Pros and Cons of Cloud-native Applications
The cloud is everywhere — that’s what it was built for. Businesses enjoy major benefits by engaging with cloud computing, from worldwide accessibility to automatic backups and more. In fact, the cloud has proved such an incredible tool for businesses in the 21st century that many organizations are investing heavily in their cloud infrastructure and adopting only software tools that are native to the cloud.
Cloud-native applications have many benefits — but there are challenges associated with them, as well. Before your organization puts everything into cloud-native apps, you might want to consider the following pros and cons of these tools.
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Pro: Faster App Development
Faster app development is incredibly beneficial for businesses, which tend to demand the most cutting-edge software solutions to compete more effectively in their marketplaces. Cloud-native applications can be developed and released on a much shorter timeframe, allowing organizations to take advantage of the best app services almost as soon as they are completed.
Traditional software tends to be developed with a monolithic architecture, meaning that app services are bundled together, relying on a shared database and released as a single unit. In contrast, most cloud-native software uses a microservice-based architecture, in which different app functionalities are all but completely siloed. This means that developers of cloud-native apps can create and deploy services separately from one another, ensuring that businesses have access to the latest software as quickly as possible.
Pro: Easier App Updates
What’s more, the microservice-based architecture of cloud-native applications means that maintenance of this type of software is easier and faster. When a single service within a traditional, monolithic app needs improvement, the entire program must be taken down and patched, which means that businesses experience expensive downtime. With cloud-native apps, developers can pause a single service, allowing continued access to other services, so employees can continue using other elements of the application and maintain some level of productivity.
Pro: Greater App Customization
The ease with which developers can patch microservices within cloud-native apps also applies to the ease with which developers can modify those services for individual and unique applications. Not all businesses maintain identical processes because not all businesses are interested in accomplishing the same goals. Thus, many organizations benefit from bespoke applications, and cloud-native applications make it easier for businesses to obtain the customized services they need to boost productivity and improve operations.
The inherent security of cloud-native applications is remarkably weak. Cloud-native apps are incredibly complex, and with greater complexity comes greater difficulty in maintaining security. Microservice-based architectures have many vital components, which provide benefits in terms of development and use but downsides in that there are many more logical pieces to protect. In truth, cloud-native apps have enormous attack surfaces, and monitoring the entire program for vulnerabilities is impossible for most in-house IT teams considering their level of cybersecurity training. Businesses that want to integrate cloud-native apps need to invest in dedicated cloud-native application security solutions to keep not just their new software tools but their entire organizations safe.
Monolithic software has at least one benefit, and that is the inherent order that is maintained amongst business services and systems. Cloud-native apps which are decomposed into individual microservices nonetheless need to communicate with one another over a business network, and unfortunately, the disorganization of some business clouds cause problems with efficiency and effectiveness.
Many of the well-known fallacies associated with distributed computing models apply to cloud-native applications. For instance, many business leaders assume that their networks will be reliable enough to provide constant access to these critical applications or that they have essentially infinite bandwidth across their systems to run cloud-native apps without interruptions. It should go without saying that these assumptions are false.
Business leaders need plans for migrating from non-distributed computing models to distributed computing models, and the same goes for shifting to cloud-native apps. Avoiding disorganization and disorder is key to building a tech infrastructure that is both strong and secure now and into the future.
Cloud-native apps are almost certain to be the next evolution of cloud computing. The sooner business leaders begin considering how they might alter their infrastructure to take advantage of cloud-native apps, the better.