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Building Cloud-Native Applications: Why & How?

Cloud-native application: What is it?

A cloud-native application is software that is intended for cloud computing architecture and is operated and hosted in the cloud using a microservice architecture. This versatile and flexible design effectively distributes resources to each service, which makes it perfect for certain platforms or devices. DevOps experts employ cloud-native apps for business agility since they are planned, created, and delivered separately from traditional cloud-based monolithic systems. These apps have shorter app lifecycles and are extremely robust, controllable, and visible, making them useful tools for companies.

Principles of cloud-native application architecture

Cloud-native apps make use of cloud computing frameworks and loosely structured cloud services, demanding software-based architectures to connect devices. These services run on various servers in different regions, allowing for horizontal scaling. These applications must be able to tolerate equipment failures and instantly remap IP addresses to ensure reliability. This architecture enables horizontal scalability and resilience in the face of infrastructure failures.

Characteristics of a cloud-native Application

1. Microservices-based: Microservices divide an app into a set of self-contained services, or modules. Each service makes reference to its data and fulfils a certain commercial objective. These modules can communicate with one another through application program interfaces (APIs).

2. Container-based: Containers are software that logically separates a program, allowing it to execute independently of physical resources. Containers ensure that microservices do not interfere with each other. They prevent the program from using up all of the host’s resource sharing. They also allow for many implementations of the same service.

3. API-based: APIs link microservices and containers while simplifying maintenance and security. They provide a bridge between services that are only weakly connected, allowing microservices to communicate with one another.

4. Dynamic orchestration: Container orchestration technologies are used to manage the complicated lifecycles of containers. Resource management, load balancing, scheduling restarts after an internal failure, and procuring and deploying containers into server cluster nodes are all handled by container orchestration technologies.

Advantages of cloud-native applications

1. Cost-effective: Computing and storage resources may be scaled up and down as needed. This reduces the requirement for overprovisioning hardware and load balancing. Cloud-native apps may easily be deployed and set up as virtual servers for testing. The containers are used to boost the variety of microservices that can run on one server, thus saving resources, money, and time.

2. Scalable independently: Each microservice is conceptually independent and can scale freely. If one microservice is extended, the others are not affected. A cloud-native design allows some elements of an app to update faster than others.

3. Portability: Since they are vendor-neutral and use containers to transport microservices between the infrastructures of many suppliers, cloud-native apps prevent vendor lock-in.

4. Reliable: Since these cloud-based apps employ containers, a failure in one microservice does not affect nearby services.

5. Simple to operate: Automation is used by cloud-native apps to deliver app enhancements and updates. Developers can keep track of all microservices and parts as they are updated. One engineering team may focus on a single microservice without thinking about how it will interact with other microservices since applications are divided into smaller services.

6. Visibility: Since a microservice design separates services, it simplifies the process for engineering teams to analyze apps and learn how they work together.

Best Practices for developing cloud-native Applications

1. Automate: Automation makes it possible to deploy cloud application environments consistently across many cloud suppliers. Automation uses infrastructure as code (IaC) to detect changes in a base of source code.

2. Document: While working on the development of cloud-native apps, several teams have little insight into what the other teams are up to. Documentation is necessary to keep track of changes and understand how each team is impacting the program.

3. Monitor: Teams should keep an eye on both the application’s usage and the environment where it is being developed. Monitoring should be simple because of the environment and application, which include both the program and its supporting infrastructure.

4. Apply little changes: Any changes to the architecture or the application should be changeable and periodic. Teams will have the ability to take adjustments to account and avoid any failures that cannot be rectified. Developers may monitor changes in a source repository with IaC.

5. Start preparing for failure: The possibility of problems occurring in a cloud environment should be planned for in processes. Setting up test frameworks is required for this so that you can simulate failures and learn from them.

Final Thoughts

Cloud apps are becoming more and more popular, indicating that this trend will likely continue in the upcoming years. Cloud-native apps provide solutions to a number of cloud computing issues. Yet, moving to the cloud to increase operational effectiveness comes with several challenges too.