Benefits of cloud are no more limited to shared infrastructure to host an application. Cloud-native, that leverages loosely-coupled components of cloud for application development is gaining grounds in the software industry due to its exponential scalability and increased robustness.
Enabling applications to scale resources with demand surge, self-managing and reliable infrastructure with automation are some of the convincing reasons to move from on-premise development model to cloud-native.
This segment introduces you to cloud-native applications, their advantage over on-premise application development, and some of the best AWS services to get started with cloud-native application development.
What are Cloud-Native Applications?
Cloud Native Applications refers to a type of application that natively utilizes services and infrastructure provided by cloud computing providers, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Google Cloud Platform (GCP).
It can also be referred to as an approach to building and running applications that utilize the nature and characteristics of cloud, resulting in processes and workflow that takes full advantage of the platform.
- Cloud-native applications are dynamically orchestrated using computing services on cloud. They are loosely coupled, i.e. they are not hard-wired to the infrastructure components and therefore, helps in scaling an app up or down, as the requirement strikes.
- Cloud-native applications are developed using every modern tool and technology, including DevOps, Agile methodology, cloud platforms (AWS, GCP, Azure), microservices, containers (like Docker, Kubernetes), and continuous delivery.
Cloud Native vs on-Premise Applications
- Development Language
- Dynamic Scalability
Cloud-native applications make the most of the elasticity offered by cloud through expansion of resources, as the demand strikes. If cloud-based applications experience a surge in usage, they can be set to use extra compute resources until there is a spike in usage. The extended resources can be turned down when the spike subsides. With cloud-native apps, there is an advantage to scale the applications dynamically.
Cloud-native applications can work in a virtualized space and also share resources with other apps. On-premise apps, on the other hand, have limitations with virtual environments and may require a non-virtual space for development.
- Network and Storage Connection
On-premise apps are rigid in terms of setting connections with network resources, such as security, permissions, networks, and storage. Since most of the resources are hard-coded, they are generally immutable. In cases like re-platforming, it is important for applications to accommodate the changes in networking, storage, or database technologies. In cloud native apps, network and storage connections are quite flexible.
- Modular vs Monolithic Design
Cloud-native applications are modular while on-premise apps have a monolithic design. Cloud native applications have their functions broken down into microservices. This way some part of the services can be shut down when not needed and any update will be rolled out to a specific module, without affecting the performance of the entire application.
Considering the differences between on-premise and cloud-native apps, the approach for cloud-native application development is quite different as well. The later segment is your guide to build a cloud-native application on one of the leading cloud computing platforms- Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Building Cloud Native Applications on AWS
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a cloud computing platform that offers a mix of infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and packaged software as a service (SaaS) services. AWS has more than 1 million active customers in 190 countries, with a revenue of $6.1 billion.
It offers a wide range of services, solutions, and training programs that enables development teams to stay product focused, rather than investing time on infrastructure to support an application. In case you are looking forward to building a cloud-native application on AWS, these are some of the best services that can help to boost application performance.
1. Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3)
Amazon S3 is scalable, low-cost, web-based cloud storage service that is designed for online backup and archiving of data & application programs. S3 is an object storage service and is quite different from conventional file or block cloud storage system. In S3, the object is stored as a file and its metadata is given an ID number. Applications use this ID number to access an object through Rest APIs. S3 facilitates to upload, store, or download any file or object of up to 5GB size.
2. Amazon CloudFront CDN
Amazon CloudFront is a global CDN service that helps in secure delivery of data, videos, applications, and APIs, ensuring low latency and high transfer speed. CloudFront CDN offers support for both static and dynamic content, along with application-level and network-level protection. With AWS CDN, the sudden surge (or spikes) in the traffic can be managed efficiently.
3. AWS Lambda
AWS Lambda is a compute service that enable developers to run code, without having to manage servers. This service executes a code, only when needed and scales automatically- ranging from few requests per day to thousands per second. AWS supports code written in variety of languages, including Python, NodeJS, Java, C# etc. Developers can use compiler tools, such as Gradle or Maven and packages to build functions.
4. Amazon Elastic Load Balancing (ELB)
Elastic Load Balancing (ELB) is a load-balancing service for AWS deployments, which automatically distributes the incoming traffic and scales the resources, as the demand comes in. The application traffic is distributed across multiple channels, such as containers, EC2 instances, and IP addresses.
5. Amazon Simple Notification System (SNS)
Amazon SNS is a cloud service for coordinating the delivery of push notifications for applications to subscribing endpoints or clients. The SNS service uses APIs or AWS Management console for pushing messaging to Google, Apple, Windows, or internet-connected smart devices.
6. Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS)
Amazon SQS is a message queueing service that enable developers to decouple and scale microservices, distributed systems, and serverless applications. SQS eliminates the overhead associated with management and operations of message-oriented middleware, so that messages can be sent, stored, or received between software components at any volume.
7. Amazon Simple Email Service (SES)
Amazon SES allows building email functionality into applications deployed on AWS. SES uses API calls or SMTP for sending emails with high delivery rate and also offers immediate access to email-sending statistics.
8. Amazon Cognito
Amazon Cognito is an AWS product that help developers to accelerate their mobile app development process. It controls user authentication and access to mobile apps on internet connected devices. By synchronizing end-user data with Cognito services, developers can focus on writing codes, instead of managing the backend infrastructure.
9. Amazon Route 53
Amazon Route53 is a scalable Domain Name System (DNS) service that offer businesses and developers a secure way to direct end users to applications. This is done by translating domain names into numeric IP addresses, which is how computers connect to each other.
10. Amazon Machine Learning
Amazon Machine Learning is a managed service, enabling developers to build ML models and generate predictions, without requiring to have extensive background in ML algorithms and techniques. Building ML models with Amazon Machine Learning involves data analysis, model training, and evaluation for which interactive, visual tools are provided to developers.
While these AWS services are a great support in building cloud-native applications, the approach to developing and deploying apps on AWS is different from that of traditional, on-premises apps. An AWS Consulting Partner can offer technical assistance on cloud-native application development or migrating an existing application to the cloud.