Creating cloud-native applications, what to look out for?

content
1. Start with a Microservice Architecture
2. Embrace everything as code
3. API-first approach
in conclusion


Cloud-native software development is the use of the Cloud Operating Model to build and run scalable applications in a modern distributed environment. As cloud-native technologies for designing and creating applications continue to evolve, so do the problems we face, so in this article, I'll share with you the dos and don'ts of creating cloud-native applications.

1. 【Creating cloud-native applications】Start with a Microservice Architecture


Each application has its own resource requirements, inherent characteristics, and dependencies. Therefore, these characteristics should be considered first when developing and optimizing cloud-native applications.
Designing a cloud-native application from scratch is actually quite simple, but it rarely happens that a new application is built from scratch in practice. Most of our organizations are still in the transition process - considering converting thousands of monolithic applications to modern distributed applications.
At the same time, no matter which cloud migration strategy we adopt, we need to make the application function and its code have to be divided into multiple logical units, making it a microservices architecture and its patterns.
Is it worth it, you might ask? In many cases, the answer is yes; the value of creating cloud-native applications far outweighs the investment in time and money. This is because:
•Cloud-native applications have scalability that traditional monolithic applications cannot achieve.
•Applications designed using DevOps or agile principles have faster release cycles.
•Cloud-native applications are inherently flexible, which opens the door to the adoption of new technologies such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, serverless computing, and more.
•Cloud native helps deliver faster, more stable, and more reliable applications, and customers can experience significant benefits.
Having a faster development cycle or the ability to deploy applications faster also lays the foundation for more flexibility, innovation and better customer solutions. All of these will undoubtedly have a positive impact on customer loyalty, increase the sales of the business, and reduce operating costs, etc.
Therefore, microservices are the foundation of cloud-native applications. At the same time, based on containers, the entire runtime environment of a microservice and all its dependencies, libraries, binaries, etc. can be packaged into a manageable logical unit, which can then be transferred, cloned, stored, or used on-demand application services.
From a developer's perspective, the combination of microservices and containers aligns with the 12-Factor methodology - designed to address the most common problems programmers face when developing modern cloud-native applications.
following the 12-Factor methodology are countless. Here are some of them:
•The code base and the configuration of the application can be separated to facilitate the maintenance and development of the application.
•Based on Infrastructure as Code ( IaC ) principles, it helps automate deployments.
•Separating the core application from other supporting services allows the application codebase to iterate at its own pace.
•Extensive use of stateless processes through APIs allows each microservice to be isolated from other microservices, improving efficiency and security.

2. 【Creating cloud-native applications】Embrace everything as code


From the above, we have seen that the use of microservices is essential for modern applications. However, it is equally important to adopt out-of-the-box automation practices in cloud-native development. The ultimate goal should be to implement Everything as Code (EaC) . You can imagine EaC as an evolution of Infrastructure as Code ( IaC ), which encompasses infrastructure, platform, and application codebases. This approach allows software and hardware to share key benefits such as:
•Implementation of different levels of version control
•Improve collaboration between departments
•modularity of components
•Contributes to DevOps implementation
•Easy to automate at all development levels
•Enhance security by keeping systems up to date to prevent potential attacks
Automation at every level through the use of continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) tools is probably the most important value of cloud-native applications. Not only these benefits, but also scalability, fast development cycles, enhanced security, flexibility, and lower operating costs.
According to recent surveys, container and cloud-native platforms are attacked more than 16,00 times a day, a staggering number that further underscores the importance of enhancing application security through automated enforcement. Additionally, a shift-left approach in the CI/CD process supports security testing early in the software development lifecycle to help detect and resolve issues in a timely manner.

3. 【Creating cloud-native applications】API-first approach


Traditionally, developers have focused more on a code-first rather than an API-first approach to development, which may not apply to today's modern application development. If developers start with API development and build software products on top of that, this approach will help developers save a lot of work/time while laying the foundation for modern distributed applications.
As mentioned earlier, the 12-Factor methodology also states that applications should be designed to run each function as a microservice through the single-function principle. The individual microservices then communicate with each other efficiently through APIs.
APIs are also becoming more and more important in view of the increasing popularity of microservice applications, and developers need to treat APIs as their first-class citizens.
Calls made by the user interface and calls from other applications can be thought of as simple consumers of the API. All in all, its benefits are:
•Reduce the risk of failure and make the system more scalable
•Improved developer experience
•Faster development process and faster time to production
•Reduce development costs
In short, by using APIs not only communication between users and applications is facilitated, but also communication and automation of internal processes.

in conclusion
In this article, I propose the adoption of a microservices architecture and implementation based on anything-as-code in the broadest sense that facilitates cloud-native application automation, process visibility, and inter-team collaboration.

Translation link: https://thenewstack.io/architectural-considerations-for-creating-cloud-native-applications/


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