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Many organizations don’t take full advantage of their cloud services. This is usually because they have only taken their first steps into the cloud—migrating apps and functionality to a cloud platform. Moving to the next level requires a different approach. To fully take advantage of the cloud, you should adopt a cloud native mindset, and build your applications especially for the cloud.
Explaining the Terminology: Cloud-Native and Kubernetes
What is cloud-native?
Cloud-native is an approach to building and running applications that utilize the advantages of cloud computing delivery model. That means designing apps for use in the cloud, rather than for an on-premises data center, or a hybrid architecture.
Here are some key advantages of a cloud-native architecture:
- If your app is native to the cloud, you can use all cloud features.
- You don’t need to make adjustments to the app so it would fit into the cloud. You can just start using the app.
- A cloud-native app is usually build with containers and a microservices architecture, which enable on global deployment and demand delivery.
- Cloud-native applications are flexible, thus enabling a high services level.
Cloud-native models promote efficiency, business agility, scalability, availability, utilization and cost savings. However, you can’t go cloud-native without using containers. A container is similar to a virtual machine (VM), but it has relaxed isolation properties that share operating system usage with the application.
A container packages up the code and all its dependencies to a standalone, executable unit of software that includes everything needed to run the application. Like VMs, containers have their own filesystem, CPU, memory, and process space. As they are decoupled from the underlying infrastructure, they are portable across clouds and OS distributions.
What Is Kubernetes?
Kubernetes is a market-leading open source container-orchestration solution. Container orchestration is the management of life-cycles of containers. Software developers use container orchestration to control and automate tasks within the container. This is especially helpful for managing large, dynamic environments
Kubernetes helps developers and IT professionals manage containerized applications with large numbers of containers. Kubernetes is highly resilient, distributing workloads to ensure minimal downtime, with automatic rollback, scalability and self-healing after containers fail.
However, running Kubernetes at an enterprise scale may be complicated. With a managed Kubernetes service, you get easy access to a Kubernetes cluster without having to set up and maintain it yourself.
How Kubernetes and Cloud-Native Workloads Can Aid Industrial Modernization
The following are some of the benefits of cloud-native applications that can contribute to industrial modernization.
Fast release rate
The success of an organization depends on its ability to conceive, build and ship more value to customers. DevOps models for development promote the use of automation across the entire software delivery cycle. The software delivery pipeline has undergone a transformation that has made it faster and more predictable.
Cloud native applications fall perfectly in line with the DevOps methodology, enabling automation and collaboration across all development cycles. This was not possible in the time of local development and limited server-based software delivery processes.
Superior customer experiences
Building a good customer experience requires means shipping new features faster and iterating continuously. It means you need to take a mobile-first approach to application development and follow human-centered design practices including design thinking.
Cloud-native enables API integration, which is the dominating way to connect large enterprise databases with light front-end applications. This gives enterprises the benefit of extending their legacy systems usage with mobile and web applications. Enterprises need to prioritize this in a world where their traditional business models are being threatened and disrupted by smaller, more agile startups.
Ease of management
Cloud-native can make your infrastructure management effortless. For example, you can use serverless computing platforms that enable uploading code with functions. These platform run the functions for you without you having to provision cloud instances, configure networking or allocate sufficient storage.
Reduced cost through containerization
Containers make it easy to manage and secure applications independently of the infrastructure that supports them. Many industry leaders are in the process of consolidating their operations around Kubernetes, for containers’ management at scale. This, along with an open source model, drives down costs through pay per use compute time, and enable dynamic workloads.
Build more reliable systems
A microservices-based cloud-native app that runs on Kubernetes can help you build fault-tolerant applications with resiliency and built-in self-recovery. When failures occur, you can easily isolate the impact of the incident so it doesn’t take down the entire application. Cloud native microservices can help you achieve higher uptime than what you would achieve through monolithic applications. Higher uptime can improve your business performance.
Avoid vendor lock-in
Legacy vendors used to issue three-year locked-in licensing for proprietary hardware and tools. Today, with the popularity of open source and cloud technologies, multi-cloud models are becoming mainstream. A multi-cloud model uses a combination of cloud solutions and vendors. That means you won’t get locked into one single vendor.
The term cloud-native refers to the design, delivery, and management of applications that are designed for the cloud, so you can use the native characteristics of the cloud. With a cloud-native application, you can develop and release updates faster, at scale and with elasticity and resiliency.
The utilization of modern architecture like Kubernetes offers a lot of value not only for the development process but also for the whole life cycle of the project. Kubernetes can help you release continuous updates efficiently and securely with no downtime.
Together, cloud native and Kubernetes enable fast-paced development, which in turn drives modernization. All sectors interested in long-term digitalization can benefit from a cloud native model. The flexibility offered through this model can help you extend the lifetime of your applications, even as technology continues to advance.
Gilad David Maayan is a technology writer who has worked with over 150 technology companies including SAP, Imperva, Samsung NEXT, NetApp and Ixia, producing technical and thought leadership content that elucidates technical solutions for developers and IT leadership. Today he heads Agile SEO, the leading marketing agency in the technology industry.
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