Enterprises are racing to transform and shift to cloud environments, and developers are proactively responding to the growing needs. According to IDC for strategies to improve cloud native development, 500 million new logical apps are expected to be created between 2018 and 2023. These facts are greatly contributing to the adoption of cloud native development.
However, cloud-native development is not something that can take place overnight; it’s a learning experience and a journey. In this guide, we’ll explain how to improve cloud native development. But before that, let’s find out what exactly cloud native development is.
What is Cloud Native?
Cloud native is a technique to build and run applications that are based on cloud computing. It’s not about where applications are created and deployed, but how. As opposed to an in-house datacenter, the apps are created in the public cloud.
According to Linux Foundation, “cloud native computing deploys applications as microservices” using an open-source software stack. It packages each component into its own container and optimizes resource utilization by dynamically orchestrating those containers.
The crux of those technical definitions is that it’s no longer sufficient for design systems and applications to operate ‘in the cloud’. Cloud must be part of the design process for solutions from scratch. This means that moving an on-premise IT infrastructure to the cloud doesn’t count as a cloud native solution. It’s only a redeployment of the same application on a different architecture, and this makes things more complex.
How to Improve Cloud Native Development
If you’re wondering how to improve cloud native development, follow these tips:
Accelerate Existing, Monolithic Applications
You can’t just do away with systems that have been running your business for years. By migrating them to a contemporary contain-based platform, you can speed them up. This does not only improve development speed but also facilitates automation.
Another great strategy is to split your monolithic applications into mini-services and microservices, utilizing runtimes that more effectively work for separated devices.
Establish a DevOps Culture
To enhance and deliver business functionality quicker, it’s important for operations and development teams to keep improving the way they work and collaborate with each other. However, you don’t need just tools and technology for this but also the trust and willingness of team members to adopt a more collaborative and integrated approach to developing and deploying applications.
Select the Right Tools
With a variety of frameworks and runtimes available, organizations have the challenge of choosing the best tool to solve problems. Since the framework or choice of language is now tailored to the application needs of businesses, cloud native applications are becoming more diverse than ever. To address the associated complexities, your container-based application platform must have the right mix of architecture, languages, and frameworks to support cloud-native development.
The most popular frameworks and technologies to implement cloud-native applications include Quarkus, Eclipse MicroProfile, DropWizard, Apache OpenWhisk, Golang, Spring Boot, Eclipse Vert.x, Python, Node.js, and Jakarta EE. Your choice of framework/tool should depend on the problem you’re trying to solve.
Speed up the Development of Business Logic Using Application Services
Reusability plays a critical role in speeding up software development, and the same applies for cloud-native application development. When you can use the existing caching service, integration connectors, messaging brokers, rules or workflow engine, mobile and API management capabilities, serverless framework, or data virtualization service by optimizing and integrating them into the container-based infrastructure, it’s doesn’t seem rational to re-create them.
Whether they are Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) or Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offerings, these developer tools are ready-to-use. When optimized and integrated into the cloud-native infrastructure, these reusable components are best for cloud-native application development.
Speed Up Application Delivery through IT Automation
This approach involves adopting programmatic automation for IT operations throughout the enterprise. Labor-intensive human engagement greatly delays application delivery. In contrast, IT automation tools create repeatable rules, frameworks, and processes, thus eliminating manual tasks to speed up the time to market.
From infrastructure and network provisioning to configuration management and application deployment, any component or task can be automated. Hence, automation is a crucial aspect of digital transformation and IT optimization, greatly accelerating the processes.
A Modular Architecture
Applications in a microservices architecture approach are broken down into independent, minute components. Since microservices architectures precisely fulfill the development concerns of cloud-native application development, such as the API-driven, service-based tenets, they’re an ideal solution.
However, implementing and maintaining microservices architectures is not that simple, which is why experts recommend Monolith First, an alternative approach that involves developing an application as monolith first before creating a microservices architecture. You must clearly understand the domain of your application to better recognize the bounded contexts and the applications that will be moved to microservices.
Building a set of microservices without understanding the bounded contexts and domain of the application can lead to technical debt, including repair costs. The Monolith First approach helps you avoid that. The point is to start taking action to evolve a more modular architecture, regardless of the route you select.
Offer On-Demand, Self-Service Infrastructure to Developers
On-demand, self-service infrastructure means that you allow developers to access the infrastructure they need, whenever they want. However, this model requires IT teams to possess full visibility and control across the complex and dynamic environment.
Apart from simplifying access to infrastructure, it involves providing robust application life-cycle management across different infrastructure environments like private and public clouds and data centers in a standard way.
This enhances automation and self-service capabilities. Operations teams and developers should then be able to quickly spin up consistent environments and avoid delays and obstacles associated with provisioning infrastructure.
The effort toimprove cloud native development is a slow and steady process. You may choose to rely on cloud-native development right away if you’re a startup. But if you’re an established organization with a complex IT environment and a range of in-house applications on cloud platforms and services, it can be difficult to homogenize everything into a single architecture. You will need to begin from a non-cloud-native state and slowly follow the above-explained tips on how to improve cloud native development to move forward.