What are cloudnative applications?
The constant and incredibly rapid change and evolution of modern software markets is forcing companies to completely realign organizational, operational, and technology structures. Cloudnative applications have proven to be one of the most effective tools for leveraging concepts such as microservices and DevOps. We explain what cloudnative actually means and how your company can also benefit from it.
Cloudnative applications as an answer to new challenges
Cloudnative refers to a software development approach in which developers aim from the outset to create an application that is designed solely for use in the cloud. These applications are then called native cloud applications (NCAs). With a cloudnative application, users can access all the benefits of cloud computing.
Why are cloudnative applications so important?
The accelerating pace of digitization has not only permanently changed the everyday lives of users, but also the business environment of providers and developers. This is because users expect products to be developed, launched and updated on a faster cycle than ever before. Especially when it comes to implementing customer feedback, fast response times are now critical to business success.
Software companies have developed new strategies or technological concepts in response to these new challenges, with cloud computing leading the way. With the elimination of traditional on-premises solutions and the trend toward software-as-a-service, development teams have been able to introduce new concepts such as DevOps and CI/CD as a derivative of cloud computing, enabling a whole new level of transparency and communication.
At the same time, cloud computing enables the use of technologies such as microservices and containers. This allows risks to be minimized and update and development cycles to be optimized. As a developer or user, however, you can only take advantage of all the benefits of cloud computing if the program is a cloudnative application that is designed precisely for use in the cloud.
Cloud computing as a game changer
Cloud computing has developed from an inconspicuous trend in the developer scene to an absolute game changer that now sets the industry standard. No one doubts that cloudnative applications will sooner or later make on-premises services obsolete. There are several reasons why cloud computing is proving to be the superior solution.
Firstly, there are the costs for IT infrastructures, which are no longer required with a cloudnative application. At the same time, small and medium-sized companies in particular benefit from the security standards that services like AWS enable. In addition, cloud computing is of course much more flexible and efficient than on premises solutions. And let's not forget: You and your employees can access the cloud from anywhere and at any time.
The four pillars of cloudnative applications
As mentioned earlier, cloudnative applications enable users to access all the benefits of cloud computing. Four different areas have proven to be the "pillars" of a successful cloudnative application. These would be, on the strategic and organizational level, DevOps and CI/CD and, on the technological level, microservices and the use of containers.
DevOps refers to a management approach that is intended to solve one of the biggest problems of current software markets. This is because, due to digitalization, customers are expecting ever faster updates or releases of applications. Modern technologies make it possible to develop these updates quickly. However, conventional corporate structures are not designed for such a high speed in the release of new products.
DevOps aims to solve this problem by introducing new structures and ways of thinking into software teams. The most important feature of the DevOps team is that development and operations are merged into a single department, which significantly increases transparency, communication, efficiency and speed. In addition, significantly shorter cycles can be achieved, which in turn reduces the risk of an update.
CI/CD is one of the most effective methods of DevOps teams. The acronym stands for continuous integration, continuous delivery and continuous development. With this approach, new codes and updates for existing programs are merged, tested, made available to the operations team or even automatically integrated into the live environment in short cycles, often every day or even after a few hours.
In practice, thanks to the CI/CD process, updates can be made available to users immediately. Instead of a new update first having to go through a lengthy development process, the changes are available live just minutes after the developer has completed them. This allows companies to respond to customer feedback efficiently and in real time.
Another feature of cloudnative applications is that they are built in microservices. This means that they are not one large, monolithic application, but many different, independent microservices that communicate with each other via API interfaces to enable program execution. Microservices make applications much more flexible, scalable and secure.
The important thing about a microservices is that each individual service runs in an independent environment - the environments can also use different programming languages. These independent microservices are called containers. By using containers, individual components of a cloudnative application can be easily replaced or improved without having to rewrite the entire system.