by : Aashiya Mittal
September 28th 2022

In this new modern world of technology, handling complex applications has become more accessible. It has increased users’ expectations of continuous innovation while maintaining unparalleled responsiveness. To cater to this expectation, business systems must be more strategic and flexible. One of those efficient technologies is the cloud-native, which has quickly changed how businesses create and ship complex applications. It has also given businesses new opportunities to reduce risks and scale their business.

Cloud-native leverages the benefits of modern-world technologies, such as Docker, Kubernetes, serverless functions, and others. It mainly emphasizes automating challenging tasks to reduce manual efforts and enhance productivity.

Its primary benefit is the developers who get a standard platform to deal with application development, testing, and deployment. You will be amazed to know the percentage of global companies that have used cloud-native to deploy applications.

percentage of global companies

If you are new to this technology and want to learn more about cloud-native and how it has changed the global landscape of software applications, then you are moving in the right direction.

This article will help you understand cloud-native basics, why it is essential, its features, architecture, best practices, and challenges. If you are an IT professional stepping into the cloud native field, this article will be your partner to start your learning.

Let’s get started.

So, what is Cloud Native?

features of cloud native

Before we jump to cloud-native, you must know what cloud was used for. Everyone knows that a cloud is a place that businesses or individuals take on rent to host their services, applications, and others. But, the use of the cloud is not limited to that. It has expanded and has benefited several businesses globally.

Today, everyone is working on how they utilize the maximum capability of the cloud platform. So, the cloud is now expanded to blend all types of services required to create, maintain, and scale those applications. 

If you are creating any application and hosting is to the cloud, you must use cloud-native services.

But what do you mean by cloud-native?

Cloud Native is an approach specifying how to design, build and deploy your applications efficiently and with minimum resources available, leveraging services provisioned by Cloud Computing. Cloud-native is the latest trend in the market that helps your businesses to scale exponentially.

The primary goal of cloud-native is to deliver fast and accurate services and software to clients. Today, several cloud-native tools are available in the market to cater to different business needs, which we will discuss in the below section.

What Does Cloud-Native Application Mean?

Using a cloud-native approach, you can come up with speedy development of defined software.

But what are the cloud-native applications? Let’s take a look.

Any cloud-native application leverages all the features and functionalities of cloud computing resources and different delivery models, such as SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS. Such applications consist of bundled microservices and dependencies in separate packages called containers. These containers can run efficiently on any platform without relying on the underlying infrastructure, system, and other resources. 

You can use different platforms like Docker or Kubernetes to manage, deploy, and test these containers. Each cloud-native applications come with the following policy and characteristics.

key benefits of cloud application

  • Resiliency- cloud applications can leverage all benefits of distributed architecture, such as redundancy and flexibility. It means you can run it anywhere without relying on a specific platform.
  • Agility- based on microservices, it has become easier to create and deploy applications than traditional methods.
  • Automation- teams can use various cloud-native tools to automate various development and deployment tasks to reduce manual efforts and improve efficiency and accuracy.
  • Improved uptime- cloud applications run as containers that require cloud orchestration tools to be managed. These tools ensure the high uptime of the applications by efficiently managing the servers and resources required to run those applications.
  • Auto-provisioning- these applications can manage the resources automatically depending on the requirement.
  • Auto-scaling- in case of high traffic to the application, these applications can auto-scale up the resource usage to cater to that traffic. Also, they can scale down the resources as required to save the extra cost if there is less traffic.
  • Auto-redundancy- these applications can easily handle outages by taking suitable corrective measures to avoid downtime.

The benefits of cloud-native applications can improve the entire business process without incurring additional costs.

The building blocks of cloud-native architecture 

blocks of cloud native

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Applications are bundled together with their dependencies in different containers. These containers can run anywhere without relying on the underlying system. These containers have only apps and dependencies without including an operating system, making them lightweight. So to run containers, you will require fewer servers, reducing cost.

cloud native containers

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Then orchestrators are required to manage several containers to work correctly. The orchestrators manage how and where these containers should run, fix them if any containers fail, and determine if more containers are required to do the task. Some standard orchestrator tools are Kubernetes, Docker, etc.


Now comes the microservices that break down the apps into more minor services so they can be handled smoothly. This way, small teams can work on different application components without impacting other components work. This makes the applications more portable.

importance of application

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DevOps refers to the set of rules that helps in bridging the gap between the operation teams and the developers and enhance collaboration. It helps speed up the development and deployment without eliminating the blame game. This practice improves the team’s productivity with concrete results on the table.

With cloud-native teams are deploying and releasing software more frequently. 

cloud native production environment

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Why adopt the cloud-native model?

Cloud natives come with several benefits. You can quickly push new functionalities live without impacting other applications on the cloud. It lets the business utilize its resources to the core without burdening the servers. Not only this, come back from failures without having visible downtime. 

The speed of cloud solutions is an advantage for cloud-native applications. Below are some pivotal points of cloud-native benefits.

cloud native model

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Reduced time to market

This model has changed the working for every business. It has helped them to roll out new products faster, offering high-end competitive benefits. This way, a business can include the latest trends and satisfy the client’s latest requirements. Considering the scenario of the U.S. Department of Defense, they have reduced their release time using Kubernetes. Not only this, they have the best security available.

Easy management of resources

The global adoption of cloud-native has boosted the usage of infrastructure as code. It has tremendously reduced the time for setting up the infrastructure and efficiently utilizing the existing manual efforts. With the cloud-native model, you can easily manage the infrastructure as you do not have to configure on-premises networking, plan for storage, and provisioning cloud instances. 

MUX, an online video streaming service, utilized Docker containers and Rancher stack for container orchestration, which has benefitted their business. Later, they switched to Kubernetes due to some networking issues.

Reduced costs

It is obvious how companies spend on setting up infrastructure, IT teams, and resources. With cloud native development, you do not need to spend any of it, as the cloud providers will manage everything. Thus, you can invest that money into something productive.

Infopulse implemented DevOps best practices and extensive knowledge of Docker containers and Kubernetes tools to help their clients by providing them with an automated software delivery, which has saved them a lot of millions.

No vendor lock-in

If your cloud providers are changing their policies or making upgrades that you are not agreed to, then you can pack your bags and go to another cloud provider. It is only possible for cloud-native software. You are not bound to a single vendor, and you can choose your choice vendor with agreed terms.

A Czech FinTech company serving Forex brokers and their global clients migrated to Docker containers and Kubernetes (EKS) after announcing the price change. 

Improved customer experience

With faster development and deployment process with cloud-native services, you can easily retain the top clients by offering them what they want timely. Cloud-native tools support continuous delivery, allowing developers to provide software and application updates in short ongoing cycles. 

InfluxData was looking to speed up its product and service delivery process without having separate applications from different cloud providers. So they chose Kubernetes for smooth database delivery to AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure across all the global clusters.

Challenges ahead of cloud-native applications

Nothing comes with benefits. There are some limitations attached to it. Let’s see what challenges you might face while adopting cloud-native applications.

challenges of cloud native application


  • Containerized applications do not store data within them, as it all gets erased once the application shuts down. Thus, cloud-native has difficulty storing data persistently. For that, you need some external storage system that can be accessed as a service, increasing the surface area for attack.
  • Cloud-native supports the creation of different services that run as a part of a single application. This way, managing and troubleshooting which service fails and why becomes challenging. 
  • Sometimes moving your old monolithic applications to the cloud architecture can be tricky as companies cannot leverage the overall benefits of cloud-native. In that case, companies must look for an alternate application or create an entirely new one. 
  • Even if you successfully shift your old applications to the cloud, you might face performance issues if you do not check your application’s compatibility with new technologies.
  • It might not be enough if your project is based on old methodologies. It would help if you adopted new approaches (microservices, DevOps, containers, orchestrators) that require working from scratch.
  • Moving to cloud-native applications can increase your budget, as you have to spend on cloud vendors’ assistance throughout your agreement with them.

Best practices for cloud-native application development

Avoiding challenges can be challenging. So, you should follow the best practices while working on cloud-native applications. It will make your tasks easier.

  • You can automate the provisioning of cloud-native applications across all cloud vendors. It lets you use the Infrastructure-as-Code service to track even a minor code change in the repository. 
  • Keep track of how your users use your cloud-native app within the development environment. You can use different tools to monitor the app and the underlying architecture. 
  • Ensure to document all the changes done as there could be different development teams who are parallelly working on the cloud-native application. 
  • Making app changes in small increments that are easy to reverse. This will help the development teams to reverse back the code if required. 
  • Design for the process to follow in case of failures using testing frameworks that help the team eliminate the issue. 

Tools used for cloud-native app development

Different software tools are used for each cloud-native application development process.

managing tools of cloud native applications


  • Fluentd – is a logging tool that allows the team member to collect and share log data using tools such as AWS CloudWatch.
  • Prometheus – is a monitoring tool that keeps track of the time-Series data for distributed Microservices.
  • Kubernetes – Container orchestration system that helps in managing and deploying containerized applications.
  • ELK Stack – is a monitoring solution allowing you to analyze and keep track of the performance of your application.
  • Grafana – is a visualization tool allowing you to see data in graphical representation.
  • AWS, and Google Cloud – Cloud computing services.


Cloud-native applications and development have entirely changed the working of each business. The global market for cloud-native software will grow in the coming years.

cloud native software market

Cloud-native applications are not only benefitting a single industry but have covered several market segments.


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