A program that is made to work with a cloud computing architecture is called a cloud-native application. These applications, which are hosted and run in the cloud, are made to take advantage of the features of a cloud computing software delivery model. Software that is designed to be used on a specific platform or device is called a native app.
A microservice architecture is used by cloud-native applications. The application’s adaptability to a cloud architecture is made possible by the efficient allocation of resources to each service it uses.
Cloud-native applications are used by DevOps proponents to encourage business agility. They are not the same as traditional cloud-based monolithic applications in terms of design, construction, and delivery. Shorter application lifecycles and extremely resilient, manageable, and observable characteristics characterize cloud-native applications.
The fundamentals of cloud-native application architecture
Cloud-native applications make use of cloud computing frameworks and the cloud services that are loosely coupled to them. Cloud-native application developers must use software-based architectures to create a network between machines because not all services are on the same server. The services are hosted on various servers and operate from various locations. The horizontal scaling of applications is made possible by this architecture.
At the same time, cloud-native applications must be designed with redundancy because the infrastructure that supports them does not run locally. The application is able to automatically remap Internet Protocol (IP) addresses in the event of a hardware failure as a result of this.
Features of a cloud-native application The cloud-native app architecture’s microservices are packaged in containers with API connections and communication. All of these components are managed with the help of orchestration tools.
Some of these applications’ most important features are as follows:
- Microservices-based – An application is broken down into a number of distinct services, or modules, using microservices. Each service supports a specific business objective and makes reference to its own data. Application program interfaces (APIs) are the means by which these modules interact with one another.
- Container-based – A type of software known as a container allows an application to run independently of physical resources by logically isolating it. Microservices are prevented from interfering with one another by containers. They prevent applications from using all of the shared resources on the host. Additionally, they permit multiple instances of the same service.
- API-based – APIs connect containers and microservices while simplifying security and maintenance. They act as a glue between the services, allowing microservices to communicate.
- Systematically planned – To manage container lifecycles, which can get complicated, container orchestration tools are used. Resource management, load balancing, scheduling of restarts following an internal failure, and container provisioning and deployment on server cluster nodes are all handled by container orchestration tools.
The terms “cloud-native” and “cloud-based” applications are frequently used interchangeably. They differ in design as follows, despite running on public, private, or hybrid cloud infrastructures:
Applications that are cloud-based and are made to use the cloud and cloud platforms. Cloud-based applications may make use of dynamic cloud infrastructure but do not fully utilize the cloud’s inherent characteristics.
Applications that are cloud-native are made specifically for the cloud. Application development that is cloud-native is optimized for the cloud’s inherent characteristics and adaptable to the cloud’s dynamic environment.
Benefits of cloud-native applications
Applications that are cloud-native are built to take advantage of the cloud’s speed and effectiveness. The following are some of the benefits of using them:
- Cost-effective – Storage and computing resources can be expanded as needed. Overprovisioning of hardware and the need for load balancing are both eliminated as a result of this. Cloud-native applications can be set up and running quickly, and virtual servers can be easily added for testing. Additionally, containers can be used to maximize the number of microservices running on a host, resulting in cost, time, and resource savings.
- Scalable independently – Each microservice can scale independently and is logically isolated. The other microservices will not be affected if one is scaled up. A cloud-native architecture accommodates the need for faster updates for some application components.
- Portability – To avoid vendor lock-in, cloud-native applications use containers to move microservices between different vendors’ infrastructures and are vendor-neutral.
Reliable. Because these cloud-based applications use containers, there is no effect on adjacent services if one microservice fails.
- Simple to manage – Automated deployment of app updates and features is used by cloud-native applications. All components and microservices can be tracked by developers as they are updated. One engineering team does not have to worry about how one microservice will interact with other microservices because applications are broken up into smaller services.
- Visibility – Engineering teams can study applications and learn how they interact with one another more easily thanks to the isolation of services provided by a microservice architecture.
The DevOps principle of operational
The DevOps principle of operational excellence serves as the foundation for best practices for the design of cloud-native applications. There are no set rules for cloud-native architecture, and businesses will approach development differently depending on the software they are using and the business problem they are solving.
Every cloud-native app’s design should take into account how the app will be made, how performance is measured, and how teams encourage continuous improvement throughout the app’s lifecycle. The five parts of design are as follows:
Automate – The consistent provisioning of cloud application environments across multiple cloud vendors is made possible by automation. To keep track of changes to a source code repository, infrastructure as code (IaC) is used with automation.
Monitor – Both the application’s use and the development environment should be monitored by teams. Monitoring everything, from the application to the supporting infrastructure, should be simple in the environment and application.
Document – Cloud-native apps are built by a lot of teams, but they can’t see what other teams are doing. To keep track of changes and see how each team is contributing to the application, documentation is essential.
Make small adjustments – Reversible incremental changes should be made to the application or the underlying architecture. Teams will be able to avoid permanent errors and learn from changes as a result of this. Developers can keep track of changes to a source repository with IaC.
Make plans to fail – In a cloud environment, processes should be designed to deal with problems that are inevitable. Implementing test frameworks to simulate and learn from failures is necessary.
Tools for cloud-native app development
Each cloud-native app development process makes use of a number of different software tools. They create a development stack together.
The software that makes up a cloud-native development stack is as follows:
Docker – Open source is the Docker platform. Using a single operating system (OS), it creates, deploys, and manages virtualized application containers. It separates resources, enabling concurrent use of the same operating system by multiple containers.
Kubernetes – Linux containers are managed and orchestrated by the Kubernetes platform, which also decides where and how the containers will run.
Terraform – Terraform, which is made to be used to implement IaC, defines resources as code and uses version control so that users can see when and where resources have been changed.
CI/CD by GitLab – Automating software testing and deployment is made possible by this software for continuous integration and continuous development, or CI/CD. Static analysis, security analysis, and unit tests are all possible uses for GitLab.