A modern, cloud-native application is a solution that is built by leveraging the inherent strength of the underlying cloud platform. They typically incorporate a combination of cloud services, micro-services (like serverless technologies), cloud-native databases, regional redundancy, elastic sizing, and not to be overlooked – automated cloud infrastructure and build processes (DevOps, CICD, IAC, etc).
So what? Why build them? Why not a more traditional application?
We’re going to dive in.
3 Reasons NOT To Go Cloud-Native
Let’s start here.
1. You’re trying to quickly stand up an application’s proof-of-concept or a user experience prototype
It’s a lot faster for one or two people to stand up a monolithic application involving fewer technologies and quickly produce something of value – they are much simpler.
I know what you’re thinking: “Ack, MONOLITH!!”
True, but remember – we’re agile and in the day of cloud development, you can tear down that monolith and rebuild it with cloud-native technologies and a more flexible architecture the next time around.
2. Make sure your project mindset is taking advantage of cloud technologies
If you’re trying to plan what your architecture looks like at a detailed level 9 months down the road…. that may be too far off. You do not want to waste time and effort that can be applied to developing more immediate innovation, now.
3. There is a very limited use base that won’t need the elasticity, scale, or cost optimization of a broader-reaching system
Think that small application 3 or 4 people will use in their line-of-business capacity. It does not conceivably need the scale and performance enhancements provided by cloud-native and could decrease velocity by requiring more technologies and skills than are needed to achieve your end products goals.
4 Reasons TO Go Cloud-Native
Now, let’s into the good stuff.
1. Build Automation, Velocity, and Agility
- Bad Quality
- Their ability to generate system builds
- Needing to onboard new clients faster
- Meet aggressive application usage scenarios
- Crank out new features, faster
Are these common complaints you hear from your clients?
These are fantastic indicators that you need to invest more time and effort into automating everything as code – not just the application and data tiers of your system.
The cloud offers a fantastic array of tools to help you spin up new, well-architected environments for clients, automated builds, streamline new release processes, support multiple environments, and more.
While elasticity is well understood, if your application needs to grow quickly to support a wide array of users responsively, building out serverless or cloud-native application tiers can go a long way in supporting that goal.
If you move toward serverless, cloud-native architecture, you can often architect things more cost-efficiently. This means no more time spent figuring out licensing scenarios for formerly on-premises application databases like Oracle or SQL Server. Moving applications to a cloud-native platform like DynamoDB or RDS gives you the opportunity to optimize licensing costs while providing more scale. And if costs need to scale more linearly, cloud-native architectures can help.
The real value of building systems in the cloud is speed, agility, and innovation.
Spin up, spin down.
Doesn’t work? Tear it down, try something new.
The cloud is an infrastructure and service sandbox that you get to play in. Fail fast, fail early. Adapt and overcome. Pivot.
Think of it this way; let’s say you are tasked with building an application for a startup company. Are you going to architect it for the 5-year end-state business plan? You don’t have to! Keep it simple. Start small and grow it with the company.
Now, it may surprise you to hear that starting out it may be easier to minimize the number of services you’re using to keep it as simple as possible for maximum velocity. No need to automate Infrastructure as Code (IAC) or set up multi-region redundancy if you are prototyping or in another use that doesn’t need it.
As mentioned earlier, cloud-native architectures can increase the velocity and capabilities of innovation. Adopting a cloud-native IoT architecture allows you to shift your effort from device management, deployment, and monitoring work to innovating the end-user product experience.
Are you tired of doing all the work to maintain a legacy database? Shift it to a cloud-native replacement, let the cloud vendor manage that patching and scaling for you, then channel that effort into more features.
How can you increase feature delivery, scale your systems, optimize costs, support larger teams, and innovate faster? Remember to think cloud-native – in the right situations.
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