Strategies for transforming the existing Applications
Containerize the monolith. Reduce costs and simplify operations by moving applications to a cloud runtime. Majority of code can be reutilized while containerizing the same.
Expose on-premise assets with APIs. APIs enable legacy assets that are difficult to move to the cloud, thereby enabling a seamless connect between applications.
Refactor into macroservices. Break down monoliths into smaller deployable components which can independently exist, thereby enabling faster changes within individual components without the need to manage the whole code and deploying the whole code at one go. It also helps in the addition of new services without impacting existing services.
Strangle the monolith. Incrementally phase out the monolith, which cannot be converted to microservices.
Challenges while adopting Cloud-Native Development
Managing the business case
Making the business case for cloud-native requires thinking beyond just cost and operational efficiency to areas such as improved speed and business agility, a better customer experience, and a reduction of technical risk.
New complexities in platforms, operating models, and security also need to be managed. Multiple platforms need to be operated as companies wind down the old and spin up the new Platforms.
Finally, organization, people, and culture change needs to be effectively managed.
Roles and responsibilities are likely to change, as will skills definitions.
Principles and attributes of Cloud-Native Applications
Whether creating a new cloud-native application or modernizing an existing one, developers should consistently follow the below set of principles.
1. Follow the Microservices architectural approach.
Break applications down to microservices, which allows the incremental, automated, and continuous improvement of an application without causing downtime.
2. Rely on containers for maximum flexibility and scalability.
Containers package software with all its code and dependencies in one place, allowing the software to run anywhere. This allows maximum flexibility and portability in a hybrid multi-cloud environment. Containers also allow fast scaling up or down with Kubernetes container software as defined by the user.
3. Adopt agile methods.
Agile methods speed up the creation and improvement process. Developers can quickly iterate updates based on user feedback, allowing the working application version to match as closely as possible to user expectations.
IDC found that, by 2021, 80 percent of application development will take place on cloud platforms using microservices and cloud functions
Some Key attributes of well-written Applications
- Packaged as lightweight containers
- Developed with best-of-breed languages and frameworks
- Designed as loosely coupled microservices
- Centered around APIs for interaction and collaboration
- Architected with a clean separation of stateless and stateful services
- Isolated from server and operating system dependencies
- Deployed on self-service, elastic, cloud infrastructure
- Managed through agile DevOps processes
- Automated capabilities
- Defined, policy-driven resource allocation
Meeting the challenges of cloud-native development and making a strategic move will often necessitate changes to processes, operations, people, and culture.
Cloud-native is not just substituting one technology for another, nor is it just a different programming model. Companies should be prepared for more widespread change.
The skill requirements expectation gap is likely to increase dramatically. In fact, by 2020, it is estimated that more than a third of the desired skillsets of most jobs will comprise skills not yet considered crucial today.
Containers are technologies that allow packaging and isolation of applications with their entire runtime environment—all of the files necessary to run. This makes it easy to move the contained application between environments (dev, test, production, etc.) while retaining full functionality. Containers are also an important part of IT security. By building security into the container pipeline and defending infrastructure, one can make sure containers are reliable, scalable, and trusted.
Containers help reduce conflicts between development and operations teams by separating areas of responsibility. Developers can focus on their apps and operations can focus on the infrastructure. Container technologies—including CRI-O, Kubernetes, and Docker—help teams simplify, speed up, and orchestrate application development and deployment.
Already, 40 percent of employers report talent shortages and with significant upshifts
Actual development or programming should be driven by business events/requirements and serve business needs. These can include competitive or marketplace events; new products and services; innovation; and end-user/client/customer interactions
Architecture can be divided into four separate layers: application software development, service scaling, application network, and container orchestration platform.
Having the architectural tenets or paradigms in place is critical to true cloud-native computing.
Key Elements of App Modernization
In today’s technology era, cloud is the execution platform; to the left are DevOps processes, which are driven by agile development—all of which are a result of today’s microservices architectures, which are driven and invoked by business events.
IDC research has found that 100 percent of businesses with “optimized” cloud adoption (Organization-wide cloud strategies and policies) have adopted microservices compared to just 18 percent of those with an “ad hoc” approach-just lines of business or other groups experimenting with the cloud.