Cloud computing has emerged as an indispensable tool that various industries rely on. Private, public, and hybrid cloud solutions can be configured depending on an organization’s needs, involving cloud storage, virtual machines and containers, with users limited to its accessibility.
Cloud computing has gained immense popularity, making it seem like it has been around forever.
It is important to understand that ‘cloud’ and ‘cloud-native’ have different meanings. While any service or program that caters to end-users can be categorized as ‘the cloud,’ it’s not a blanket rule. Our focus is primarily on how organizations utilize cloud technology to enhance customer experience and meet their needs.
This forms the core of cloud-native architecture.
Firstly defining “Cloud-Native.”
Adopting cloud-native solutions allows businesses to rapidly develop and deploy applications on various cloud deployment models, including public, private, and hybrid clouds. This involves utilizing technologies like microservices, containers, immutable infrastructure, service meshes, and APIs.
For cloud-based services and applications to deliver their complete potential, they must be strong, adaptable, and transparent. This is vital to achieving cloud-native success. Trying to replicate the scalability of cloud-native applications from an on-premise data center would rapidly consume an organization’s IT budget.
Utilizing cloud-native solutions can be highly beneficial when implementing software and online services to meet increasing demands.
What Are the Key Traits of “Cloud-Native” Applications?
There are four essential traits that must be exhibited by every cloud-native application:
- They must be constructed using microservices as the foundation.
- All of their storage solutions must implement containers.
- Greater attention must be paid to APIs.
- Dynamic orchestration is a necessity.
What is the Functionality of Cloud-Native Technologies?
Adopting cloud-native deployments necessitates the use of a variety of technologies. Hence, let us examine the possibilities available to us.
Docker is commonly regarded as the foremost container deployment engine, thanks to its ease of use, which has helped it gain significant popularity. Docker is available as free and open-source software, with the option of selecting either a community or enterprise edition to suit larger installations.
Kubernetes, recognized as the top container orchestrator, is utilized by a large number of prominent organizations. It provides ease of use in automating containerized applications and permits effortless management of high-scale deployments.
Employing GitLab for Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment
The application of GitLab CI/CD technology makes it possible to automate the process of software testing and deployment.
Terraform, an infrastructure-as-code (IaC) tool, has been developed for cloud-native purposes to provide version control of cloud configurations. Given the complicated nature of cloud resources, version control is essential to ensure precision and dependability.
Sending authentication data from container manifests to services, applications and APIs is crucial. However, if such data is included in the manifests, it increases the vulnerability of your business to potential hacking. This risk can be reduced by utilizing a secrets manager, such as Vault.
Prometheus and Grafana
We strongly recommend the use of Prometheus and Grafana to closely monitor cloud-native deployments. By utilizing this combination, you can keep track of the count, results, duration, and resources used by each operation. Additionally, the alert manager in Prometheus provides real-time notifications of any updates to the deployment.
Istio is a category of service mesh that provides various functionalities including dynamic routing, load balancing, service directories, network controls, and resilience primitives.
Node.js offers front-end templates necessary for server-side rendering in cloud-native applications. It allows the development of independent real-time communication applications, such as chat systems, and is well-suited for utilization in cloud-native environments like Kubernetes, serverless, and virtual machines.
The Benefits of Cloud-Native
Employing cloud-native software has a multitude of advantages:
- Cost-effective; there isn’t a need to invest in costly hardware (along with the expenses and effort to manage it) merely to keep up with the workload.
- Cloud-native applications and services are more scalable than traditional, monolithic systems.
- Cloud-native applications are portable, which implies that they are not only independent of vendors but also capable of operating on a wide range of server configurations.
- Containers can be used to build highly available cloud-native applications and services. By correctly configuring the manager, a new container can be rapidly deployed to replace any non-functioning container.
- Although it may be difficult to embrace cloud-native technology, the orchestration provided by Kubernetes that allows for a centralized management system may prove to be more efficient in the long run.
- When developing cloud-native applications, visibility and observability are crucial. This allows your team to gain more profound insights into the applications in production and identify areas that need improvement.
Businesses may gain a substantial competitive edge by adopting a cloud-native approach before their competitors. Cloud-native technology allows development teams to develop stable and highly-scalable systems that can be automated for a more streamlined software lifecycle. While the learning process may be arduous, the potential rewards make it a worthwhile undertaking.