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How to achieve efficiency and scalability with Cloud Native

Cloud Native is a term that describes the approach of designing and running applications that take full advantage of the cloud computing model. Cloud Native applications are built to be scalable, resilient, and agile, using cloud services and technologies that enable faster delivery and innovation. Cloud Native applications are not just hosted on the Cloud; they are optimized for the Cloud.

In this article, we dive into the advantages of cloud-native over traditional infrastructures, and we share our key insights and principles for transitioning to Cloud Native.

Reading time 4 minutes. Published: 22 February 2024

The benefits of Cloud Native

Why does Cloud Native matter? It can help you achieve more efficiency and scalability in your public cloud usage. Efficiency means that you can use cloud resources more effectively, reducing costs. Scalability means that you can handle more traffic and demand, increasing performance and availability. Cloud Native can also help you improve your reliability, security, and operational excellence, especially when you leverage the best practices and tools provided by the Cloud provider.  

After years of supporting customers, we see these key benefits of Cloud Native: 

  • Increased scalability. 
  • Sustainability (your business and the climate). 
  • Decrease in overhead and costs. 
  • Easier development, and faster time to market for new features. 

That is just to name a few. Let’s take a look at what this means for the infrastructure.

On-premise infrastructure vs Cloud Native

On-premise environments often rely on traditional architectures, which have a fixed and predictable infrastructure. Migrating an on-premise environment to the Cloud doesn’t automatically imply your architectures fully leverage all of the Cloud's features and benefits.  

They often create more overhead, as they need more maintenance, configuration, and management. For instance, a monolithic application architecture on the Cloud may lead to over-provisioning, under-utilization, or performance bottlenecks, as the application cannot adjust to the demand by scaling up or down dynamically.  

Traditional applications may also struggle on the Cloud, as they may not follow the principles of Cloud Native development, such as microservices, containers, and DevOps. These principles can help you build more modular, resilient, and agile applications that can harness the Cloud's capabilities.  

For example, microservices and containers can help you split your application into smaller and independent units that can be deployed, scaled, and updated independently. DevOps can help you automate and streamline your delivery pipeline, allowing faster and more frequent releases. 


Becoming Cloud Native on Azure 

Becoming Cloud Native on Azure requires a shift in mindset and culture, as well as a change in technology and architecture. It takes both development (Dev) and operations (Ops) to work together to make this happen.  

But where do you start? Concepts such as the well-architected framework help you determine your baseline and identify the room for improvement. Most importantly, your software architecture and Azure infrastructure integrate seamlessly. When we look at the technology stack on Microsoft Azure, we are generally talking about microservices, serverless technologies, and containerized workloads.  


Microservices on Azure

Using microservices in your software architecture is a good first step toward Cloud Native. You certainly don't have to start from scratch, redeveloping your entire software. You often spread the process out over several years, where the underlying infrastructure based on microservices can help speed up the process and quickly leverage the benefits of Cloud Native.

Serverless technologies on Azure

Serverless technologies on Azure allow you to run your code without worrying about the infrastructure, scaling, or provisioning. You only pay for the resources you use, and you benefit from the high availability, security, and performance of Azure.  

Azure offers various serverless options, such as Azure Functions, Logic Apps, Event Grid, and Service Bus, that enable you to build event-driven, resilient, and scalable applications. You can use these services to orchestrate complex workflows, integrate with other systems, process large volumes of data, and respond to real-time events.

Containers on Azure 

Containers are another way to embrace the concepts of Cloud Native on Azure. Containers are lightweight and portable packages of software that can run anywhere, from your laptop to the Cloud. Azure offers various services to help you manage and run your containers, such as Azure Container Registry, Azure Container Instances, and Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS).  

AKS is a fully managed service that lets you deploy and manage containerized applications using the popular open-source Kubernetes platform. Azure Container Apps is a new service that combines the benefits of serverless and containers, offering a fast and simple way to deploy your containerized applications at scale, with dynamic scaling, event-driven scaling, and enterprise-grade security.

Cloud Native Computing Foundation

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) is a leading organization that promotes the adoption and innovation of Cloud Native technologies. The CNCF hosts and supports several open-source projects that provide the essential tools and best practices for developing, deploying, and operating Cloud Native applications on Azure and other platforms. These projects enable you to build and run Cloud Native applications faster and more efficiently.  

Fun fact: Microsoft actively develops new open-source projects and donates them to the CNCF.  

The results are worth it! 

Cloud Native is not just a buzzword, it is a strategic advantage that can help you optimize your public cloud usage and deliver more value to your customers. By adopting Cloud Native on Azure, you can benefit from the efficiency and scalability that the Cloud offers, as well as the reliability, security, and operational excellence that Azure provides.

Romy Balvers

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