The global cloud computing market is slated to surpass $120 billion this year, per a report by Forrester. Driving this relentless growth and adoption are a variety of paradigm shifts in infrastructure, software, networking and application technology. And primary among them is cloud-native computing.
“Cloud-native” refers to the optimum mix of architecture and technology that enable the design, development and operation of workloads in the cloud, taking full advantage of the cloud computing model.
In fact, there is an entire open source software body – the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) – dedicated to making cloud-native universal and sustainable. It currently oversees contributions from nearly 150,000 IT professionals to over 100 projects and platforms. Here’s what the CNCF has to say about cloud-native applications:
"Cloud native technologies empower organisations 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. These techniques enable loosely coupled systems that are resilient, manageable, and observable. Combined with robust automation, they allow engineers to make high-impact changes frequently and predictably with minimal toil."
This definition reflects the changing face of IT. From a traditional focus on processes and automation, IT is now the face of business offerings. Cloud applications have taken IT from being a function to being the business itself.
No wonder then, that there are over 6.5 million cloud developers around the globe building cloud-native applications for every conceivable business workload. These would be technology agnostic when scaling, based on best practices such as DevOps, delivered using methodologies, deployable to multiple clouds platforms while being less susceptible to vendor lock-in, and less prone to side-effects of “quick fixes” even with faster release cycles.
However, there are many components and architecture considerations that need to be borne in mind before an organization can fully embrace cloud-native app development.
Since the cloud itself means different things to different people, organizations need to define and stick to certain coding fundamentals, best practices, and processes to meet their app development and delivery objectives.