The world has shifted towards fast-paced mobile applications, it became necessary for the IT industry to adopt a similar stance in the services and products they develop. An example of such a paradigm shift is the rise of cloud-based technologies and services. Cloud technologies have changed the way the industry thinks of deployment and integration of various services. Companies no longer have to worry about deploying their services to the end-users, they just have to deploy them to a cloud. This saves months of operation and research and can be used to quickly hyperscale the services a company provides.
Cloud technologies also help to speed up the rate at which companies move new ideas to the market. All the hours spent in planning and deployment can be reduced by simply using cloud applications, which further allow the companies to deploy scalable applications at a much faster speed than their traditional deployment methods. Scaling also becomes easy for companies, as cloud-based applications are highly scalable and can reach any number of end-users on a variety of platforms.
The Cloud-Native Foundation (CNCF) is an organization that aims to increase the adoption of cloud-native technologies. The CNCF serves as the vendor-neutral home for many of the fastest growing projects, such as Kubernetes and Prometheus. It is the de-facto caretaker of cloud-native projects and it has been releasing a lot of projects regularly since their incubation period.
Cloud-native computing uses an open source software stack to be:
- Containerized. Each part is packaged into its own container. This facilitates reproducibility, transparency, and resource isolation
- Dynamically orchestrated. Containers are actively scheduled and managed to optimize resource isolation.
- Microservices-oriented. Applications are segmented into microservices. This significantly increases the overall agility and maintainability of applications.
There has already been a surge of interest in cloud-native technologies and many companies now directly depend on them to deploy products and services. There are many open-source technologies that make cloud computing easier, and many of them are released by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. We’ll take a look at some of the most commonly used ones below.
Kubernetes is an open source container management platform that is now used in almost every public cloud environment. It was developed at Google and was one of the first cloud-native technologies.
It has become immensely popular with many companies who are depending directly on it. Kubernetes helps companies build, scale and manage cloud applications and their dynamic lifecycles.
It provides virtualization across the containers, eliminating the need to individually managing each and every container. It also offers automatic storage orchestration, so that users don’t have to worry about allocating and mounting storage spaces. It automatically manages and replaces the containers that fail, which makes Kubernetes self-healing. With all these features, Kubernetes is becoming the standard OS for deploying fast, modernized applications using containers.
Prometheus is a monitoring tool for containerized applications and has already become the standard monitoring service for many container-based infrastructures.
It can deliver real-time monitoring, alerting and time-series database capabilities. It can be easily integrated with many popular open source tools for importing and exporting data. It stores your time series data on a disk in an efficient, custom format that enables massive scaling of applications without having to compromise on memory.
It provides easy and fast visualizations of the time-series data in an ad-hoc manner, because of its integration with the mainstream data visualization tool, Grafana. Prometheus is a necessary tool that provides visibility into the architectures that use modern cloud-native technologies, including Kubernetes.
Istio is another popular cloud-native technology that is being massively used today.
Istio is a service mesh that provides interconnections between multiple microservices required by an application. It gives you full control over the flow of traffic and API calls between services, enabling you to conduct easier tests and upgrade gradually. It also provides automatic logging, tracing and monitoring of all your services, so that you can observe the interactions between the microservices. Istio is also known for its non-intrusive deployment pattern.
It can be integrated into any Kubernetes service seamlessly without much explicit code or configuration changes.
CoreDNS is the default DNS server used in many cloud-native technologies, including Kubernetes.
It is a DNS server that is optimized for performance, flexibility and service discovery. It is the successor to SkyDNS and is written in the Go language. Because of its flexibility, it can be used in a multitude of environments and can be integrated into various other technologies.
It achieves this flexibility by using a plug-in for each service, so new plug-ins can be added at will depending upon the requirements. Simplicity is also a part of CoreDNS’s design, and it can be used and deployed easily without explicit code. Because of its plugin-based approach, it is flexible.
Users can compile new plug-ins as and when required, leaving the fastest possible configuration ready for deployment. DNS is a critical part of any cloud-based and microservice oriented architecture which can include thousands of microservices, and CoreDNS is configured to work with these architectures.
gRPC is a Remote Procedural Call framework developed by Google. It is optimized for large-scale and multiplatform cloud-native architectures. It connects many services across many languages, including clouds and data centers, mobile devices and backend servers. It can scale very well to large architectures. It is used by some of the world’s leading universities, businesses, and technology companies. It supports many popular languages and includes many client libraries for iOS and Android. It improves the latency of remote procedural calls in distributed computing environments and is made for large-scale architectures.
We’ve looked at some of the cloud-native applications that are widely used today. There are many other applications and projects that are in the incubatory stage with the Cloud-Native Computing Foundation. We can expect to see a further surge of interest in cloud-based services and container-based architectures. With many industries choosing to adopt cloud-based architectures, there will be an increase in the number of such cloud-native technologies.
There’s never been a better time to realize the full potential of the cloud. Contact us and let’s discuss how cloud-native solutions can help your business.