Making applications and databases highly scalable in terms of resource consumption.

    • Reducing the size of large, monolithic software and decomposing it into loosely coupled systems and services. 

    • Encouraging the use of flexible technologies such as Docker containers, APIs (application programming interfaces), and microservices.

Being cloud-native, instead of merely “in the cloud,” will become increasingly important as businesses look for ways to differentiate themselves and gain a technological edge. According to IT research and consulting firm Gartner, the percentage of new digital workloads deployed on cloud-native platforms will soar from 30 percent in 2021 to 95 percent in 2025. 

Just a few benefits of cloud-native development are:

    • Less time-to-market: Cloud-native boosts developers' efficiency and productivity by providing them with cutting-edge software tools and letting them work from anywhere, at any time. 

    • Significant cost savings: Going cloud-native eliminates the expenses of sustaining pricey on-premises IT architecture.

    • Technology advances: Emerging tools and strategies such as DevOps, automation, and microservices are all easier to deploy as a cloud-native organization.

    • Unmatched scalability and flexibility: Cloud-native enables you to scale your resource consumption in response to ever-changing customer demands.

    • Better security: Cloud-native developers can easily isolate suspected cyber threats within their own container and also make use of cloud-based backups for emergencies such as ransomware attacks.
Since 2015, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) has hosted open-source projects to help businesses make the move to cloud-native computing as well. These include the container orchestration system Kubernetes and the event monitoring and alerting solution Prometheus.

PS: Thank you Wikipedia for the image!

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