What exactly is cloud development, and why should you do it for the cloud?

What are the advantages of developing on the cloud?

The terms “cloud development” and “in-cloud development” are interchangeable. The latter is less frequent, but it clarifies the distinction between building cloud software and constructing cloud infrastructure, which are two very different things.

Whatever language is used, the idea is that if an app is designed to function in the cloud, it is often significantly more efficient to create and test it in the same cloud environment.

There have been a number of changes in recent years that have led to the tardy mainstreaming of cloud development, which has been available for over ten years but has yet to establish itself as the software development standard:

The emergence of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offerings, which are cloud-based software applications at their core
As a matter of course, a rising number of businesses now operate all of their software on the cloud.

Software is typically independent of its run-time environment thanks to container technologies like Kubernetes and Docker.

Containerisation also allows for the creation of a local cloud environment that closely resembles the ultimate production environment, reducing cloud platform expenses for development and testing.

More complicated software that uses microservices and AI/ML and requires more computational power than normal personal PCs can provide.

Cloud prices have decreased, so even if each developer in a team has their own cloud environment, this is no longer an expense.

Cloud Development’s Advantages

The aforementioned are’macro’ trends that have emerged in recent years, promoting the adoption of cloud development and cloud native development as a norm.

The following are some of the intrinsic benefits of cloud development that these trends have influenced:

Collaboration is facilitated through standardisation. 

Cloud computing has sparked a parallel growth in software design, resulting in the gradual disaggregation of programmes into smaller components, or building blocks. Monolithic application designs and architectures, in which the whole of a program’s code was packed and ran as a single unit, were inherently compatible with mainframe systems’ intrinsic features.

Apps were first broken down into modular structures by distributed client-server systems and browser-based web applications, which divided functionality among parts. Cloud platforms such as AWS began to provide a broader ecosystem of services, ranging from managed database and analytics services to container runtime environments and serverless operations, after initially focusing only on data storage and processing capacity.

This standardisation is made feasible by the fact that a cloud environment is free of the complications introduced by variances in hardware and operating systems.

Simultaneously, coding frameworks and libraries gained popularity, such as the famous JavaScript examples of Angular and React.

Frameworks and libraries also standardise code chunks or modules for common user-facing functions.

As a consequence, both the front-end and back-end of applications have become more granularized. And, like Lego or Meccano, these little bricks have been standardised. They’re granular enough that they may be put together in a variety of ways to reach the desired final effect.

Standardization in software development, as well as the ability to provide colleagues immediate access to a cloud environment where work is being done, allows team members to share their work and provide help to one another more effectively.

Because of the high quality of cloud development, new and enhanced modes of cooperation have emerged among not just development teams. It has paved the way for DevOps, or the integration of development, testing, and operations into a single team with the same end goal in mind: dependable, highly available, and high-quality software that meets the needs of the end user. Finally, the sponsoring organisation saves money on development and operations.

Creating a Culture of DevOps  : The cloud, particularly cloud-native development, aids in the adoption of a DevOps strategy to software development. Developing for the cloud entails using a comparable environment throughout an application’s lifetime, from development to integration to testing, deployment, and production. This reduces the amount of defects and other problems that might appear in production while also encouraging a DevOps culture.

DevOps isn’t required for cloud and cloud-native development. Furthermore, not every DevOps organisation or software development team that follows less formalised DevOps methodology and concepts solely creates cloud-first software.

Cloud development and DevOps procedures, on the other hand, are a natural fit.

The standardisation of cloud services and the integration of development, testing, and operations environments make adhering to DevOps concepts and practises simpler. Similarly, as part of a CI/CD pipeline, cloud-native development benefits from standardised, repeatable, and automated DevOps methods that minimise deployment cycles.

Higher-quality software that is less expensive to develop and maintain Cloud development and DevOps allow CI/CD (Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery) pipelines, which naturally fit into the Agile software development approach. The cost of developing and deploying software in tiny functional iterations, or Sprints in Agile language, is significantly lower. It does this by assisting in the avoidance of time and money spent building unneeded or inefficient capabilities. Or developing a final product that is lacking capabilities or other characteristics that are later discovered to be important and are more difficult to include retroactively.

Test automation, which Google’s State of DevOps 2019 research indicates has a large influence on CD, is also possible and naturally with cloud-based CI/CD (cost of development).

The effect of cloud-based development on application operation expenses is also properly summarised in the study by:

Giving users insight into how their infrastructure is being used: Increasing efficiency in software architecture design “How can cloud-based teams effectively predict and control their costs?” It’s most likely because the cloud gives developers and IT operations experts more insight into infrastructure utilisation and expense. Because of the improved visibility and awareness, we can modify how we construct and develop our systems while also aligning incentives.”

“While this fluctuation may seem confusing and overwhelming to people unfamiliar with this new financial model, teams may profit from efficient design by only paying for the computing resources they utilise.”

“By contrast, in conventional setups, the data centre is often a ‘black box,’ with information regarding processing and cycle cost difficult or impossible to get. Furthermore, because of the nature of capital expenditures, there are no incentives to being aggressively efficient with design after infrastructure is acquired.”

“Capital costs are a fixed cost in this regard—predictable and acknowledged in advance, but seldom apparent to the engineering team and hard to avoid even if more efficient solutions are adopted.”

Finally, the benefits of cloud development, such as a single environment for development, testing, and operations, as well as the promotion of DevOps practises and improved collaboration circumstances through “anywhere access” and standardisation, ensure that apps fail less often. And when they do, they are usually healed considerably faster.

What’s the Difference Between Cloud and Cloud-Native Development?
Cloud development, also known as cloud-based development or cloud-native development, are terms that are often interchanged. There are, nevertheless, significant differences between the two. Simply said, cloud development is developing code on the cloud or on a local system that is directly linked to the cloud environment, from which it is then transferred for testing.

Only a browser or online interface linked to a cloud-based infrastructure is required for cloud development.

Cloud-native development is a subset of cloud development that focuses on what software is created rather than how it is created.

Cloud-native development is defined as contain-based, dynamically coordinated software development using a microservices-based architecture, according to the Kubernetes and Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) groups.

There is a case to be made that ‘container-native development’ is a more precise and less confusing word than cloud-native development.

The advantages of elastic scalability and high availability of cloud infrastructures are mirrored in cloud-native application design, which is built on dynamically managed containers. Containers aren’t used in standard cloud development designs, which depend on the cloud infrastructure for scalability and high availability.

The distinction between conventional and cloud native application development is summarised by Rackspace as follows:

  • Virtual machines are used in traditional app development.
  • Warehouses of data
  • Monitoring of security
  • Development of a waterfall
  • Migrations
  • App Development on the Cloud
  • Lakes of data
  • Agile development and security automation
  • Cloud Containers and serverless development for native apps
  • Lakes of data
  • Automated security
  • Development that is iterative
  • Pipelines for CI/CD

In conclusion, cloud development considers the managed cloud environment to be a direct substitute for the on-premise server. It reduces the initial cost required to set up on-premise server capacity.

It also enables for scalability in terms of processing power and data storage capacity, lowering the chance of disruptions during high demand periods. The core app architecture, on the other hand, is substantially the same as it would be in a typical app.

Cloud-native development takes full use of the cloud environment by including cloud services and functionalities into the app’s design and integrating development, testing, and deployment environments, enabling CI/CD pipelines.

Cloud Native Development’s Crucial Elements
To be termed ‘cloud native,’ an application’s architecture and development process must have the majority of the following elements:

  • Containers\sMicroservices
  • CI/CD pipeline without servers
  • Processes used in DevOps

Let’s look at each of these components in further depth:

The services that the application requires to execute, such as load balancing and networking, are housed in the virtual containers of cloud native development. Containerisation’s main benefit is that it makes a programme portable, allowing it to function in any cloud environment with no integration effort.

Container management services are available from major cloud platform providers such as AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform, which free up engineering resources. For increased flexibility, containers may also be handled using commodity services in a DIY fashion. It’s typically a trade-off between convenience, control, and expense to determine how much of an app’s infrastructure is managed by its owners and how much is outsourced to a cloud provider.

Traditional monolithic app development has the benefit of being simpler to create, maintain, and deploy at first. Because all functions are created as a single, interconnected entity, there are various interdependencies, which means that modifying one might have an affect on the others. This may lead to failures, or it can prevent them with a lot of effort.

In a microservices architecture, on the other hand, each application’s functionality is contained inside its own container as a stand-alone service. APIs link them together to form a functional app.

Microservices have the benefit of allowing new features and functionality to be created and added to an application much more rapidly, simply, and with less chance of interfering with current capabilities. When an application can be tweaked or expanded much more easily, a bigger initial investment pays off.

Microservices have come into their own in today’s agile development environment, where programmes are delivered as rapidly as possible and then changed and expanded when capabilities and features are provided proof-of-concept in a real-world context. It’s unusual for an app to be introduced without the expectation of being updated and expanded.

‘Serverless’ indicates that the cloud provider operates the server and oversees the allocation of machine resources on a ‘as needed’ basis, rather than the application’s operations team. Rather than referring to the presence of a server, the ‘…less’ alludes to the transfer of responsibilities.

A substantial chunk of operations management is outsourced to the cloud platform in a serverless cloud computing execution paradigm, allowing DevOps teams to concentrate on the code rather than the run-time environment. This increases the efficiency and security of the development workflow. It also reduces expenses by reducing the time and specialised knowledge required to maintain an application operating on in-house server resources. Server resource pricing based on what is really utilised results in cost reductions and scalability.

CI/CD stands for continuous integration and continuous delivery.
Continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) practises, which are a key component of cloud native development, contribute to higher-quality apps and quicker, more reliable upgrades.

A CI/CD pipeline automates DevOps process by beginning to test as soon as any code is updated or added to the app, using cloud native tools and services like Jenkins. Once testing is complete, changes and new code blocks are immediately published to the production environment.

The ultimate result is a ‘continuous’ flow of new updates and features, as the name of CI/CD practises suggests. Rather of releasing new versions of a programme every several months or even longer periods.

DevOps has previously been mentioned as a vital connection between cloud native development and a DevOps methodology to building and operating apps. In summary, DevOps is best described as an organisational cultural change that encompasses a work environment and a set of practises, supported by tools, that enable development and operations teams to collaborate as a single entity with one goal in mind: delivering and updating high-quality, high-availability, and secure software more quickly.

Cloud Native Development’s Advantages
The advantages of cloud, or in-cloud, development have previously been discussed. The automation that comes with cloud native development provides another layer of advantages:

Cloud native developers now have more time to concentrate on the code itself, thanks to server restrictions, time spent maintaining infrastructure, the emergence of CI/CD pipelines, and self-healing, auto-scaling apps.

From the advent of controlled agriculture, which resulted in a food surplus, to more modern advances such as the combustion engine, electricity, and eventually digital services and goods, the history of mankind illustrates that reallocating time in one area leads to new invention in other areas.

Cloud native development’s efficiency are no exception. They will free up time for your team to concentrate on enhancing current products and developing better, more inventive new ones, rather than managing server resources and manual testing and deployment.

Releases that are more rapid
New goods and services may be brought to market quicker because to the increased business agility and momentum that comes from being able to deliver releases daily rather than monthly or at even longer intervals. Then it was immediately enhanced. That adaptability may be the difference between success and failure in today’s digital world.

Elasticity and Scalability
Automated scaling based on infrastructure resource usage enables businesses to develop new goods and services while reducing costs and improving performance.

DevOps practises and automations open up new possibilities for improving manual operations throughout an organisation. This enhanced productivity will benefit both employees and customers by resulting in higher-quality goods that are updated and published more often and with less friction.

Adopting A Cloud Native Development Approach Has Its Drawbacks
As we’ve seen, properly managed and deployed cloud native development may result in significant organisational and product benefits. However, any change to engrained procedures and technology in an organization’s status quo is fraught with difficulties.

What are some of the primary obstacles you should be aware of and prepared to address if you want to design your next software as a cloud native app?

Culture Shift
DevOps procedures will likely result in some substantial changes in team structures and responsibilities, whether as part of a complete transition to become a DevOps organisation or informally. These aren’t just cosmetic improvements; they’re part of a new cultural approach to shared accountability and common objectives.

If negative friction and more teething difficulties than required are to be avoided, any substantial cultural shift inside an organisation must be carefully handled.

Skills Discrepancy
If your current development and operations teams have never produced cloud native apps before, they will almost certainly need training or other assistance to close a skills gap.

To design your cloud native application, you’ll need a DevOps/cloud native architect, someone(s) to ensure DevOps practises are followed, and expertise and experience with cloud native/DevOps technologies like Kubernetes, Docker, Jenkins, and others that your in-house team may not have.

Infrastructure and Applications from the Past
Legacy apps and systems that are interwoven with infrastructure are common in organisations shifting to a DevOps/cloud native approach to development. If these programmes and systems are mission-critical, as they very probably will be, they must either be kept in place or transferred to the cloud.

It might be difficult to move outdated programmes and systems to a cloud-native platform. It may be required, though, if they have a long-term future. Finally, a choice must be taken on which old systems and applications should be future-proofed by moving to a cloud native/DevOps architecture. And which should be kept in their heritage form till their lifespan is through.

Much of the hard work in terms of application security is delegated to the cloud platform provider in cloud native development. That isn’t to say that security isn’t a concern, or that procedures don’t need to be well-developed. Cloud native comes with a variety of security concerns that must be addressed via procedures.

If your cloud native application works with sensitive data, such as data that must comply with laws, you may require a multi or hybrid cloud architecture that separates workloads across public and private clouds, or even incorporates a physical server.

How these and other obstacles are handled will have a big impact on how smoothly a transition to a cloud native/DevOps development methodology goes and how fast the benefits are realised.

Are You Prepared to Develop in the Cloud?
There is no question that cloud native development will become the future (and increasingly the current) standard for the bulk of new software projects and legacy migrations. The advantages of cloud infrastructure as well as DevOps/cloud native development methodologies and automation are obvious.

The dilemma for businesses now is how to effectively manage the cultural and talent shift to a DevOps culture and cloud native development.

The DevOps and cloud native consultants, architects, and software engineers at Serverlt.com can assist you in managing and bridging the move to a future-proofed company or organisation.

Please let us know how we can assist you. We’d be delighted to. Get in contact with us!