By Brynne Henn - July 28, 2021
Cloud native refers to the platforms and applications designed to be used in a cloud environment.
Think of all the times you’ve stored files on a physical computer or hard drive, but couldn’t access them outside because you didn’t have them with you. Or all those times you’ve had to reinstall entire operating systems or software in order to take advantage of updates.
Reasons why businesses might prefer cloud-native applications:
Read on to learn how exactly cloud-native development makes this all possible.
At its simplest:
Cloud platforms allow you to store and access your data and run software online, on demand. Contrast this to memory cards and other hardware you need to have to access data physically.
There are four types of clouds:
The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), a collective of major open-source projects seeking to make cloud computing available to everyone, officially states:
Cloud-native technologies empower organizations to build and run scalable applications in modern, dynamic environments such as public, private, and hybrid clouds. Containers, service meshes, microservices, immutable infrastructure, and declarative APIs exemplify this approach.
These techniques enable loosely coupled systems that are resilient, manageable, and observable. Combined with robust automation, they allow engineers to make high-impact changes frequently and predictably with minimal toil.
Cloud-native data architectures offer businesses and their DevOps—or the collaboration between development teams (i.e. coders) and operations teams (i.e. code implementers)—several benefits:
Let’s go into how exactly cloud infrastructures help your DevOps and your business as a whole to be more agile than traditional monolithic architectures:
Applications are made of autonomous building blocks called microservices that can be put together like Legos to form a working whole. Gone are the days of changing an entire stack of code to fix or update an application.
Why this helps your business: Microservices architectures allow for continuous delivery, where you can release apps in short product lifecycles while still continuing to improve specific services. You don’t even have to take an application offline to update it. Instead, simply modify or swap out individual microservices as many times you need.
Cloud-native apps rely on containers, a.k.a. “Docker containers” for the application development company that made them popular. These are packages of microservices and all their dependencies, or in-tandem workflows.
Why this helps your business: Containerization makes apps extremely portable, meaning they can operate on any and all platforms that support containers. That includes everything from a smartphone or a laptop to a supercomputer. No need to build out an entire server for your apps.
Container-orchestration layers like Kubernetes provide a framework to automate how containers are run and managed. For example, let’s say a workflow requires containers A, B, and C to deploy, in that order. If container A fails, Kubernetes can prevent downtime by restarting or replacing it, on its own without human input.
Why this helps your business: With container-orchestration layers handling so much workflow management automatically, you can free up your time and attention for greater business objectives and processes.
APIs allow different software to communicate and tap into each other’s functionalities. Need a secure checkout system for your store? Use an API to connect with Paypal to process transactions, instead of building out your own. Want to give your users a UX-friendly way to log in to your app? Use an API to connect with Facebook or Google.
Why this helps your business: Adding new features to your apps is easy with APIs because you can integrate new software without even having to understand fully how they work. These savings in time and money in turn make for more effective collaboration between your business and IT teams.
While on-premises data platforms have certainly evolved, it takes the agility, economy, and adaptability of cloud data exploration to stay current and competitive in today’s market. Worrying about cutting IT costs is a thing of the past. Now you can maximize all the best technologies to grow your business and solve problems for your customers.
Want to see firsthand how cloud-native data architectures can help facilitate getting from the “what” to the “why” for your most pressing organizational needs? Schedule a demo with Sisu today.