Cloud-Native Applications - The Journey Continues

Abstract

Looking at what is out there in terms of what the term cloud native really means, we find heterogeneity. As expected, there is no one single definition. The reason is likely because the field is evolving and organizations or companies try to define it in a way that fits their strategy or portfolio. But what we all can agree on is that cloud native applications will take some form of Distributed Architecture. Here are a couple of example definitions in the market. The Linux Foundation, which seems to be active in this area, launched the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) in December 2015. CNCF’s mission is to “create and drive the adoption of a new computing paradigm that is optimized for modern distributed systems environments capable of scaling to tens of thousands of self-healing multitenant nodes”. Further, its main push is containers, Microservices, and all the orchestration around them. This is more of an architectural view of Cloud Native. Pivotal defines cloud native as a framework or an umbrella term that includes Composable Architectures, Automated Processes, Collaborative Culture, and Structured platform; meaning, Pivotal views it as more than architecture. Regardless, the one that has the most comprehensive and easy to use orchestration framework will likely garner much market share the faster. We have had cloud-native applications for some time now: the likes of Netflix, Twitter, Facebook, and Microsoft Office365. We have been seeing that cloud providers such as Microsoft, Amazon, and Google have realized there will be a great demand for cloud-native applications. For that reason, they are providing in their cloud offerings ingredients such as containers, orchestration tools, and frameworks to design microservices, to build cloud native applications. For example, in Azure, Microsoft is supporting containers, has Azure service fabric, and Azure app services. The Azure service fabric is a distributed architecture that allows building microservices. One question I have been asked is whether developing cloud native applications will resolve the cloud interoperability issue and allow or ease portability. Clearly the answer is “not really”. If you are going to develop cloud-native application on, for example, Microsoft Azure, it will rely on all what Azure supports in terms of containers’ orchestration. So, moving the applications to Amazon Web FROM THE EDITOR IN CHIEF

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