Cloud-native applications are a collection of small, independent, and loosely coupled services. They are designed to deliver well recognized business value, like the ability to rapidly incorporate user feedback for continuous improvement. In short, cloud-native app development is a way to speed up how you build new applications, optimize existing ones, and connect them all together. Its goal is to deliver apps users want at the pace a business needs.
But what about the “cloud” in cloud-native applications? If an app is “cloud-native,” it’s specifically designed to provide a consistent development and automated management experience across private, public, and hybrid clouds. Organizations adopt cloud computing to increase the scalability and availability of apps. These benefits are achieved through self-service and on-demand provisioning of resources, as well as automating the application life cycle from development to production.
But to fully utilize these benefits, a new form of application development is needed.
Cloud-native development is just that—an approach to building and updating apps quickly, while improving quality and reducing risk. More specifically, it’s a way to build and run responsive, scalable, and fault-tolerant apps anywhere—whether in public, private, or hybrid clouds.
How do I build a cloud-native app?
It starts with the people in your organization and the automation processes that help them collaborate. That means bringing your development and operations teams together with shared purpose and regular feedback through DevOps.
Container adoption supports these practices by offering an ideal application deployment unit and self-contained execution environment. With DevOps and containers, apps become easier to release and update as a collection of loosely coupled services, like microservices, instead of waiting for one large release.
Cloud-native development focuses on an architecture’s modularity, loose coupling, and the independence of its services. Each microservice implements a business capability, runs in its own process, and communicates via application programming interfaces (APIs) or messaging. This communication can be managed through a service mesh layer.
You don’t always have to start with microservices to speed up application delivery as part of cloud-native apps, though. Many organizations can still optimize their legacy apps using a pragmatic, service-based architecture. This optimization is supported by DevOps workflows like continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD), fully automated deployment operations, and standardized development environments.
DevOps is an approach to culture, automation, and platform design intended to deliver increased business value and responsiveness.
A microservices architecture breaks apps down into their smallest components, independent from each other.
An application programming interface (API) is a set of tools, definitions, and protocols for building application software. They connect products and services without having to know how they’re implemented.
Containers allow apps to be packaged and isolated with their entire runtime environment, making it easy to move them between environments while retaining full functionality.