What is cloud native and why does your business need it?

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Your potential customers expect digital products that are even more efficient, accessible and cheap. To meet these needs, highlighted more so during the coronavirus pandemic, company software development and maintenance, as well as data processing, should be fast, cost-effective, compliant with end users’ needs, together with the highest service quality possible. This has all been made attainable thanks to cloud native computing. So, what is cloud native and what benefits does it offer?  

Both micro-companies and large enterprises such as Amazon, eBay and Netflix, have successfully used cloud technologies in software development, application management and Big Data processing. 

From the outset, Stepwise has been committed to smooth and iterative software development process, cloud solutions, application containerisation, and the advanced DevOps culture. Contemporary market trends have confirmed our initial predictions of development in the technological market. The number of companies using cloud native computing in the creation and development of premium quality digital products increases every year.  

What is cloud native?

Cloud Native involves the development of innovative and easily scalable software in a cloud infrastructure. One of the main assets of this solution is the possibility to integrate the many various tools and open source technologies. It allows owners of digital products to concentrate on running their businesses and developing applications. The location of files and applications is of less significance because public clouds (most popular), private and hybrid clouds can be utilised here.

Software development using cloud native enables taking full advantage of cloud services, not just thanks to the major suppliers in the market, such as Google and Amazon, but also to on-premise clouds (where companies give other enterprises access to their servers).  

What is cloud native at Stepwise? By definition, this approach is intended to accelerate the software development process, increase application efficiency and performance, as well as reduce costs related to production and maintenance of digital products. At Stepwise we pay a great deal of attention to high quality services and products, which is why we consistently base our cloud native system on a few key pillars. 

The four pillars of cloud native at Stepwise

1. Microservice architecture

Applications are broken down into smaller independent “mini-applications”. This approach solves many problems generated within the old monolithic attitude of an application created as a single unified unit. Tests of this software unit were much more infrequent than in the case of new methods. Any code changes may likely have influenced the remaining functionalities of the application and thus impede project development. After implementing the software most often on physical servers, an increasing amount of data would overload the space and processors of the machines, and scaling was time-consuming and complex. 

The new cloud native approach consists in developing software as several smaller independent services that communicate with each other but operate as one unit. If necessary, they can be relatively easily scaled, developed and arbitrarily arranged. Each element has a specific individual task. Changes made in one microservice do not interfere with the other microservice components. 

Microservice architectures can become complex and therefore require technological competence and particular knowledge. With cloud native, Stepwise is able to build software in a considerably more efficient manner and modify the direction of development of particular functionalities at any time. 

An application broken down into microservices also facilitates monitoring of the entire system. You can control the loads of individual components in real time and quickly eliminate any problems. Cloud native digital projects can be flexibly scaled. In addition, you can develop specific components of the system instead of the entire code, which greatly reduces time and costs.

2. Application containerisation

Software is packed in containers. Stepwise is able to prepare a specially designated sealed surrounding for your application. This facilitates digital project development, regardless of its environment. IT projects can be easily scalable and moved between various runtime environments. 

The potential of containerisation has already been uptaken by many companies. According to a study by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNFC) carried out in 2020 to quantify the use of cloud native, over the last 5 years the use of containers for software development has increased by as much as 300%. The use of Kubernetes also increases every year.

Kubernetes is an open source platform for managing the tasks and processes of containerised applications. This tool enables Stepwise to efficiently configure and automate cloud operations.

Containerised applications operate independently of the end users’ systems. Instead of worrying about adjusting a digital product to particular devices, you can focus on improving such aspects as UX and optimising the business model. A system of containers may be wide spread yet all the elements are managed in one location – a cluster. A lot of processes related to container management can be automated. A correctly configurated cloud infrastructure will add the required computing power to your cluster to guarantee the efficient operation of your cloud native application. 

Other advantages of containerisation include a faster execution of digital projects, significant reduction of software development costs, and increased data security. Get to know other benefits of application containerisation and find out more on Kubernetes [link to article “What is Kubernetes…”].

3. Cloud native applications satisfy the conditions of a continuous delivery

Applications at Stepwise are created using a development-build-test-deployment-release loop. This system significantly accelerates software development. We usually divide digital projects into two-week runs that allow us to check and correct the product development on a current basis.

In a study carried out by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, 82% of the respondents confirmed use of the CI/CD (continuous integration / continuous delivery) approach in software development. This unique method enables the dynamic development of projects in cloud native. Its objective is to frequently test solutions, to ensure the high quality of code and give customers constant access to the project progress. In this way, Stepwise builds open trust-based cooperation with customers. 

4. Native applications

In the past, the infrastructure used to be maintained by a range of specialists. It was necessary to employ additional staff such as system administrators. In the cloud native approach, applications can be managed by Kubernetes. Monitoring, uploading corrections and controlling the system specification can be delegated to machines. Kubernetes is a solution that allows for the much more efficient software management, which is why the IT specialists in your team can concentrate on the development of your digital product.  

Cloud native offers a wide range of proven tools for application development, data management and Big Data processing. It is worth using if you would like to accelerate work in your company and increase profits.

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Benefits of cloud native for business

Switching to cloud native is not straightforward. It is very often connected with a change in attitude toward software development. Despite more freedom in action, this methodology requires a specific discipline. For this reason, Stepwise has developed optimum cloud native project practices that can also be used by our customers (from many different sectors). 

The benefits of cloud native:

  • Time-efficiency
  • Cost-efficiency
  • Increased production capacity
  • Easy project scaling
  • Comfortable software management
  • Accelerated digital transformation of the company
  • Earlier readiness for new customers (regardless of their number).

Monoliths blocked the development of digital products while there was insufficient computing power. Correct configuration of cloud services allows for automatic scaling, even with a sudden spike in active users. 

There are so many benefits of cloud native that they should definitely be considered by those companies keeping an open mind, looking far and wide, and wanting to deliver the best services to customer possible. This impacts not only technological start-ups, but any company that uses software. Cloud native software can be developed much faster. There is a wide array of tools that do not require building infrastructure or code from the ground up. You can use cloud services from external suppliers or create a cloud on your own servers. You have the possibility to scale digital products an infinite number of times. 

The benefits of this solution are an endless topic, yet this amount of information should be sufficient to realize what cloud native is and why your business needs it. If you are ready to develop your company using the most innovative cloud solutions, you are welcome to contact us. It will be our pleasure to discuss potential areas of cooperation!

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