We used to discuss migrating applications to the cloud and its potential benefits as if it was a distant and futuristic concept. However, it is a reality that has become increasingly prevalent in modern technology.
With 94% of enterprises using cloud services today, it’s safe to say that (almost) every company is a cloud company.
But, as it usually happens in IT, now that we are familiar with cloud-ready, a new concept has stolen the spotlight: cloud-native development.
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Table of contents:
- 10 Things to consider before picking a cloud-native platform
- 1. Containerization
- 2. Easy to scale up and down
- 3. Evergreen state
- 4. Microservice architecture
- 5. Modern authentication
- 6. Lifecycle support
- 7. DevOps and CI/CD
- 8. Easy to integrate
- 9. Security by design
- 10. Monitoring and observability
Cloud-native applications are the “natural evolution” of cloud-ready. In practical terms, a cloud-ready environment puts you in a position where you don’t need to worry about resources like memory, CPU, and storage.
Cloud-native has grown from there, offering another layer on top of cloud-ready, where additional non-functional requirements are included as well.
10 Things to consider before picking a cloud-native platform
If you’re exploring cloud-native development platforms, there are a few considerations you should have in mind when it comes to selecting the right technology.
When it comes to cloud-native platforms, they are expected to include containerization in the architecture.
In simple terms, containers enable the app to run independently and agnostically from the operating system. This is vital for a cloud-native application and the number one topic to keep in mind.
2. Easy to scale up and down
Scalability is critical from a financial standpoint. You should only pay for what you use.
Most cloud-native platforms allow you to scale up, meaning when you have usage peaks and need additional resources, the platform enables you to increase the capacity and performance of your system or infrastructure.
However, not all cloud-native platforms allow you to scale down easily.
So, be sure to look for a platform that enables you to adapt to business demand during peak and low seasons.
3. Evergreen state
Patches and upgrades? That’s not a reason for unavailability.
Pick a cloud-native partner that will keep evolving its platform without impacting your business. There are mechanisms today that allow companies to perform upgrades without downtime
4. Microservice architecture
This is a core attribute of cloud-native apps.
Breaking applications into small, loosely coupled parts makes it easier for developers to build agile and resilient software. Additionally, microservices shorten development cycles, which leads to faster innovation and a better user experience.
While a microservices architecture allows for easier development, testing, and deployment of individual services, cloud-native platforms provide a scalable and reliable infrastructure to support these services.
5. Modern authentication
I wouldn’t say this is a must, but it’s definitely a great asset to add to your apps.
As cyberattacks get more sophisticated, look for a platform with cutting-edge capabilities when it comes to authentication, namely integration with the most common external authentication services out there, like Okta and Azure AD, in an easy and simple way.
6. Lifecycle support
It's not just about running applications in the cloud; your chosen platform must support the full lifecycle.
You need to be able to develop, test, and change your application fast.
7. DevOps and CI/CD
This is part of the life cycle, but it's important enough to have its own bullet.
To be as fast as your business demands, you need to be able to deploy your app quickly and often. And you need to know that, should something go wrong, you can quickly revert to a previous instance.
8. Easy to integrate
Integrations will always be a big part of custom application development. You need to make sure the platform you pick integrates easily with your apps running on-premise, on the cloud, or off-the-shelf packages.
Don’t forget integrations should be powerful, not hard.
9. Security by design
One of the biggest concerns around cloud computing is security.
So, pick a development platform that seamlessly handles this issue for you. This is important not only at time of deployment but also from the application execution perspective. If your platform handles this for you, it will save you a lot of time and headaches in the future.
10. Monitoring and observability
There are a lot of services a cloud-native platform can offer you, such as database services, network and security analysis, and CI/CD infrastructure.
Having a comprehensive set of tools to allow you to monitor your infrastructure and apps is imperative. You should be able to trace every single step/action/layer of your apps as well as gathering metrics on the usage whenever it is convenient. Those are very important from both development and administrative perspectives and should be taken into account as well.
Now, it’s important to note that implementing a cloud-native infrastructure is not easy or cheap. In fact, we did a study to identify how much it costs to go cloud-native and concluded that it can cost a company 5.3 million dollars just to implement the infrastructure. You can read all the findings and methodology here.
The good news is that, as technology evolves, there are already solutions that provide all the capabilities above by default and an incredible infrastructure so that you can start focusing on your product from day one.
Meaning you don’t need to think of all the requirements to have a real cloud-native application. That’s the case with OutSystems.
With OutSystems low-code platform, you can deploy your applications on-premises, on public, private or hybrid cloud, or as cloud-native. The OutSystems Developer Cloud (aka ODC) allows you to start building your apps without worrying about the non-functional requirements since the platform takes care of that for you.
I love this image as you can really see how much effort you save when building your cloud-native applications with OutSystems.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article and that it is helpful in your quest for the perfect cloud-native development platform.
To explore more about OutSystems ODC, take a look at our session, Introduction to OutSystems Developer Cloud.