What If You Could series

Going Cloud Native: Build Apps Once, Deploy Anywhere

By Marc Trouard-Riolle

January 2, 2024 | min


In the previous installment of our What If You Could series, we focused on the challenges of multiple, siloed cloud deployments and showed how a true hybrid multicloud platform helps resolve them. In this article, we explore the differences between “cloud-native” and native cloud services and examine how both can be simpler with the right IT architecture. 

As organizations adopt strategies to remain agile and competitive, cloud-native containerized applications are becoming a business imperative. In fact, the 5th annual Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Index article reported nearly all 1,450 IT decision makers surveyed (94%) reported having deployed Kubernetes® containerization which is the most commonly used cloud-native framework.

Embracing the concept of containerized apps requires a significant paradigm shift across every aspect of an organization—but with the right cultural mindset and the right tools and platforms, a cloud-native approach can set you up for current and future success.

Without the right tools, however, going cloud-native for production apps at scale can turn into a costly, complex, and inefficient exercise that drains an organization’s time and money.

A Cloud Native Definition and Distinction

Simply put, applications developed using cloud-native architectures include dynamic container orchestration (i.e Kubernetes), microservices, and declarative APIs. They are designed specifically to run in the cloud and take advantage of its unique characteristics, such as linear scalability and dynamic allocation of resources as required.

While it’s typical to see “cloud-native” and “native cloud services” used somewhat interchangeably in the context of creating apps that run in the cloud, it’s important to note that in reality, they are not the same thing.

Developing native cloud services involves writing code that interacts with a specific public cloud provider’s API—such as in AWS or Azure. Native cloud services are tightly bound to the chosen provider and if you want to move the service to another cloud, you have to write new code to a different API. In essence, the service cannot be seamlessly moved to a different provider and run without issues, highlighting how native cloud services can create vendor lock-in.

Cloud native applications, on the other hand, leverage containers and orchestration alongside universal APIs allowing a cloud-native app to be, in theory, written once but run anywhere. However, it’s important not all cloud-native apps are built the same, and some are more portable than others.

Challenges with Cloud Native Applications

Common cloud native challenges include:

  • Duration and cost associated with application development lifecycles and testing.
  • IT team skill sets and tool sets as they transition from traditional applications to cloud-native ones.
  • Difficulty in deployment, monitoring, and management of systems that are highly distributed.
  • Increased capital and operational costs due to lack of cost optimization and ability to efficiently monitor and control cloud resources.  
  • Potential for cloud lock-in when applications are developed using native-cloud services and APIs that are only available from one cloud provider.
  • Setting up the infrastructure correctly to ensure the systems operate as they should—and making later updates without disruption.

Although containerized cloud native applications should give organizations more flexibility and portability than native cloud services that are tied to a specific cloud provider, they can still cause unnecessary complexity and inefficiencies when it comes to moving them across cloud providers.

What If You Could Build Modern Apps Once and Deploy Anywhere?

Organizations are moving to the cloud for many reasons, but taking advantage of the agility the cloud offers is a primary objective for most. If you don’t have the right tools or systems, however, the cloud can end up making things a lot more difficult and expensive overall.

Cloud native applications that can move from cloud to cloud as needed offer a wealth of benefits that locked-in cloud applications cannot. Being able to develop enterprise-grade cloud native apps just once and deploy them anywhere, anytime gives you the agility to adapt to evolving infrastructure needs and requirements. You could even automate deployment to deploy faster than ever without hassle. With faster, more efficient deployment and simple migration to other environments—including back to the on-premises datacenter if necessary—you can free DevOps teams up to focus more of their time on innovation.

With Nutanix Hybrid Multicloud, You Can…

With Nutanix, you can leverage a hybrid multicloud platform for applications that are designed once and deployed anywhere—whether on-premises, at the edge, or in a public cloud. You’ll be able to modernize your applications and move them across clouds without extensive retooling or rearchitecting. You can also integrate apps seamlessly with artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other cloud services and technologies and refactor at your own pace.

With Nutanix, you can accelerate application development and build, run, and manage container-based applications from a single platform that delivers the cloud-native services developers need quickly and efficiently. The unified management plane eliminates complex silos and allows you to manage workloads wherever they are—from on-premises datacenters to any public cloud and out to the edge. 

Nutanix also makes development in the cloud more cost-effective. While it’s been proven that organizations using public cloud end up paying the same cost for their “test and dev” applications as they do for their business-critical production applications, Nutanix users have reported an average total cost of ownership (TCO) savings of 43% and 53% more efficient IT management.

Hybrid multicloud from Nutanix allows you to use your existing hyperscaler accounts for the simplest integration with your existing public cloud presence. You can also easily integrate VM-based applications and data into your cloud services.

When it comes to going cloud-native, do it right and position your organization for ultimate success. Nutanix® hybrid multicloud solutions make it simple, efficient, and cost-effective to develop, test, deploy, and manage modern apps in today’s digitally savvy world.

Stay tuned for the next (and final!) installment of our What If You Could series, where we’ll take a look at the benefits of automating workload placement across all of your IT environments.