Cloud Native Applications – Opportunities, Challenges, and Best Practices

by sagacity

About 75% of businesses are presently emphasizing cloud-native applications. In this blog, we will delve into the realm of cloud-native applications and examine some of the prospects, difficulties, and trends that cloud-native application development entails. 


Opportunities of Cloud-Native Applications

1. Cost Reduction Through Scalability and Flexibility

Businesses usually find themselves grappling with inflated expenses on IT infrastructure. In that case, the adoption of cloud-native applications can provide a viable solution. Such applications have the capability to adjust resource utilization in accordance with the current workload, making them remarkably flexible and cost-effective. These applications can therefore accommodate sudden increases in traffic or adapt to reduced requirements to enable optimal cost savings. 


2. Greater Reliability and Resilience

Application crashes can be highly frustrating, particularly when they occur during crucial moments. However, cloud-native applications are designed to be highly resilient. They possess an exceptional ability to endure adverse conditions and continue to operate with unwavering consistency.


3. Better Security

The conventional concerns surrounding security and compliance are no longer a source of undue distress, thanks to the advent of cloud-native applications. These are equipped with a range of inbuilt security features, such as identity and access management, encryption, and network security, which effectively safeguards them against potential vulnerabilities. 


4. Faster Time-to-Market

In order to accelerate the introduction of products and services into the market, the adoption of cloud-native applications is paramount. These applications are specifically designed for expedited and efficient deployment, facilitating the swift launch of new products and services with unparalleled agility. The inherent rapidity of cloud-native apps lends the ability to swiftly test and incorporate novel concepts and features. 


Challenges of Cloud-Native Applications

1. Complexity in Building and Maintaining Cloud-Native Applications

Building cloud-native apps demands a comprehension of cloud infrastructure and specialized proficiency in software development, networking, and security. However, partnering with a technology expert can ward off this challenge.


2. Skills Gap and Talent Shortage

The current state of the job market presents a significant challenge for companies seeking an ideal candidate with the requisite knowledge and proficiency to competently manage cloud-native applications. Consequently, businesses grapple with escalating expenses incurred in staffing and training. 


3. Security Concerns with Cloud-Native Applications

Cloud-native applications, while offering numerous advantages, can introduce a fresh set of security challenges that demand careful consideration. These challenges include container security, network security, and access control, among others. It is crucial for businesses to prioritize and embed security into every stage of the application design and deployment process. By doing so, organizations can mitigate security risks and ensure the protection of valuable data and systems.


4. Vendor Lock-in

Leveraging cloud-native services presents a potential drawback in the form of vendor lock-in, wherein an enterprise may become unduly reliant on a singular cloud service provider for their entire gamut of infrastructure and services. Such a scenario can be highly precarious and could potentially prove to be a recipe for disaster. It is therefore prudent for organizations to maintain a certain degree of vendor agnosticism while adopting cloud-native services to avoid the pitfalls of vendor lock-in.


Trends in Cloud-Native Applications

1. Microservices Architecture

The utilization of microservices architecture has gained significant prominence. This approach involves the decomposition of an application into small, independent, and autonomously deployable services. Its inherent characteristics of flexibility, scalability, and resiliency render it a highly suitable choice for cloud-native applications.


2. Kubernetes as a De-Facto Standard for Container Orchestration

Kubernetes is a highly advantageous solution for orchestrating containers within cloud-native applications — furnishing a comprehensive and robust framework for deploying, scaling, and administrating containerized applications across diverse clusters and cloud environments.


3. Hybrid and Multi-cloud Environments

The proposition of embracing a hybrid and multi-cloud approach appears to be a promising trajectory towards the future. Rather than restricting oneself to a singular cloud infrastructure, a combination of public and private clouds, along with multiple cloud providers, can be strategically employed to attain heightened levels of scalability, flexibility, and resilience.


4. Serverless Computing

Serverless computing obviates the need for traditional servers, enabling the operation of applications without server management. Furthermore, it facilitates cost savings and enhanced scalability as one is only billed for the utilized computing resources.


How to Build Cloud-Native Apps? (A Step-by-Step Guide)

1. Define Your Requirements

Initiate the project by defining a comprehensive set of requirements. This should encompass functional, non-functional, compliance, and security requirements.


2. Choose Your Cloud Provider

It is imperative to carefully select a cloud service provider that aligns with the unique operational requirements of your enterprise. This should be taken care of by giving due consideration to crucial aspects such as expenses, capacity for expansion, dependability, and safeguarding against potential security breaches.


3. Design Your Architecture

Employing a microservices-based architecture and containerization methodology in the design of your application can confer upon you the benefits of enhanced flexibility, scalability, and resilience.


4. Develop Your Application

The implementation of a Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) pipeline has the potential to facilitate the development process of your application, enabling the swift and dependable deployment of updates.


5. Test Your Application

It is imperative to conduct comprehensive application testing to ensure its conformance with the prescribed requirements that encompass functional, performance, and security criteria.


6. Deploy Your Application

Deploy your app to your chosen cloud provider using Kubernetes or another container orchestration platform. This will allow you to manage and scale your app easily.


7. Monitor and Maintain Your Application

Keep an eye on your app to make sure it continues to meet the user’s and business’s needs. Monitor performance, security, and compliance, and make changes and updates as needed.


Best Practices for Building Cloud-Native Applications

1. Start with a Solid Architecture

A solid app architecture is key. Make sure it’s scalable, resilient, and flexible so you can adapt to changing business needs.


2. Use Containers to Enable Portability and Scalability

Containers are a valuable asset to leverage in facilitating portability and scalability, as they furnish a nimble and transportable methodology for encapsulating and distributing applications, ultimately contributing to increased scalability and decreased expenditure.


3. Employ a Microservices Architecture

Adopting microservices architecture is viable if one seeks to alleviate the cumbersome task of managing a single monolithic application. It offers the ability to partition and conquer, thereby simplifying the management process, enhancing business agility, and ensuring seamless scalability. The efficacy of microservices architecture empowers businesses to promptly adapt to the volatile modern business environment, thereby cementing their leadership in the market.


4. Embrace Automation

Automation stands as a pivotal aspect in the domain of cloud-native applications, owing to its ability to curtail errors, enhance productivity, and expedite the process of development and deployment. Furthermore, the reduction of the manual labor associated with this approach renders it an exceedingly desirable solution for businesses.


5. Ensure Security 

Security protocols must be considered when developing an application, irrespective of whether it is hosted on cloud-native infrastructure. To this end, diligent attention must be paid to the adoption of secure coding practices, access control measures, and vigilance in monitoring potential security vulnerabilities. A stringent approach toward safeguarding the application’s infrastructure is essential for protecting the interests of the business and its users.


Cloud-native applications present a promising future for businesses by providing boundless prospects for scaling, innovating, and gaining a competitive edge. But the adoption of such applications is not without challenges. 


It’s viable to connect with an expert like Sagacity to embark on this transformative journey. We help businesses effectively navigate and surmount challenges and realize better outcomes with their cloud-native initiatives. Get in touch with us today!


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