How Deep is Your Commitment to Cloud?

 In Cloud

Most businesses are committed to adopting cloud technology these days. But exactly how committed should you be? Should you go cloud-native instead of just migrating your current architecture to cloud?

Cloud-Native Means Built for Cloud

The easiest way to get to cloud is a lift-and-shift migration strategy. In this approach, you use cloud strictly for its ability to provide virtual machines and storage on demand. However, the applications you migrate aren’t modified in any way other than residing in the cloud.

The limitation of lift-and-shift is that the applications aren’t architected for the cloud. Usually, they don’t have a microservices-oriented architecture, meaning they have limited ability to scale dynamically. They aren’t built for container deployments or to take advantage of the many API-based services available in the cloud.

Cloud-native means redesigning applications to leverage all the built-in functionality available from a cloud provider. This means using cloud-native storage and databases, along with cloud native security and governance, accessing them all via the APIs offered by the cloud provider.

Benefits and Risks of Cloud-Native

It takes more work, time, and money to make an application cloud-native than it does to simply shift it over to a new platform. As with every technology decision, there are both benefits and risks to taking this approach.

The benefits of investing in cloud-native infrastructure include:

  • Simpler infrastructure. With cloud-native, everything you use is designed specifically for the cloud you’re running in. This means it’s designed to work together, so there’s no complexity from integrating multiple products with individual styles of doing things.
  • Better scalability. Traditional architectures are monolithic. Cloud-native architectures are service oriented, built around small components. Monolithic components don’t scale easily, while a services-oriented architecture enables individual services to easily scale horizontally to cope with changes in demand.
  • Better performance. Cloud-native offerings use built-in, native services. This means they access the cloud’s features directly, rather than through numerous intermediary layers. By eliminating all the middle layers, you get better performance.

The drawbacks of cloud-native infrastructure include:

  • Vendor lock-in. Cloud-native infrastructure isn’t generic, open-source software that will run on any platform. By definition, it’s designed to run on a specific cloud provider’s infrastructure, and committing to cloud-native means you’re committed to that cloud vendor for the long haul.
  • Complexity. Monolithic conventional systems are black boxes that conceal their internal complexity. A services-based cloud native design means there are more components to be monitored and managed individually.

Achieving Cloud Native Infrastructure

If you decide you want a cloud native architecture, expect a lengthier transition than if you simply lift and shift to cloud. You’ll need to invest in rearchitecting applications, redesigning security, and preparing your IT support teams to monitor a completely new architecture in a completely new environment.

Whether you plan to go cloud native or keep your conventional architecture in the cloud, cloud services from Prescient Solutions help businesses in Chicago and Schaumburg achieve stable, high-performing cloud environments. Contact us to talk more about making a commitment to cloud.

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