Most organizations' digital transformation efforts aim to accelerate innovation. That of their key objectives is to develop and deploy new services and products faster than the competition. As more than a few enterprises have discovered, the need for speed often collides with traditional application development habits that exist in their business culture.
Enter cloud native, widely regarded as the next big thing in development and innovation. Cloud native is altering the way IT leaders think about developing and deploying applications because the underlying IT infrastructure is abstracted, so the app can run on servers, virtual machines and public or private cloud. Reports show this new approach is more tightly aligning development efforts with business goals.
"Cloud-native technologies empower companies to build and run highly scalable applications in modern, dynamic environments anywhere: public, private and hybrid clouds," wrote Dave Bartoletti, a vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research, in a Forrester Insights blog last fall.
Revolutionizing Application Development
Simply put, cloud native is an approach to building essential applications that totally exploits the cloud computing models so familiar to organizations today.
"A cloud native app is architected specifically to run in the elastic and distributed nature required by modern cloud computing platforms," Mike Kavis, a managing director with consulting firm Deloitte, told Infoworld last June.
"These apps are loosely coupled, meaning the code is not hard wired to any of the infrastructure components, so that the app can scale up and down on demand and embrace the concepts of immutable infrastructure."
Various technologies sitting atop cloud native platforms are used to create applications built with services packaged within containers. These containers allow developers to bundle software, along with everything needed to run it, into a single executable package. Containers require fewer system resources than traditional development environments because they don't include operating system images, explained Mark Lavi, DevOps solutions architect at Nutanix.
[Learn more about Cloud Native technologies by Nutanix]
"Developers generally just want to code, build, deploy and test on their laptop rather than deal with infrastructure and operations teams," said Lavi. "Utilizing widely deployed cloud native applications such as distributed databases, message queues, storage, etc. allows standardization on proven technologies."