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Traditional vs Cloud Native Applications – Who Is The Clear Winner?

Cloud computing is a term that has become pretty popular in almost all circles today, regardless of whether you are an IT personnel or not. While the concept started making strides in the better part of the last decade, it brought with it a necessary change in perspectives and ideas (like any transformation phase does). Developers and businesses found themselves asking a number of never-before-asked questions now. One of the more important ones – ‘Do applications have to look different if we want to run them in a cloud environment and do we choose traditional applications or cloud native ones?’

This question pitted the well-understood traditional app versus the now-emerging cloud native app. Industry analysis specialists Gartner,Inc. had a simple but effective analysis that could help combat this question. They used the term ‘bimodal’ to explain the phenomenon and how businesses could use it effectively to better their digital transformation. Traditional applications were categorized as Mode 1 – a mode that was optimized for areas showing predictability. This mode helps focus on all that was known historically while renovating this legacy environment to be better suited for digital space. Mode 2 is where cloud native application platform falls. This is where businesses can explore. They can experiment, try to solve new problems and engage in adapting to the changing requirements of the digital world. Both these modes put together will help create substantial value for the business.

What is Cloud Native?

Cloud native is not an application in itself. It is but an approach. An approach to building and running applications that help businesses exploit the multitude of advantages provided by the delivery model of cloud computing. Cloud native, unlike what the name suggests, is not about the ‘where’. In fact, it is about ‘how’ the applications are created and then further deployed. The advantage businesses have in developing and operating cloud native applications is that they are now equipped to bring new ideas to the market at lightning speed and they can respond to user requirements in a timely fashion. And what business wouldn’t want that?

That being said, where do traditional application stand when they are pitted against the seemingly ever-evolving cloud native app. Let’s find out.

Difference Between Traditional and Cloud Native – Which Is Better For You?

  • Traditional – Unpredictable, Cloud Native – Predictable: 

    Traditional enterprise applications take forever to be built, especially when compared with their cloud native counterparts. They are usually released as one big package and the scalability model leaves a lot to be desired for. Cloud native projects, on the other hand, conforms to a framework that is designed in order to maximise resilience. It does so through predictable behaviours.

  • Traditional – OS Dependent, Cloud Native –  OS Independent/Abstract: 

    The architecture used for traditional applications allows for dependency between the app and the Operating Systems. This dependency makes migration and scalability a complex and risky issue. The architecture for cloud native application development is designed to allow developers to use platforms as a means to abstract away from dependencies. The primary motive is to let teams focus on what matters – the software.

  • Traditional – Works in Silos, Cloud Native – Open and Collaborative: 

    With traditional application architecture, operations of the organization will receive finished application code from developers and they will run this in production. The organization’s priorities are put ahead of customer value. And when this happens, it can only slow things down, lead to compromised delivery and put undue stress on the staff. DevOps with cloud native applications make all the difference here. It is a combination of people, processes and tools. The result is a collaboration of developers and operations which translates to smoother transfers of finished app code into production. It makes the process seamless and quicker.

  • Traditional – Manual, Cloud Native – Automated: 

    When an organization hand crafts automation processes, it runs the risk of hard-coding human error into its very basic infrastructure. Also, employing human operators will mean slowing down the process of diagnosing issues. Computer automation nullifies the challenges that come with human error and the downtime they could cause. Automation would mean that the same set of rules will be consistently applied regardless of the size of the deployment. A fully cloud-native architecture would be all about automation of the systems – not the servers.

Traditional Applications Cloud-Native
OS Dependent OS Independent
Waterfal Development Continuous Delivery
Manual Scalability Automated Scalability
Oversized Capacity Capacity Utilization
Non-immutable and hard to Predict Preditable and Immutabile
Unpredictable Predictable

The bottom line to consider here is that while traditional application architecture have helped changed the way we have been conducting business over the years, cloud-native applications understand and iterate that we have some amazing ideas about how to fully exploit the new types of infrastructure available to us. And it also focuses on improving that infrastructure tech so that we can provide developers with any and all possible tools that they can use to better the applications they are designing.

If your business is looking forward to tapping into the Cloud-native benefits using the power of cloud computing for your applications that AWS has to offer, Get in touch with us. We could help shake things up for your business.

Recommended reading: Key Considerations to Architect your Applications on Cloud

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