10 Key Features Of Cloud-Native Applications You Need To Know Today

Corporate moguls like Netflix, Pinterest, and Uber are winning big by leveraging cloud-native capabilities to bring tech disruption. Simply put, Cloud-native implies anything that is born and run in the cloud. Fuel your enterprise by making the cloud native application development process more efficient, architecture more moldable, and infrastructure more adaptable. Cloud-native applications gear up enterprises to cope with disruptive challenges.

Key Features of Cloud-Native Applications to know

These should be your go-to choice as they provide several benefits like robust speed, cost reduction through containerization, outstanding customer experience, and ease of management. This article explains how cloud-native attributes like the Agile DevOps process, lightweight containers, loose coupling in microservices, automation, and resources can offer significant benefits to the budding appreneurs. Let’s shed some light on these key attributes one by one without wasting any further time.

#1 Containers

Cloud native is related to the container-based environment and talks about scalability and resilience. A Container acts as a backbone in cloud-native architecture. Cloud-native apps are a bundle of numerous independent services packaged in the form of lightweight containers. Lightweight Containers help you deploy apps without worrying about the hassles related to cloud virtual servers or compute instances of cloud providers. Due to high scalability, cloud-native apps drive innovation.

#2 Languages and Frameworks

Cloud native apps are capable of understanding several languages. It is easier to pick different runtimes and language frameworks based on the functionality of the individual services. Developers can write the UI of an app using Node.js and choose to write the APIs in Java using MicroProfile. Enterprise Java developers who are planning to use Java can opt for the MicroProfile framework. Spring developers can opt for SpringBoot. Node.js developers can opt Express.js or LoopBack. Swift developers can opt for Kitura.

#3 Microservices

Cloud native apps are made of microservices that can be seamlessly integrated into the cloud environment. Loosely coupled services enable developers to consider each service independently. Microservices run in its own process and communicate through HTTP APIs. Every microservice can be independently deployed, upgraded, and scaled. Elastic infrastructure and app architecture are integrated to get scaled-out with performance and efficiency. Decoupling helps developers to deliver superior functionality by focusing on the core functionality of services. As every service is maintained independently, this approach acts as efficient lifecycle management for the overall application.

#4 Application Programming Interface (APIs)

The biggest challenge in microservices app architecture is seamless communication among different services. It is quintessential for the "front end" client-facing microservice to respond to user requests generated from a mobile phone, a browser, or other devices. Cloud-native services use sAPIs that are based on certain protocols like representational state transfer (REST), Google’s open-source remote procedure call (gRPC) or NATS. RESTful APIs can seamlessly manage communication in microservices-based apps. For performance, gRPC is used for internal communication among services. REST is used to expose APIs over hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP). NATS has publish-subscribe features that enable asynchronous communication within the app.

#5 Architecture and Platform

For cloud native apps to rapidly deliver and iterate the app’s functionality, speed is imperative so does the architecture. Services that are persistent and durable in nature opt for patterns that assure the resilience and higher availability. Stateless services subsist independent of stateful services. The cloud-native architecture enables developers to use platforms as means for abstracting away from infrastructure dependencies. Teams can focus on the software not on configuring, patching, and maintaining operating systems. One of the efficient means of abstraction is a formalized platform, a platform that is ideal for operating on cloud-based infrastructures like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

#6 Operating System

Cloud native apps are containerized and operate at a high abstraction level. They do not have a dependency or are not biased towards any specific operating system or individual machine. In fact, cloud-native services should be independent of the server and operating system. Whenever microservices require solid-state drives (SSDs), and graphics processing units (GPUs), they are made available by a subset of machines.

#7 Infrastructure

Cloud native apps are deployed on virtual, shared and elastic infrastructure. Cloud-native infrastructure comprises software and hardware that are required to effectively run the apps. Infrastructure also includes operating systems, data centers, deployment pipelines, configuration management, and other systems/software essential to support the apps. Efficient and effective cloud-native infrastructure drives businesses to improve iterations and time-to-market.

#8 Agile DevOps Processes

An enterprise needs a platform to build and operate cloud-native apps, and services to automate DevOps, microservices, continuous delivery, and containers. In a cloud-native app, every service has an independent lifecycle managed through agile DevOps processes. Multiple continuous integrations and continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipelines work alongside each other to manage a cloud-native app.

#9 Automation

Automation plays a pivotal role in making cloud-native a reality. Apps that are developed to run and scale in the cloud need a different approach, automation is one of them. Automation is a prerequisite to manage large and complex apps. Cloud-native apps can be highly automated as they execute the concept of infrastructure as code. #10 ResourcesCloud-native apps align with the governance models and stick to policies such as storage quotas, central processing unit, and network that allocate resources to services. In an enterprise, central IT can allocate resources for every department. Teams in every department can have access to and ownership of the resources.


Final ThoughtsCloud native apps are designed exclusively for the cloud. Forward-looking enterprises develop apps using Cloud-native technologies, Agile DevOps processes, Containers, Microservices, and Continuous delivery workflows to make the apps distinct besides future-proofing against disruptive changes.

About The Author

Harsh Raval

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