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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. 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—be it in public, private, or hybrid clouds.
Public, private, hybrid deployments?
No problem. Red Hat® OpenShift® 4 is the enterprise-ready Kubernetes platform for container orchestration. If you’re building cloud-native applications, OpenShift 4 gives you the centralized management and visualization tools needed for unified operations, anywhere.
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, developers can more easily release and update apps as a collection of loosely coupled services, like microservices, instead of having to wait 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), fully automated deployment operations, and standardized development environments.
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The primary benefit of a cloud-native strategy is that it can increase the speed of application development for companies that have compute resources spread across different environments. For instance, you may have some resources housed on Amazon servers, Google servers, and also an Oracle database that you run on premise. Cloud-native development helps your company derive more value from this hybrid cloud architecture, but there is an additional step you can take as part of a cloud-native strategy.
Serverless refers to a cloud computing model whereby application developers don't have to provision servers or manage scaling for their app. Instead, those routine tasks are abstracted by the cloud provider, allowing developers to push code to production much faster than in traditional models.
Keep exploring cloud-native apps
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.