More companies are embracing cloud computing services, attracted by the lower costs, flexibility, and scalability.
The cloud-native architecture supports cloud-based applications. It helps organizations with resilience and flexibility via distributed processing, horizontal scaling, and automation.
Ultimately, taking a cloud-native approach is an investment that results in a more scalable and reliable architecture. Here’s what you need to know about cloud-native architecture.
Principles of Cloud-Native Architecture
The cloud-native architecture was designed to work with cloud technology, which provides a wide range of services like on-demand storage, computing services, and application development platforms. Cloud computing services typically follow a pay-as-you-go model, so it’s easy to scale up or down as needs change because you only pay for what you need.
You might also hear the term platform as a service (PaaS), which is a complete development and deployment environment in the cloud that enables a range of applications, from basic to enterprise level.
The appeal of cloud-native development is its ability to optimize systems for the unique capabilities of the cloud by…
- Providing more flexibility than systems built on a specific hardware infrastructure
- Streamlining legacy application modernization to the cloud
- Incorporating the newest and best technologies available through distributed systems
- Developing systems and applications that can withstand more change
- Managing looser or less centralized sets of resources
- Making use of the cloud’s ability to offer versatility and scalability.
Benefits of Cloud-Native Architecture
The advantages of the cloud have led companies to consider cloud-native solutions when upgrading IT systems or undergoing digital transformation strategies. These benefits include…
- Automation: Cloud-native architecture offers ways to automate processes, which can apply to everything from infrastructure, scalability, integration, deployment, data recovery, monitoring, and repair.
- Stateless components: Cloud-native architecture can incorporate stateless components, which are simple functional components that calculate their internal state but never directly mutate it, allowing for referential transparency.
- Load-balance: When components are stateless, load balancing is much simpler with cloud-native architecture because any instance can handle any request.
- Managed services: Most cloud providers offer functionality that saves users time and energy by managing the backend or infrastructure.
- Security: Cloud-native architectures were created for the Internet, incorporating needed security to prevent external attacks by applying authentication between each component.
- Easier deployment: Cloud-native architectures make services easier to deploy in a cloud environment.
- Evolution: The flexibility of cloud-native applications can help companies adapt as their needs, systems, or cloud providers change.
Challenges with Cloud-Native Architecture
Like everything, cloud-native architecture comes with some challenges, such as…
- New skills and knowledge: Developers must thoroughly understand the concepts of cloud-native architecture to avoid serious problems. Make sure you work with experienced people.
- Security: Reliance on cloud vendors requires giving them some access to your data. Carefully research the companies you are working with, and read the fine print in your contracts.
- Container interaction: Cloud-native architecture uses containers that interact and connect with each other. Issues could occur in multiple containers, making it challenging to debug problems. Again, work with experienced developers.
The Twelve-Factor Application
The Twelve-Factor App methodology is an approach for building software-as-a-service applications. These best practices were presented by Adam Wiggins in 2011 as a process to improve the portability and resilience of applications when deployed to the web. The twelve factors are…
- There should be exactly one codebase for a deployed service with the codebase being used for many deployments.
- All dependencies should be declared, with no implicit reliance on system tools or libraries.
- Configuration that varies between deployments should be stored in the environment.
- All backing services are treated as attached resources and attached and detached by the execution environment.
- The delivery pipeline should strictly consist of build, release, and run.
- Applications should be deployed as one or more stateless processes with persisted data stored on a backing service.
- Self-contained services should make themselves available to other services by specified ports.
- Concurrency is advocated by scaling individual processes.
- Fast startup and shutdown are advocated for a more robust and resilient system.
- All environments should be as similar as possible.
- Applications should produce logs as event streams and leave the execution environment to aggregate.
- Any needed admin tasks should be kept in source control and packaged with the application.