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Cloud-native integration is essential for the development of modern applications. Read on to understand where it fits in the new, cloud-native business world.


Why Cloud-Native Integration is Essential to Cloud-Native Application Development

Posted by Angela Davis on January 16, 2024
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Cloud-native integration is useful for eliminating the use of isolated software applications in business settings. Greater integration between services gives users and customers a better, more seamless experience, which in turn allows companies to be more competitive.

It can also help organizations cut costs by reducing their reliance on expensive systems hardware. As cloud-based applications run in off-site data centers, they reduce overheads by removing the need for on-premise hardware.

Read on to learn how to modernize your business with cloud-native integration.

What does cloud native mean?

To understand the benefits of cloud-native integration, we must first define the term. “Cloud native” refers to applications that are built for and run in remotely accessible off-site computing that’s known as the cloud. 

These apps benefit from the scalability, flexibility, and resiliency provided by the cloud. That’s why cloud-native integration is ideal for modern businesses, especially those striving for continuous improvement.

Cloud-native technologies are a perfect fit for the digital age. Customers and users expect continuous improvement, and cloud-native architecture allows your business to continuously alter and refine applications with ease. The cloud also allows this to be achieved with minimal interruption to services. This approach is known as continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD). 

With the cloud, you can achieve CI/CD at the pace your users demand. This is vital in a business landscape, where agility is essential. Additionally, big alterations become achievable without a huge increase in workload.

Understanding cloud-native application development

What are cloud-native applications?

Cloud-native integration requires a particular kind of application to function. 

Cloud-native apps are groups of independent small-scale programs. They’re also known as microservices. These programs are loosely connected but still able to share data between them. 

They do this using API-enabled communications. API stands for “application programming interface”. Their design takes full advantage of cloud technologies, enabling you to quickly respond to the needs of your users.


A diagram showing how cloud-native apps work

Image source

Cloud-native apps can run on public, private, or hybrid clouds. The fact that they're specifically designed for the cloud is important. It means they’re manageable, observable, and consistent in quality. They’re flexible too, only using the resources they need, when they need them. What’s more, this process is automatic. 

Cloud-native apps are designed to respond to spikes in demand. They do this through containerization and orchestration. Containers allow you to move applications to different cloud service providers. Orchestration, on the other hand, enables containers to communicate with one another. 

Six benefits of cloud-native applications

1. Cost

On-premise systems often require expensive software and hardware. In comparison, cloud-native applications run remotely from a provider’s data center. This means the provider bears the cost of any server infrastructure. It’s also easy to switch providers if you find a better deal. Additionally, you only use the resources you need, so you won’t pay for technology you don’t need if demand declines.

2. Development time

Connected to cost is the pace at which you can develop services. Faster development equals lower overheads, and cloud-native integration allows for an accelerated development cycle. The cloud’s adaptability is what makes development quicker than traditional methods. This is largely thanks to DevOps automation, which is achievable through cloud-native integration.

3. Customer experience

Customers are also empowered to provide feedback that app developers can quickly react to. For example, they can implement new features far faster when working in the cloud. 

Additionally, cloud-native integration allows apps and services to work seamlessly together, which provides an improved customer experience compared to more disjointed traditional approaches.

4. Reliability

Cloud-native integration offers increased reliability too, thanks to the way applications are built. Because they are broken down into microservices, each particular feature of the overall app is delivered separately. 

If something goes awry with a microservice, the issue can be isolated and fixed. With old-style applications, a small issue could cause the whole app to go down. With cloud-native options, however, the application can stay online and largely functional while the problem is fixed.

5. Security

Another advantage of cloud-native architecture is improved security. Again, this stems from the use of microservices.  

Each microservice has its own security protocols. In the unlikely event they're breached, you can isolate and purge before reintegration. 

But what about physical infrastructure security? It’s the responsibility of cloud service providers to protect data centers. They use strict security procedures, security staff, and CCTV to ensure they provide a reliable service to clients.

6. Flexibility

Cloud technology is also scalable and adaptable. You can access resources on demand, which means that if you wish to expand the features of an app, you can— by simply accessing more server power when it’s needed. 

Without cloud-native integration, this sort of expansion would mean substantial investment. The cloud makes scaling as easy as flicking a switch and can even automate it too.

Why is continuous integration necessary for cloud-native applications?

As part of cloud-native integration, you need to consider cloud continuous integration (CI). This is the idea that you update your cloud applications regularly to continually improve customer experience and ensure software stability. 

Without cloud-native integration and CI, updating applications is a hazardous process. When one developer makes a change to the code, it can cause conflict with the work of another developer. This can lead to catastrophic failures and downtime for your apps. 

In addition to this, DevOps teams who don’t work with CI principals are often inefficient. Repetitive tasks, such as code testing, are undertaken by developers. While these are necessary activities, developers’ skills could be better used elsewhere.

Cloud continuous integration eliminates issues like those discussed above. Using CI software, developers are unburdened by mundane tasks. For example, software can automatically check for stability and conflicts when a developer makes changes. If a change passes these checks, it can then be automatically deployed.

OpenLegacy and DevOps graphic

How does a cloud-native integration platform help businesses?

In 2023, you should be using a cloud-native integration platform to assist your business. By providing a framework from which your teams can manage cloud integrations, you can easily achieve all the advantages of cloud-native architecture.

Let’s examine the benefits a cloud-integration platform can bring to your company.

  • Compatible with legacy systems: These platforms can help you migrate to the cloud without disrupting legacy systems. That means little to no downtime for your applications.
  • Automatic scaling: You can adapt quickly if business demand rises or falls. 
  • Speedy integrations: You can help developers improve the efficiency of cloud-native CI/CD tasks.
  • Unfettered innovation: You can keep ahead of the competition by constantly improving the customer experience.
  • Flexibility: A cloud-native integration platform can be deployed in public, private, or hybrid cloud environments.

How can OpenLegacy support cloud-native integration?

OpenLegacy’s platform supports cloud-native integration of legacy systems to enable CI/CD processes. You can use it to automate access to your legacy systems while benefiting from cloud-native applications and features.

There’s no need for any specialist skills to get started, as OpenLegacy can be used in either no, low, or full-code modes. It’s also available in a variety of coding languages, including .Net, C#, Java, and Python. 

Avoid downtime, boost efficiency, and improve customer experience with the help of OpenLegacy.

FAQs about cloud-native integration

Is cloud-native integration secure?

The short answer is “yes”. While traditional infrastructure may seem easier to secure, you will miss out on the scalability and flexibility that cloud-native integration provides. Because cloud environments are boundless and accessible from anywhere, cloud-native security integration can be performed continuously throughout the development cycle.

What are the four main aspects of cloud-native development?

  1. DevOps automation. Using a platform like OpenLegacy, the efficiency of DevOps can be boosted by automating repetitive tasks.
  2. Service-based architecture. Cloud-native integration splits the functions of apps into microservices. 
  3. API-based communications. APIs allow microservices to communicate and bring applications together so that users experience them as a whole.
  4. Containers and orchestration. Containers enable you to move applications to different environments, while orchestrators run the distributed containers for you. 

What are the best practices for cloud-native application success?

The best practices that can help you succeed with cloud-native applications include creating a business-wide strategy for systems modernization that will get everyone on board with the cloud-native integration, building new applications as cloud-based apps from the get-go, and automating repetitive DevOps tasks to increase efficiency. Employing a container and orchestration strategy is also a good strategy for keeping your business agile.

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