In the last few years, most companies have realized the need to move crucial components of their business infrastructure to the cloud. Many have also chosen to migrate their legacy systems to fast, cost-effective, and easy-to-manage cloud computing. But the footprint of the cloud in enterprises is only becoming deeper as enterprise applications move to the cloud.
Today, companies are opting to build cloud native applications.
Unlike legacy applications that migrated to the cloud after it rose to prominence, cloud native applications are built for cloud right from day 1. They are run in containers, deployed as a part of microservices, and managed using DevOps and agile methodology.
The Cloud Native Computing Foundation recently reported, “The use of cloud native projects in production continues to grow, with many projects reaching more than 50% use in production. This includes more than half of CNCF’s graduated projects: Kubernetes (78%), Prometheus (72%), CoreDNS (69%), Fluentd (64%), and contianerd (53%). Additionally, all graduated projects saw an increase in use in production.” Containers have found their place with 84% of developers using them in production. It would not be incorrect to state that cloud native computing has become mainstream.
So, what is the reason for the rise in popularity? Why do businesses prefer to move from the traditional method of cloud migration to building applications directly in the cloud?
The Rise of Cloud Native Computing
- Faster deployment
Taking the lead from Amazon and Netflix, companies have realized that the only way to stay ahead of the competition is to innovate frequently and meet the customers’ changing needs. However, deploying new features often can be cumbersome, even for large enterprises with large teams. Cloud native computing has made that easier. Considering that cloud native computing is based on microservices, it’s easier to deploy new features and applications rapidly. Microservices are a collection of loosely coupled services. So, developers can work independently and deploy features within days, without dependencies. It is due to this feature that a retailer like Home Depot was able to compete with eCommerce companies by deploying new features every 15 minutes instead of six weeks.
- Easy scalability
Unlike legacy systems that depend on switches, plugs, and other hardware and tangible components, cloud native computing is based on virtualized software. Everything happens in the cloud. So, the performance of the application is not affected when the capacity of the hardware is scaled up or down. Companies do not have to purchase more expensive processors or storage for servers to meet the scalability challenges. They can simply re-allocate the resources, scale up and down, and even stop and start services through the virtualized software. Everything happens seamlessly without any impact on the end user.
- Better agility
The modularity and reusability of cloud native computing make it ideal for companies that practice DevOps and Agile methodologies to enable frequent releases of new applications and features. These companies also have to follow the continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) process to launch new features continually. Given that cloud native computing uses microservices for deployment, it is easier for developers to write code and deploy it quickly. It streamlines the deployment process and makes it more efficient.
- More flexibility
Sometimes an unprecedented situation like the current pandemic could throw a curveball at companies, compelling them to pivot their business rapidly. In such cases, legacy systems or proprietary software will hinder the company’s ability to shift tracks. Redeployment of services and longer development cycles would be a challenge for them. That’s when cloud native computing can be beneficial. Cloud native applications can run on any server. The delivery platform is flexible and has a different architecture and deployment style as compared to monolithic applications. So, when there is an unpredictable business situation, companies do not have to reinvent the wheel. The open, flexible ecosystem of cloud native computing makes redeployment easy and enables business continuity despite challenges.
- Low-code development
Low-code development enables developers to shift their focus from low-value tasks to high-value tasks better aligned with business needs. Although low-code development has been in existence for years, it has gained prominence due to its increased applicability in cloud native computing. It enables developers to create the frontend of the applications quickly and streamline the workflow designs, so they can accelerate the go-to-market. It also reduces the complexity that beginners face while working directly with containers and microservices that are different from monolithic architecture and legacy systems.
- Saves cost
There are various reasons that make cloud native computing more cost-effective. Unlike legacy systems, cloud native computing is based on containerization and virtualization of software. So, companies do not have to spend on additional servers, hardware, and other resources. They can deploy the application on any server. Additionally, companies only have to pay for the resources they use. They do not have to pay for all the servers that lie idle. This helps the company to streamline their costs and optimize their usage.
Companies are tying their business strategies to the future of cloud native computing. Accenture heralds cloud native computing as the latest wave of digital disruption. According to IDC, 80% of application development will occur on cloud platforms using 2021. That said, developing a cloud native application can be a whole new ball game altogether. Companies will have to address concerns regarding the application’s scalability and security. The application architecture will have to be carefully put together to allow deployment across the cloud.
Know more about the 9 top cloud areas that are trending due to the ongoing pandemic here.
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