Understanding cloud-native applications
To succeed in fast-paced, software-driven markets, companies must change the way they design, build, and use applications. Cloud-native application development is an approach to building, running, and improving apps based on well-known techniques and technologies for cloud computing.
Cloud-native applications are a collection of small, independent, and loosely coupled services. They are designed to deliver well recognized business value, like the ability to rapidly incorporate user feedback for continuous improvement. In short, cloud-native app development is a way to speed up how you build new applications, optimize existing ones, and connect them all together. Its goal is to deliver apps users want at the pace a business needs.
But what about the "cloud" in cloud-native applications? If an app is "cloud-native," it’s specifically designed to provide a consistent development and automated management experience across private, public, and hybrid clouds. Organizations adopt cloud computing to increase the scalability and availability of apps. These benefits are achieved through self-service and on-demand provisioning of resources, as well as automating the application life cycle from development to production.
But to fully utilize these benefits, a new form of application development is needed.
Cloud-native development is just that—an approach to building and updating apps quickly, while improving quality and reducing risk. More specifically, it’s a way to build and run responsive, scalable, and fault-tolerant apps anywhere—whether in public, private, or hybrid clouds.
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It starts with the people in your organization and the automation processes that help them collaborate. That means bringing your development and operations teams together with shared purpose and regular feedback through DevOps.
Container adoption supports these practices by offering an ideal application deployment unit and self-contained execution environment. With DevOps and containers, apps become easier to release and update as a collection of loosely coupled services, like microservices, instead of waiting for one large release.
Cloud-native development focuses on an architecture’s modularity, loose coupling, and the independence of its services. Each microservice implements a business capability, runs in its own process, and communicates via application programming interfaces (APIs) or messaging. This communication can be managed through a service mesh layer.
You don’t always have to start with microservices to speed up application delivery as part of cloud-native apps, though. Many organizations can still optimize their legacy apps using a pragmatic, service-based architecture. This optimization is supported by DevOps workflows like continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) and fully automated deployment operations.
Whether your industry is telecom, banking, healthcare—even cattle farming—you are now also a software company, with applications at the center of business strategy. This software-driven business transformation requires new apps to be developed and delivered faster, for users who have come to expect a higher quality. This is no small task. Red Hat believes it will require investing in your processes, infrastructure, and architecture to compete in modern, fast-changing markets.
In order to support these changes, Red Hat believes organizations will need a new platform to enable improvements across your architecture, infrastructure, and processes. The end goal is the ability to deliver higher-quality apps with greater agility.
Keep exploring cloud-native apps
Building cloud-native apps means changing how your teams collaborate with each other, and adding tools and processes to support them. Those changes don’t just make it easier to build apps for a distributed systems environment—they give teams what they need to make your business run faster.