Cloud Native Application Design – Basics

Cloud native application, or cloud native design, or cloud native architecture, or .. well the list is endless, and unless you are living under a rock, you hear these terms almost on daily basis. The critical question here is, do we understand what the term “cloud-native” means? Mostly “cloud-native” is confused with anything that is deployed on the cloud. And nothing can be more wrong.

What is “Cloud-Native”?

Cloud-native architecture and technologies are an approach to designing, constructing, and operating workloads that are built in the cloud and take full advantage of the cloud computing model.

Cloud native technologies empower organizations to build and run scalable applications in modern, dynamic environments such as public, private, and hybrid clouds. Containers, service meshes, microservices, immutable infrastructure, and declarative APIs exemplify this approach.

Let me just say, “Cloud Native” means “Built for Cloud”. You start by keeping in mind what Cloud can do for you while designing your application.

Easier said than done. Most of the time, you will design a solution and then try to fit it into the cloud. Another challenge might be your understanding of the cloud. Cloud (or better we should call it cloud computing) itself can be a complex concept. So let us take a moment to demystify it, and let’s start with how industry leaders define it.

What is Cloud-Computing?

Simply put, cloud computing is the delivery of computing services—including servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and intelligence—over the Internet (“the cloud”) to offer faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale. You typically pay only for cloud services you use, helping lower your operating costs, run your infrastructure more efficiently and scale as your business needs change.

Cloud computing is the on-demand delivery of IT resources over the Internet with pay-as-you-go pricing. Instead of buying, owning, and maintaining physical data centers and servers, you can access technology services, such as computing power, storage, and databases, on an as-needed basis from a cloud provider like Amazon Web Services (AWS).

In short, Cloud-Computing is a set of services, in the form of compute capabilities, storage, networking, security, etc. that one can use off-the-shelf. As an extension, we can say Cloud-Native design is designing our system keeping the full advantage of these services.