Companies are encountering the twofold challenge of adapting their outdated infrastructure while ensuring flexibility and scalability in their IT operations. The emergence of cloud native technologies has paved the way for unparalleled adaptability and performance, with containerization, serverless computing, and microservices serving as pivotal drivers of this transformation.
As per Gartner, by 2025, 95% of all new digital workloads will be executed on cloud native platforms. For companies involved in this evolution, here’s what to understand about the importance of cloud native principles and how they are revolutionizing the digital era.
The Shift from Outdated to Cloud Native
Shifting from outdated systems to cloud native platforms is predominantly motivated by the need for increased flexibility and adaptability. Consider Blockbuster and Netflix. Blockbuster’s reliance on physical infrastructure and reluctance to innovate led to its demise, while Netflix, with its cloud-first approach, redefined entertainment.
Outdated monolithic structures, with their inflexible scalability, have often resulted in companies like Blockbuster being left behind. They grapple with software complexities, hardware limitations, and escalating maintenance expenses. A significant change came with the onset of IaaS and PaaS solutions.
Companies could allocate resources on-demand and pay-as-they-go, and reduce expenses associated with data center management. Organizations such as Spotify benefited immensely by using Google Cloud’s Bigtable for efficient data storage and retrieval. The evident primary advantage was the adaptability to scale on demand and only pay for utilized resources.
This heightened demand for scalable infrastructure, a spike in web-based applications, and the cost-efficient model of cloud services catalyzed the exponential increase in cloud adoption.
Cloud Native Principles and Their Connection with Serverless and Microservices
Central to cloud native is containerization, often leveraging Docker containers and orchestrated by Kubernetes, which provides a standardized environment for deploying applications. This consistency is crucial for companies like Airbnb, which necessitate uniformity across varied environments to ensure application stability and minimize deployment issues.
Serverless computing, as witnessed with AWS Lambda, complements this by relieving developers of the burden of managing infrastructure. Instead of being concerned with server maintenance or uptime, companies can concentrate solely on code and application functionality.
Furthermore, containerization and serverless can integrate with platforms such as AWS Fargate, allowing for serverless deployment of containerized applications. This ensures both application consistency (from containers) and operational efficiency (from serverless).
Microservices further extend this synergy. These are independent application components that can be developed and deployed separately. With the foundational consistency offered by containerization, microservices can operate smoothly, and with orchestration tools like Kubernetes, their deployment and scaling become more manageable. Take Monzo Bank, for instance, which uses microservices to ensure faster feature releases and easier maintenance.
Therefore, containerization offers a stable environment; serverless ensures efficient operations; and microservices provide deployment flexibility. Together, they enable companies to develop and maintain robust, scalable, and cost-effective applications.
Benefits of Abstracted Cloud Infrastructure: From Scaling to Rapid Deployment
The abstracted nature of cloud infrastructure offers significant advantages for companies, ensuring they can prioritize application features and functionality over infrastructural challenges. Here’s how:
- Focus on Business Logic: With the complexity of infrastructure abstracted away, developers can focus on crafting the business logic. No longer do they have to be distracted by the complexities of server configurations, networking setups, or storage details.
- Dynamic Resource Scaling: Cloud native environments, supported by services like Amazon EC2 and Kubernetes, bring adaptability to the forefront. Whether applications require the addition of more instances (horizontal scaling) or enhancing the capabilities of an existing instance (vertical scaling), these platforms can promptly adapt.
- Accelerated Deployment Cycles: Integrating CI/CD tools with cloud native platforms streamlines code integration, testing, and deployment. The result is significantly reduced release cycles, ensuring products and features reach users faster and are refined based on their feedback.
- Leveraging Low-Code for Speedy Development: Low-code platforms are becoming vital in cloud native evolution. They offer a quick way to create applications, curtailing traditional coding impediments. Plus, their ability to offer seamless connectors, API integrations, and migration tools ensures companies transitioning from outdated systems don’t encounter obstacles or suffer data losses. Their compatibility with popular SaaS tools and databases means data integration is seamless, keeping data flows uninterrupted even during transitions.
It’s crucial to critically evaluate a company’s core requirements and align them with suitable technological solutions. Before embracing new tech adoption, ensure its alignment with the current business model and its resonance with customer demands.
Business goals should always steer technology choices. While strategies should dictate the tools, the advent of cloud native development in digital evolution ensures this alignment, emphasizing strategy over mere tool adoption.
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