Cloud Native Applications – Key Components and Development Strategy

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For developing and running cloud-native applications, organizations must reconsider their approach to delivery. Incorporating the principles of cloud native architectures comes after that. What’s important for organizations is the ability to provide their developers with on-demand access to the cloud coupled with modern data services. However, understanding cloud native applications and ways to build them can be difficult. 

Key components of cloud native application development 

  • Continuous Delivery: Continuous delivery (CD) plays a key role in cloud native application development by running a set of tests to validate that applications are ready to be released. It leveragaes agile development practices to allow phased changes in applications. CD is considered to be the most feasible way for releasing and delivering software with improved safety. 
  • Containerization: Cloud native applications are easier to deploy with containers, as part of the CI/CD pipeline, offering both speed and efficiency vis-à-vis VMs. They are also termed as the ideal compute drive for individual microservices deployments because of the low overhead involved in their establishment or elimination.  
  • Microservices: Pivotal to cloud native architectures, microservices emphasize core business functionalities when combined with DevOps and agile processes. They help organizations in strengthening continuous deployment and delivery, thereby improving modularity and making it easier to scale services. 
  • DevOps: Embracing cloud-native approaches in a facilitated way without DevOps is unheard of. The role of DevOps is to bring automation, streamline communication, ebb deployment failures, and improve the overall development cycle. It practically sets the base for efficient execution of cloud-native processes. 

What is the Right Strategy for Developing Cloud Native Applications? 

The need for speed and agility in business to keep pace with changing market paradigms, evolving customer expectations, and meeting compliances altogether have led the adoption of cloud native applications. various methodologies Over 90% of applications will be cloud native by 2022-end, estimates Gartner. Organizations see cloud native application development as the path to rolling out applications with faster time-to-market and cost-effectiveness. 

When classified broadly, there are two strategies for cloud native application development, which are 

  • Greenfield: This type of strategy is adopted by startups that dont look to spend much on the infrastructure and focus on their core domain. This strategy is highly customizable, boosts time-to-market, and is easily scalable. 
  • Brownfield: This strategy is usually adopted by organizations that have invested in their on-premises data center and are trying to migrate to the cloud. This strategy involves the lift and shift of applications, involves a shorter learning curve, and comes with tested application development models. 

There are various other strategies for developing cloud native applications, which have been described in detail below. 

Custom Off-the-Shelf (COTS) Cloud  

Utilized for customer-facing applications, COTS cloud allows running the complete business use case through integration of various systems in the workflow. This development methodology is highly suitable for organizations that look to cut costs and emphasize large support offerings for their customers.  

COTS cloud provides organizations with complete ownership of their applications, which implies that they can commodify to ramp up their revenues whenever they see fit. Examples of COTS include spreadsheets, word processors, and libraries that necessitate connection with existing codes, such as graphic engines and browser add-ons. 

No-Code/Low-Code Application Development 

This is the kind of development methodology where developers are deprived of hassles associated with writing codes. It allows them to focus more on assembling applications with prototypes for rapid development. No-code/low-code application development in the cloud is a new concept, primarily used for internal applications.  

Let’s take the example of Amazon Honeycode, which is one of the most viable user-friendly no-code application development platform. It makes it easier for organizations to develop custom productivity mobile as well as web applications without the need for programming. 

Application Development Platforms 

Used as extensions to existing applications, they enable organizations to widen their development capabilities in certain areas. These areas include (but are not limited to) mobile application development, workflow management, and customer relationship management. AngularJS, GitHub, and Kubernetes are some key examples of such platforms that enable development of applications at scale. 

Productivity Stacks 

These have often been termed as lightweight development models for cloud native applications. They allow applications to be developed through a range of tools along with external application programming interfaces (APIs) and minimal scripting. These tools have been of great benefit for organizations, simplifying their work amd removing repetitive activities. Tools such as Docker, Jenkins, and BitBucket, speed up the development process significantly, allowing greater focus on delivering value. 

Serverless 

In the serverless cloud, the storage and computing services provisioned for developing cloud native applications are requirement-based. Serverless platforms for application development deliver end-to-end visibility into the user time and system while systematically gathering the information. 

With these, developers can focus more on code, in any framework or language, and not the infrastructure. This development methodology is applied for internal applications and customer-facing applications. AWS Lambda is one of the prime example of serverless platforms for application development. 

Cloud Native Applications – Why Do They Matter? 

To understand this, it is important to look at a use case. A Canadian NGO, Feed Ontario, used to manage their donor creation process manually, which inadvertently was flawed with inefficiencies. The system faced data integrity issues, leading to time-intensive donation processing and report generation. However, with a cloud-native end-to-end system, the NGO not only optimized its operations of processing donations by over 60% but also improved their responsiveness remarkably. Quickly go through this link to learn more. 

It is high time that organizations focus on building an innovative business using an intelligent stack of cloud native applications. They need to do this right from the fundamentals if they are aiming to achieve robustness, improved security, hassle-free operations, and seamless growth. Future-proofing the business to mitigate disruptive market challenges is the need of the hour.