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Essential Elements of Cloud Native Architecture

Know about the fundamentals of cloud native architecture.

By Ryan WilliamsonPublished 4 months ago 6 min read

The cloud-native architecture enables organizations to harness the full potential of the cloud while building scalable, resilient, and highly adaptable applications. And by adopting a cloud-native mindset, businesses can leverage the benefits of cloud computing to drive innovation, enhance agility, and deliver exceptional user experiences. However, understanding the fundamental principles undermining cloud-native architecture is essential to navigating this transformative paradigm successfully.

With this blog, I’ll explore the fundamental principles of cloud-native architecture, from containerization and microservices to automation and scalability. Therefore, let's embark on a journey with cloud-native architecture while uncovering the guiding principles that can revolutionize how we design and deploy modern applications in the cloud.

What is Cloud Native?

Cloud-native takes advantage of the cloud computing model to develop and run applications. Cloud-native technologies enable organizations to build, design, and run scalable applications in private, public, and hybrid cloud models. Cloud-native software offers many benefits, such as flexibility, scale, speed, resilience etc.

Benefits Of Cloud Native Applications

Cloud-native applications provide a consistent development and management experience in public, private and hybrid cloud environments. There are many benefits of cloud native applications, such as –

  • Scalability and Elasticity: They are designed to scale quickly, handle varying levels of workload, and can dynamically adjust resources based on demand, allowing for efficient computing power allocation. Further, this scalability ensures that applications can manage increased traffic or user demand without experiencing performance issues.
  • Resilience and Fault Tolerance: They can handle failures gracefully and recover quickly. And applications can continue to operate even when individual components or instances fail by leveraging cloud infrastructure features like auto-scaling, load balancing, and fault tolerance mechanisms.
  • Agility and Faster Time to Market: Cloud-native development methodologies, such as DevOps and continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD), help with faster application development, testing, and deployment cycles. The development teams can release new features & updates more frequently. It helps reduce time to market and increases the agility of the development process.
  • Cost Optimization: The cloud-native applications allow organizations to optimize their costs by adopting a pay-as-you-go model. With cloud services, businesses can scale resources up or down based on demand, eliminating the need for upfront infrastructure investments. And using containerization & serverless architecture helps optimize resource utilization while reducing operational costs.
  • Increased Resource Utilization: Cloud-native applications utilize containerization technologies like Docker and orchestration platforms like Kubernetes. These technologies enable efficient resource utilization by running multiple containers on a single host. It allows organizations to make the most of their infrastructure resources.
  • Flexibility and Portability: Cloud-native applications utilize modular architecture built using modular and loosely-coupled components. It is while making the applications more flexible, allowing developers to replace or upgrade specific details without affecting the entire system. Additionally, cloud-native applications can be easily deployed across different cloud providers or on-premises infrastructure, providing portability and avoiding vendor lock-in.
  • Improved Observability and Monitoring: Cloud-native architectures provide enhanced observability and monitoring capabilities. It is with tools like logging, metrics, and distributed tracing developers. They help gain insights into application behavior, performance bottlenecks, and error handling. This offers visibility into troubleshooting and optimizes application performance.
  • Security and Compliance: Cloud-native applications include encryption, identity and access management, automated backups, and disaster recovery. Cloud providers also adhere to strict compliance standards, making it easier for organizations to meet regulatory requirements.

Fundamental Principles of Cloud-native Architecture

  • Stateless processing: Removing state makes applications more resilient. The core of cloud-native applications is stateless processing that enables high scalability with inherent fault tolerance. Stateless processing involves a transaction processing system that is split into two layers. One layer does not retain long-term state information and comprises several transactional elements. The second layer consists of a scalable storage system that uses various components to store data redundantly and securely. Separating valuable data from disposable applications and tools helps protect the information and limits the damage.
  • Microservices: Microservices define a range of solutions used in cloud-native applications. Microservices help break down significant components into many stand-alone deployable parts. It enables developers to consider each service or part of an application independently. Deployment, upgradation, and scaling of each microservice can be done separately, which helps in efficient lifecycle management for the entire application. Microservices architecture helps enable a modular approach to application building, which makes it easier to reuse and redesign individual elements. The modular system helps support technological diversity and makes developing, deploying, and scaling easier.
  • Containerization: For an application to be considered cloud native, it must be infrastructure independent and use containers. Containers provide application libraries, dependencies, and lightweight runtime, enabling applications to run as a stand-alone environment. Containers allow applications to move in and out of the cloud. This movement is independent of the variations of the cloud provider’s virtual servers or complete instances. It helps in increasing the mobility between different environments.
  • API driven: Microservices can grow in complexity when building enterprise-scale applications. Seamless communication is one of the biggest challenges in microservices app architecture. Application Programming Interface or APIs help ensure platform compatibility and simplify complexity. RESTful API, the most common API used in the industry, enables seamless communication in microservices-based apps. gRPC is used for performance and internal communication among services, while REST exposes APIs over HTTP.
  • Observability: This is a critical feature of cloud-native apps and it is the ability to monitor and measure the performance and health of the app in real-time. Monitoring, logging and tracing tools help achieve observability. Monitoring tools are used to monitor the performance and health of the app, while the logging tools help capture and analyze log data. Tracing tools are used to trace the flow of requests through the application and can help identify and diagnose performance issues.
  • Automation: Cloud-native architecture helps infrastructure automation. It allows developers to implement CI/CD pipelines to accelerate deployment, scaling and recovery. A CI/CD pipeline enables the automation of the development lifecycle phases of building, testing and deployment. The cloud-native systems support automated processes such as rollback, recovery, canary deployment and monitoring.
  • Security: Traditional application architecture relies predominantly on perimeter security to prevent security breaches. But a single line of defense can be ineffective when faced with consistent internal or external security attacks. The traditional network perimeter is also vulnerable to remote and mobile device access to accommodate user requirements. In cloud architecture, every design component is protected from other members even if they form a part of the same architecture. This approach ensures that cloud-native architecture remains more resilient. This enables deployment of services in the cloud environment without the feat of breaches even when trusted networks are not used between users.
  • Communication and collaboration: Cloud-native services must interact and interface with each other and other external services. RESTful APIs enable communication between legacy or third-party applications and cloud-native applications.

In conclusion, cloud-native architecture is more resilient and these attributes help keep the data and applications separate while turning those systems into basic processing pipelines. Partnering with a third-party app development company can help companies benefit significantly when adopting cloud technology.

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About the Creator

Ryan Williamson

A professional & security-oriented programmer having more than 6 years of experience in designing, implementing, testing & supporting mobile apps developed. Being techno geek, I love to read & share about the latest updates in technology.

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