During your exploration of the cloud ecosystem, you may have heard the term ‘cloud-native’ thrown around a lot. It’s not without reason. Building a cloud-native architecture is the difference between lifting-and-shifting your on-premises design and redesigning your system to take advantage of the benefits of the cloud.
Starting on the cloud is an opportunity to take advantage of the flexibility, performance and diversity of the services made available to you. Through consideration of the system’s non-functional requirements, and the design options available on the cloud, a cloud-native system can be built.
“At a high level, cloud-native architecture means adapting to the many new possibilities - but very different set of architectural constraints - offered by the cloud compared to traditional on-premises infrastructure.”
Ultimately, taking a cloud-native approach is an investment that results in more scalable, reliable and flexible architectures.
Building for Scalability
How does your architecture respond to a worst-case scenario, such as a power-out, surge in demand or faulty deployment?
These are some of the most difficult problems when designing an on-premises system. Order an excess of compute and memory to handle potential demand, and waste your resources if things don’t go as planned. Build out too many backups and redundant systems, and your complexities and inefficiencies grow.
In the cloud, you have the power and freedom to use a near-unlimited amount of resources, ready to work for you when you need them. However, to use them, your design has to be flexible and ready to scale.
Through a containerisation solution such as Docker or Kubernetes, your application can be broken down into small, modular components that are readily adjustable to your business needs.
Each of your containers can easily be created or destroyed to dynamically match demand, resulting in the best fit and lowest costs at all times. Further, containers maximise availability, minimizing the downtime from upgrades, patches and system failures. If containers fail or encounter errors, they are self-healing and can be quickly be replaced or rolled back.
Creating Development Agility
In a fast-paced business environment, it is building and deploying features in a rapid, secure and reliable way that drives real value.
By taking an automated, cloud-native approach to your development pipeline you can release features sooner, without taking your services offline for maintenance or batching development into large updates.
Within your teams, establishing modern continuous integration or development processes might involve implementing testing and deployment environments such as Jenkins, as well as using a microservices infrastructure to make isolated changes on modular services.
For analysis, a continual, automated monitoring service allows you to watch over your system’s health, usage and behaviour so you can continue to iterate and optimise your architecture.
Finally, a well-architected, cloud-native system is truly independent of its operating environment. When your services have been modularised, deployed on containers and run on open-source technologies, your investment in the cloud is ready to shift and adapt to a rapidly changing market.
Increasingly, businesses are able to take an open cloud approach, ready to deploy their systems on whichever platform, private, public, or on-premises, that best meets their needs.
Moving to the cloud is already a significant change from traditional systems, but innovations and disruptions will continue to come. Cloud development needs to be seen as a constant, iterative process always adapting to changes in both the organisation and on the cloud platform.
The Cloud-Native Mindset
Unlocking the real benefits of cloud requires more than just the lift-and-shift of your IT estate to a cloud provider. To deliver real business value, to improve the agility of the business, and to lower the cost of IT, requires a different mindset.
Download our free whitepaper to discover how the adoption of cloud-native design and operational patterns will deliver scale, resiliency, and agility for both for the business and developers.