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What is Cloud-Native? Is It The Future of Software Development?

cloud native applications

Cloud-native has been a hot topic in software development for quite some time. Some developers dismiss it as a hype that will fade after a while. Others see it as the future of software development.

Cloud-native will be a big trend in the future, regardless of what it brings. It has also changed how we develop, deploy, and operate software products.

What is Cloud-Native?

Cloud-native can be defined in many ways, depending on whom you ask. Companies like Netflix, which leveraged cloud technology to transform itself from a mail-order company into one of the largest content delivery networks in the world, coined the term “cloud-native.” They were also the first to use cloud-native to reinvent, transform and scale software development.

And, now companies want to learn how cloud-native technology has helped Netflix achieve such incredible success and faster delivery of features to customers.

Cloud-native is a software development approach that is based on cloud computing architecture. It helps organizations in scalability, automation, and building dynamic environments.

Cloud-Native Development Architecture

If you are new to cloud-native computing, you may still be unsure what it is. You may be curious about how this affects the way your software is implemented.

You must understand the following four major layers of the cloud-native infrastructure:

Cloud-Native Development Architecture


Microservices, also known as microservice architecture, is a method of developing software for cloud-native applications that utilizes multiple independent services that can be interconnected over well-defined APIs.

Each microservice can be deployed, upgraded, scaled up, and restarted independently of other services within the same application. This allows for frequent updates to live applications without affecting customers.


Containers enable apps to be packaged and isolated with their entire runtime environment. This makes it easier to move them around while still maintaining full functionality.

Containers work in the same way as virtual machines (VMs). However, containers are more adaptable. Although installing VMs is possible only with the support of a full operating system, containers help applications by packaging software. This packaging approach lets developers create applications with ease.

Another major distinction is that containers weigh less than VMs, require fewer resources, and require less maintenance. They can start quicker, deploy quickly, and have better flexibility.

Continuous Delivery:

Continuous delivery in cloud-native architecture allows frequent and reliable software production. This is possible through automation, specifically continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) processes. Developers can implement CI/CD pipelines to accelerate deployment, scaling, and recovery tasks.

A CI/CD pipeline automates development’s testing, building, and deployment phases. Cloud-native systems can also automate rollback, recovery, and canary deployment processes.


DevOps refers to a method of increasing the speed and quality of software development, delivery, and deployment. It focuses on increased collaboration between IT operations personnel and developers. This is accomplished by automating and linking the software delivery processes and making infrastructure changes.

DevOps reduces the time it takes to deliver software, makes organizations more responsive, and ensures quality from idea to design, build, deployment, and support. While you can still do DevOps with traditional infrastructures, it's much easier to use the cloud as a centralized platform for automated testing and deployment.


Cloud-native security provides smart ways to reduce enterprise risks by fixing vulnerable software, rotating user credentials, and frequently rotating servers.

How Cloud-Native principles work together?

The concepts and ideas behind cloud-native computing provide a fresh way of building sophisticated and scalable systems. Even if you don't host your application in a cloud platform these concepts will affect how you design and develop applications in the near future.

Containers make it much simpler to distribute your application. And, so make use of containers in the development process to distribute applications between your team members, or to run your applications in various environments. Once all tests have been completed it is easy to transfer the same container to production.

Microservices offer a fresh approach to organize your system but they also present new challenges. They also shift your focus to the structure of every component. Microservices increase encapsulation and enable the creation of maintainable components that are able to quickly adjust to changing requirements.

If you're planning to use containers in order to manage a set of microservices on production, you'll require an orchestration tool that will help you manage the entire system.

Benefits of Cloud-Native Architecture

Cloud-native applications require a different architecture than traditional enterprise apps, which are typically developed in an on-premises data center.

Let’s check what key advantages cloud-native apps offer over traditional app development models.


Cloud-native apps are designed to be resilient and regularly updatable. Its updatability boosts productivity, allowing developers to concentrate on their competitive advantage and deliver more features to customers.


Cloud-native allows developers to quickly test new code and push it to production using fully automated continuous integration continuous deployment pipelines (CICD).

Companies can quickly bring new ideas into production in minutes, hours, or even days instead of weeks and months. This results in greater innovation and competitiveness.

Usage of Modern Languages:

Modern platforms and languages are a great way to attract the best developers to your company. Therefore, cloud-native apps are written in web-centric languages like HTML, CSS, Java, JavaScript, and .NET.


Cloud-native apps can work in virtualized spaces and share resources with other applications. This provides a significant efficiency boost for development teams.

Scalability and Adaptability:

Cloud-native applications can adapt and modify to the needs of the business. They also allow for frequent software updates, modifications based on customer feedback, and eliminate the need for software-dependent infrastructure or hardware solutions.

This also has cost implications where you pay only for what you use and can avoid overprovisioning your infrastructure.


Because of the microservices, cloud-native applications can withstand any fault. Cloud-native infrastructure makes it much easier to trace the source of any problem after deployment. This is because the entire application is divided into microservices that each act as a service function. Once the tracking is complete, the service can be isolated and the problem fixed at its source without server downtime.


Cloud-native infrastructure offers greater redundancy because of the geographical spread of data centers. Outages can be managed more efficiently by redirecting traffic quickly to another area and avoiding costly downtime.


Allow developers to integrate security features into their applications right away.


Cloud-native apps tend to be stateless; they don’t transfer saved data from one session into another. This allows to scale across multiple servers, cache easily for faster performance gains, use less storage, avoid vendor lock-in, and not be tied to any particular server.

Cons of Cloud-Native Architecture

Cloud-native architecture has its own challenges. Before you embrace cloud-native architecture, there are a few important things to consider.

Adopting DevOps:

Although DevOps is an effective and effective approach to software development, implementing new DevOps procedures isn’t easy. The adoption of a cloud-based architecture generally requires extensive training and cultural shifts to allow Dev as well as Ops teams to collaborate.

Hardware/Software Dependencies:

Microservices typically require specific hardware, software, or operating system requirements (SSDs or GPUs), which limit their adaptability.

Update your Security Systems:

Cloud-based containers' native architectures typically require upgrades to security systems or the introduction of new security technology. Container technology can create new vulnerabilities that are difficult to defend.

Things to keep in mind while considering application development in Cloud-Native

Moving to cloud-based technology can be dissatisfactory and can experience major difficulties if you fail to plan properly or do not implement it correctly. Therefore, the adoption of cloud-native applications isn't going to be easy despite many benefits it has to offer.

Begin with small apps first to familiarize yourself with the process. Then, you can identify those apps that are best suited to go cloud-native, and eliminate the ones that aren't suitable.

Ensure that the developer, DevOps, NetOps, and SecOps teams are all involved with an equal interest in the project.

Frequently Asked Questions

Cloud computing, also called simply "the cloud" is the infrastructure, or you can say servers, for storing all the databases, storage, and all sorts of applications over the internet. Most of these are offered via cloud service platforms such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud, or Microsoft Azure.

While cloud-native is the architecture to connect all the cloud-based components above in a manner that is designed to work in the cloud. It's not just about the servers but rather the services.

Cloud-native architectures combine three aspects - container-based applications, microservices architectures, and dynamic orchestration of storage, compute, and networking resources.

The integration of containers, microservices, dynamic orchestration, agile development, and DevOps allows organizations to maximize their return on investment on cloud-based computing systems.

Here are some top benefits of cloud-native applications – cost-effective, better customer experiences, scalability and adaptability, reduced vendor lock in, automation and flexibility, serverless and reusable platforms, troubleshooting made simple, and designed for the 5G-era.

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