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What Is Cloud Native Application Development?

More websites and apps are using cloud native development. But what is cloud native? Here's everything to know and the benefits of cloud native.

8 min read
What Is Cloud Native Application Development?

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Did you know that cloud native development leads the way for building modern applications?

What's unique about cloud native application development? And how can Cloud native applications benefit your business?

In this article, we'll discuss terms like DevOps, which helps developers and operations teams work more efficiently through continuous integration and delivery automation. We'll look at containers with Docker and Kubernetes and see how they fit into the Cloud native framework. Finally, we'll review how Amazon's AWS is helping to build an industry on its firm foundation. Then discover how moving from traditional app development will save you time and money.

Cloud native technologies, microservices, containers, serverless — whatever you want to call it — this topic is relevant now and will continue moving forward. This post is going to try to provide a primer on the subject.

What Is Cloud Computing?

The cloud computing model provides a convenient, on-demand, accessible-from-anywhere shared pool of configurable computing resources such as networks, servers, storage, applications and services that customers can rapidly provision with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.

Cloud computing has become massively popular in recent years because renting these services is more cost-effective than purchasing and maintaining servers. The cloud computing model also allows users to access their data anywhere they have an internet connection.

It's estimated that by the end of 2020, 82% of enterprise workloads will reside on the cloud.

What Is Cloud Native?

Cloud native architecture is a new approach to designing and deploying applications for the cloud. It represents an evolution of the existing software development methodologies, where applications are designed to be scalable and distributed from the start, with components that can be easily replaced or replicated.

Because cloud native architecture design is (ideally) distributed and scalable, apps can't be hard-wired to any one component. Flexibility is the key, and the cloud offers scalability as demand increases.

Cloud native architecture is based on five core principles:

  1. Software should be built around ephemeral compute resources that come and go as needed, rather than being built around machines or virtual machines

  2. Applications should be loosely coupled so they can scale independently of one another

  3. Applications should be event-driven, meaning they respond quickly to changes in data or user behaviour without delay

  4. There should be no single point of failure within the application architecture; if a component fails, others can replace it without interrupting the service

  5. The system should be resilient against failures, scaling up automatically when there's high demand and scaling down when there isn't

Cloud Native Applications

Traditional application development concentrated on the device, not the infrastructure on which it was built. For example, developers dropped the app on a single server with its database and other stack components with little thought into performance and resilience.

Cloud Native applications are designed to be distributed, resilient, and often use microservices architecture. They can run in any cloud environment – public, private or hybrid with little or no code changes. Cloud native applications often embrace DevOps practices such as automation, immutable infrastructure and service discovery to simplify their design and deployment.

Cloud Native Development

Developing a cloud native application requires a different approach to reap the benefits of Cloud computing.

Cloud Native Application Development is the process of developing a software application using cloud computing. This implies that the application is scalable, loosely coupled, and event-driven. Cloud native applications differ from traditional software development in the following ways:

Scalability: Scalability is based on the application's ability to handle more users, more data, and more load without affecting its performance or the user experience.

Loose Coupling: Loose coupling allows you to develop your application in small pieces which you can deploy independently. This helps in achieving scalability as well as the maintainability of your codebase.

Event Driven: Event-driven architecture enables easy parallelization and concurrency. It also facilitates faster development by reducing the number of things that need to change when adding new features or fixing bugs.

To help, we've broken down some key phrases associated with Cloud native apps and development.

DevOps and Agile Development

DevOps brings together developers and operations and is critical for cloud native application development.

DevOps is a set of practices that bring together software engineering, operations and security to improve the efficiency of software delivery. Its philosophy emphasizes collaboration between development and operations teams and automation to enhance their ability to deliver software faster, with fewer errors and at higher quality.

As a result, a cloud native application is delivered faster, which helps businesses react faster to market needs. DevOps can also make it easier for organizations to scale up or down as needed.

The principles of DevOps include:

Collaboration: Teams need to work together to understand each other's needs and challenges and build better products together without sacrificing quality or security.

Automation: Automating repetitive tasks and deployments through continuous integration and continuous delivery makes it easier for teams to focus on what matters—the end product—and helps them improve their efficiency by reducing error rates and increasing predictability.

Measurement: Measuring performance allows you to identify bottlenecks or areas where improvement is needed to address them before they become significant problems.

In cloud native application development, DevOps helps to improve the development process by making it easier for agile teams to develop and deploy applications quickly. DevOps also helps cross-functional teams collaborate more effectively to deliver higher-quality applications in a shorter amount of time.

It helps you develop more quickly. When you're working in a DevOps environment, you no longer have to rely on time-consuming manual processes for building and to deploy your code—you can automate those processes and get them done more quickly.

It reduces errors in the development process. With DevOps, fewer mistakes are made during the build process because all the necessary steps are automated from start to finish. This means less time spent fixing mistakes that could have been avoided had they been caught earlier in the process by the QA team.

To make the process work, we use agile development techniques.

Agile relies on communication and constant testing as the app lifecycle moves on. It depends on people working together and talking with each other. With public Cloud technology, that's easy to do.

Microservices and Containers

Microservices and containers are central to cloud native app development because they allow teams to build applications faster, with fewer dependencies.

Microservices are small, modular pieces of an application that developers can build and maintain independently from one another. This makes it easy for developers to work on different project parts without waiting for each other or communicating constantly.

Containers are powerful because they enable you to package your application with its entire runtime environment. In other words, everything the app needs to work. Containers are isolated, lightweight software packages that run in their isolated environments. This means that even if one container crashes, it won't affect other containers or the rest of your system. This is especially useful when running multiple containers on a single machine.

The benefits of using microservices and containers are numerous:

  • They can speed up development by allowing developers to work more quickly without waiting on others or constantly communicating.
  • They allow development teams to work on separate pieces of an app without affecting other parts of the system or causing problems.
  • They help keep an app stable by isolating different components from one another so if one part crashes, it won't affect other parts of the system or cause problems elsewhere.

Traditional Development Versus Cloud Native App Development

Cloud native apps offer much of the same functionality as traditional apps. However, the process is quite different because cloud native development has its basis in the public cloud.

Web-Centric Languages

While many computer applications in the past focused on one platform, Cloud apps tend to be web-centric.

Instead of writing code in Java or C++, cloud native developers use JavaScript, Node.js, Go, and PHP. These web-centric solutions are portable so that you can develop Cloud native applications on any computer.


A significant benefit of the cloud is its ability to handle spikes in resource demand.

The term "elastic" means the system can grow or shrink to accommodate usage. That's perfect for web-based cloud native applications during busy periods like Black Friday. A sudden surge doesn't affect performance as resources get issued automatically.

Automatic Updates

Traditional software development pushed patches or updates to overwrite existing installation files. Google Play and Apple's App Store use this technique to upgrade existing apps.

The downside is that you need an ecosystem to push these updates. There's also no guarantee that users will download them. That results in a fragmented experience where some have the latest version and others don't.

Cloud native apps ensure everyone's using the latest version.

Virtualization and Connected Resources

Legacy apps are designed to be run in a specific environment. They don't work well in a cloud environment that shares resources with other apps. Network configurations are often hardcoded, so changes to the system can cause the app to fail.

Cloud native apps are designed to work anywhere and everywhere.

Key Benefits of Cloud Native Apps

Cloud native software development is a way to develop and deploy applications for maximum portability, scalability, and resiliency. Cloud native apps use microservices to separate functionality into logical groups of code, which can then be deployed as individual containers to any number of cloud providers (AWS, Azure, and others).

We've outlined some of the advantages that Cloud native development brings but here are the key benefits.

  1. Fast development
  2. Low cost
  3. Scalable to match demand
  4. Built on a resilient network
  5. Made of loosely coupled systems

A shorter development time is one of cloud native application development's core benefits.

Businesses see results fast. They're also involved in the app lifecycle to ensure it matches their expectations. The finished product always fulfils the end goal.

Cloud computing offers a low-cost, scalable, and robust platform to build and consume applications. And one of the largest and most-used providers is Amazon Web Services.

What Is Cloud Native in AWS?

Amazon Web Services (AWS) started in 2006 as a cloud computing pioneer.

It enabled anyone to use its massive infrastructure to host data, services, and apps. Prices were set against usage so businesses could better budget their IT spending and rely on a lower bill.

Amazon then developed its platform to enable developers to create Cloud native apps within AWS. As a result, cloud adoption continues to grow each year.

AWS offers a range of development tools and services to build and host cloud native applications. It also delivers cloud native architecture based on serverless and container services.

S3 Storage

Simple Storage Service or S3 is a storage solution that can store any type of digital object.

E-commerce sites use S3 to keep their product photos and video files. IT departments save their backup files and logs on the secure platform. And components of cloud native applications can be hosted directly on S3 too.

Every object in S3 has a unique ID and metadata that describes it.

Developers access objects through SDKs or the AWS CLI. They can download, overwrite, update, and save objects up to 5GB in size.

Containers Services

A container packages up code and dependencies so that they run on any computing environment.

AWS offers the Elastic Container Service (ECS), which manages containers. It works with AWS Fargate, which removes the need to manage the underlying servers. Fargate powers Amazon's recommendation engine, so it's secure and reliable.

Kubernetes by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation is open-source software designed to deploy containers at scale. Businesses can run any containerized app, both on-premises and on the cloud.

The Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS) is a managed platform on which to deploy Kubernetes applications.

It works alongside Fargate and integrates with AWS Identity and Access Management services. Developers can also migrate to EKS without having to rewrite code.

Cloud Native Architecture with Serverless

The AWS Serverless Application Model (SAM) lets developers build serverless applications quickly. With its function-as-a-service Lambda, a few lines of code go a long way.

The open-source SAM framework works with Amazon's API Gateway that can build secure and scalable interfaces. Cloud native applications can 'talk' with these APIs to access data and business logic without knowing how they work.

AWS Lambda

Cloud native development tools like AWS Lambda let you write and run small code functions cheaply. It integrates with a vast number of AWS services enabling the building of complex cloud native applications.

The system can also trigger other AWS services. And cloud native applications built with Lambda and API Gateway can be called from any mobile or web app.

With Lambda, there's no administration of servers, and you only pay for the compute time you use.

Migrating to AWS

Pilotcore is a strong advocate of AWS, and we encourage our customers to migrate their systems to Amazon's platform.

We build Cloud native apps using AWS's feature-rich tools. That includes migrating to Lambda and making the best use of S3.

And we ensure you get the best deal possible – up to 72% savings!

Cloud Native AWS Experts

This article has explored cloud native technologies and what is a cloud native application.

You now understand the benefits of building cloud native architecture and applications in the cloud. You can also see how AWS paves the way for scalable and Agile applications. Isn't it time to contact the Cloud native experts with all of the terrific advantages on offer?

Pilotcore offers complete services to help you take your applications cloud-native.

We use AWS to host and build our clients' cloud native applications. We help them migrate their existing data and services to Amazon's public cloud platform. We even analyze their expenses to achieve the lowest possible costs with the highest possible ROI.

From custom Cloud native app development to expert knowledge, Pilotcore can help your business soar into the cloud.

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