Lead Image © krisckam, 123RF.com

Lead Image © krisckam, 123RF.com

The utility of native cloud applications

Partly Cloudy

Article from ADMIN 38/2017
Not all of a company's applications are suitable for the cloud, but what characterizes native cloud applications and what causes conventional programs to fail in the cloud?

Many standard applications are very difficult to roll out in a cloud, and the more specific the use case (i.e., software developed in your own organization years ago and adapted to your requirements), the more likely it will run only within its original environment.

Native cloud applications distinguish themselves from traditional applications, in that you can roll them out easily in almost any cloud stack and automatically leverage the available services. In this article, I consider the question of how clouds differ from traditional virtualization and how important these differences are for software that you want to run in a cloud. I also look into what programmers should consider from the outset to prepare an application for use in clouds.

Flexibility Is a Prerequisite

In the cloud community, they say, it is all about cats and cattle. Cats are classical physical or virtual systems that the admin sets up manually, with great attention to detail: A cat is raised by hand, it is given a name, and goes to the vet if it is sick. The corresponding virtual machines (VMs) are also unique and given special treatment. They cannot be recovered easily, for example, because they contain transactional data. Typically when they break, at least part of the entire platform grinds to a standstill. You can't stretch the metaphor beyond this point, because providers typically design special-purpose VMs of this type redundantly, so they survive even the failure of critical infrastructure, such as the hardware.

Clouds need more flexibility. Each VM is ideally the result of a defined and precisely reproducible process, in the course of which it is generated automatically. At any time, it is possible to expand an existing virtual instance, adding another instance of the same type with the same configuration.

This requirement accommodates the very limited likelihood of the availability of individual

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