Top 5 Benefits of a Cloud-Native Architecture

Cloud-native architecture is the foundation of any cloud-native infrastructure and upon this foundation, companies build applications that are more scalable, flexible, and resilient than their traditional counterparts. Like cloud-native design patterns and applications, cloud-native architecture is based around the DevOps way of software development (which itself is an extension of agile development).

In short, DevOps allows companies to build an environment where the development team and operations team work in harmony, instead of working against each other (which is often the case in traditional infrastructures). When companies adopt this framework along with a cloud-native architecture, they benefit from improvements in all aspects of software development.

In this article, we’ll take a look at a few of these benefits in the context of a legacy business that is migrating to a cloud-native architecture.

1.    Reduced cost

The biggest and most evident improvement legacy businesses see by adopting a cloud-native architecture is a significant reduction in software development spend. Some of the obvious reductions in IT costs come from not having to maintain and upgrade the on-premises hardware and software. Additionally, businesses no longer need a full-time expert IT staff.

A big part of the cost savings from cloud-native architecture comes from the pay-as-you-go pricing that many cloud vendors (like GCP) provide. Unlike on-premises hardware where businesses pay fixed costs regardless of the load, businesses only pay for the cloud computing resources they use under a pay-as-you-go scheme.

2.    Increased scalability

Before migrating to the cloud, a business’ scalability is limited by its on-premises hardware solutions. But with cloud computing, the company no longer needs to worry about expanding their resources manually - the cloud does it for them. Google Cloud Platform does this through autoscaling and other cloud vendors have similar features as well.

Pair autoscaling with the pay-as-you-go pricing and companies have an unmatched performance-to-cost ratio.

3.    Faster development with Microservices

A cloud-native architecture (serverless) can boost productivity levels within software development teams significantly with the use of microservices because unlike monolithic architecture where collaboration is difficult, cloud-native architecture allows a much higher degree of collaboration.

Think of microservices as isolated, self-sufficient features that when used together create a complete application. In fact, each team can work on a different microservice (feature) that can be added to or removed from the main codebase with a very little coding (relatively to monolithic architecture).

In real-world usage, this means that companies:

  • have a much more streamlined codebase
  • can leverage remote teams
  • bring new features and updates to the market in far less time

4.    Greater reliability

Businesses, legacy or not, cannot afford downtime with so much competition in every industry. However, every update and feature increases the chances of bugs and glitches. This is where resilience, a core characteristic of all cloud-native applications, comes in.

The microservices architecture and design processes like Kubernetes are much more fault-tolerant and were built with reliability in mind. Due to the isolated nature of microservices, it’s much easier and faster to identify pieces of code that can be changed or shut down without having to restart the entire system.

Furthermore, cloud vendors have rigorous testing software built into the cloud ecosystem that can also be automated. Speaking of which…

5.    Automation

Cloud-native architecture can be heavily automated. Businesses can choose to automate pipelines for testing, deployment, and feedback. Even analytics and monitoring workflows can be automated. More importantly, this can all be done within the cloud ecosystem, without third-party software as cloud vendors like Google offer hundreds of tools that come bundled with your cloud account.

Adopting a cloud-native architecture

The only potential “downside” of adopting a cloud-native architecture is the initial cloud migration cost. Even though cloud computing is currently one of the fastest-growing technologies, one can see why businesses are hesitant toward cloud migration and cloud computing - it costs (upfront) money and opens up an entirely new, intimidating world of emerging technologies.

However, nothing great was ever achieved without taking a risk - stepping into the unknown. And as far as business risks go, this one might be the safest bet out there. 

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