Cloud-native architecture is an architecture that focuses on building loosely coupled systems that are resilient, manageable, and observable.
The three main concepts of cloud-native are:
What is Microservices?
Microservices is an architecture style that promotes the decomposition of large systems into smaller decoupled services. A service will serve a single purpose and nothing else. In the world of microservices, developers use multiple services in coordination to build business applications. Some of the benefits of microservices are faster time to market for new services or products, provides a lego-like environment to build new products or services. Microservices empowers the teams and creates ownership of products and services. Teams can expose proxies to their products through microservices.
What is Containerisation?
As discussed in the section covering microservices, teams are building small loosely coupled services which are deployed into their environment. What would have happened in the past, developers provisioned virtual servers to deploy their applications. That is an expensive and possible time-consuming process. If another developer needed to run the same application, she needed to set up her environment, which usually took hours and plagued with issues. Remember the old saying; it works on my system but not yours? Containerisation solves most of the problems that we have identified. It allows developers to create self-contained packages with everything required to run the applications. Containerisation makes it easy to scale up-and-down as demand requires. In a cloud environment where every resource is costed, containerisation helps reduce the cost.
What is Orchestration?
In system administration, orchestration is the automated configuration, coordination, and management of computer systems and software. In a cloud-native environment, applications are architected as microservices and deployed as containerised packages. Legacy architectures scale up horizontally by adding a new instance of the full application behind a load balancer. Cloud-native provides a more efficient way of scaling; the services which are undergoing heavy loads. The process of scaling containers requires an orchestration layer. The orchestration platform has a single job of monitoring the health of the containers and assists as and when needed. For example, the orchestration layer would watch the application health and create or destroy instances as required. There are currently two popular orchestration platform: Kubernetes and Apache Mesos.
What is Automation?
Cloud-native would not be possible without some automation. DevOps automation is the addition of technology that performs tasks with the reduced human assistance to processes that facilitate feedback loops between operations and development teams so that iterative updates can be deployed faster to applications in production (Red Hat). Automation allows teams to automate repeatable tasks, thus making them more predictable and less prone to human error. Automation frees developers and operation engineer to be more productive.
The four principles of cloud-native are microservices, containerisation, orchestration and automation. Cloud-native organisations are more productive and competitive than their peers.
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