Cloud-native applications are software applications that are specifically designed and built to run in cloud computing environments. These applications are optimised to take full advantage of the cloud’s scalability, flexibility, and agility. Here are some key characteristics and principles of cloud-native applications:
- Microservices Architecture: Cloud-native applications are often developed using a microservices architecture. Instead of a single, monolithic codebase, they are composed of small, loosely coupled services that can be developed, deployed, and scaled independently.
- Containerisation: Containers, such as Docker containers, are commonly used to package and deploy cloud-native applications. Containers encapsulate the application and its dependencies, ensuring consistent behaviour across different environments.
- Orchestration: Container orchestration platforms like Kubernetes are often used to manage and automate the deployment, scaling, and operation of containers. Orchestration simplifies tasks like load balancing, service discovery, and fault tolerance.
- Elasticity: Cloud-native applications are designed to be elastic, meaning they can automatically scale up or down in response to changes in demand. This allows for efficient resource utilisation and cost savings.
- Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD): Cloud-native development practices emphasise CI/CD pipelines, where code changes are automatically tested, integrated, and deployed. This results in faster development cycles and quicker time-to-market.
- DevOps Culture: Cloud-native development encourages a DevOps culture where development and operations teams work closely together to streamline processes and improve collaboration.
- Statelessness: Cloud-native applications are often designed to be stateless, meaning they do not rely on storing session data locally. This enables easy horizontal scaling and high availability.
- API-First: Cloud-native applications expose their functionality through well-defined APIs, making it easier to integrate with other services and applications.
- Infrastructure as Code (IaC): Infrastructure is defined and managed through code, allowing for consistent and repeatable provisioning and configuration of resources.
- Monitoring and Observability: Cloud-native applications incorporate robust monitoring and observability tools to gain insights into their performance and troubleshoot issues quickly.
- Security: Security is a top priority in cloud-native development. Best practices include implementing security measures at every layer of the application stack, as well as regularly updating and patching dependencies.
- Polyglot Architecture: Cloud-native applications may use multiple programming languages and databases to choose the best tools for specific tasks.
Overall, cloud-native applications are built with the cloud environment in mind, aiming to deliver agility, scalability, and resilience. They are well-suited for modern, dynamic business needs and are a key part of digital transformation strategies.