“Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future” - John F. Kennedy
The above quote is apt for this cloud computing era. Today, businesses are looking at the past and changing their current IT operations accordingly.
However, it is important to look at the future to stay in and ahead of the competition.
The constant change that happens in the IT landscape has accelerated with the advent of cloud computing.
As every IT product or resource is delivered over the Internet as a service, it is high time that software developers realign their software development strategies to suit the cloud landscape.
Cloud native app development is the right approach to make your businesses future-proof. The covid-19 pandemic that pushed businesses into a work-from-home environment compliments the cloud native app development.
What is Cloud Native App Development?
Cloud native app development means different things for different people. On a simpler note, it is an approach to building future-proof cloud apps that take advantage of cloud processes and platforms to deliver a consistent user experience across all devices, cloud models and environments.
Portability, high scalability and adaptability are the three key aspects that are driving cloud-native app development in IT circles in recent times. While business processes are rapidly changing, businesses are required to quickly adapt to these changes and build cloud native apps. Secondly, these apps should deliver a consistent user experience across a range of devices which means portability is the key requirement. They should be scalable enough to meet traffic spikes. Cloud native app development offers these 3 key qualities to IT processes.
Here are some key components of cloud native apps:
Microservices architecture is a type of software architecture wherein complex applications are built as small, loosely coupled, independent and autonomous services that perform a specific task and communicate with each other via APIs. It is a variant of Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) that enables developers to quickly build and deploy applications.
Microservices architecture allows businesses to quickly adapt to changing IT requirements as applications built using this architecture are flexible and easily extendable to suit different IT environments. So, you don’t have to code apps from scratch for each IT environment. You can begin small and massively scale up within a quick time. Moreover, these independent services allow you to scale specific services instead of scaling the entire app. The biggest advantage is that you can customize your technology stack based on your cloud environment without getting stuck with a standard approach.
As applications are centralized hosted and delivered over the cloud, portability becomes a key requirement. Containerization enables you to virtualize the operating system and run applications inside containers. A container is a portable computing environment comprising binaries, libraries, dependents and other configuration files required by an application. By using software containers, businesses can easily run applications on various environments such as mobile, desktop, cloud, bare metal, virtual machines etc. Software containers bring a greater level of agility, portability and reusability that are important for cloud native applications.
As cloud services are centrally hosted and accessible from any location, administrators should be able to manage the infrastructure from anywhere as well. Software-defined infrastructure virtualizes hardware infrastructure, enabling you to automatically add, delete, stop and start any network resource using software from any location. By implementing software-defined infrastructure, cloud native apps can be easily managed from any location.
Application Programming Interface (API)
Application Programming Interface (API) is an interface that facilitates communication between different applications or services. As cloud native apps are built as multiple services, they use APIs to communicate with each other as well as with other 3rd party applications. For instance, if you want to add multiple languages to your app, you can use the Google Translate API without writing the code from scratch.
As cloud native apps use the microservices architecture to build services as small and incremental blocks, continuous integration, continuous testing and continuous deployment becomes a key requirement. DevOps helps you to rapidly build and deploy quality cloud native apps.
Why Cloud Native App Development is the Future?
As businesses are aggressively embracing cloud technology, cloud native apps are turning out to be a beneficial option. Cloud native apps are faster to market and minimize risks. They can be easily deployed and managed using Docker and Kubernetes. Along with fault tolerance, they are capable of self-healing for most issues.
As these apps use a modular design, developing them is easy and cost-effective. Different teams can separately work on each service. Most importantly, when these apps are deployed, you can turn off some services that are not running. That way, you can significantly save operational cloud costs. The serverless and open-source model allows you to optimize the pay-per-use subscription model by reducing the computing time to milliseconds. You can scale up specific services too. Cloud native apps allow you to implement an auto-scale feature that automatically scales specific services without manual intervention. This is why most enterprises prefer cloud native apps. The downtime for cloud native apps is minimal as they can quickly pick up on alternation regions when a server goes down.
Challenges with Cloud Native App Development
Cloud native app development comes with certain challenges as well. The biggest challenge is the presence of hundreds of services. Developers should be careful while handling and integrating all these services. They should also keep an eye on the size of the service. It is recommended to minimize the number of services wherever possible.
Secondly, data security and storage requires careful attention. As enterprise run containers on immutable infrastructure, the entire internal data goes off when you shut down the app. So, you should make sure that the data is securely stored. In addition, when an app uses APIs of a specific cloud platform, you should be careful to manage that API while migrating to another environment. Moreover, protecting data from unauthorized access is important.
As the cloud becomes an integral part of business processes, choosing cloud native app development helps you keep your infrastructure future-proof!