In today’s software-driven market where technology adoption and digital transformation is at its peak, companies are in a need to constantly find innovative solutions to ensure their success. With the explosion of cloud adoption and cloud-based applications in times of unprecedented crises like the coronavirus pandemic, companies are trying to change the way they design, build, and use applications. This has made everyone talk about applications being built in a cloud-native landscape. 

So, what are cloud-native applications, how are they different from cloud-enabled applications, and what makes them better? Let’s find out!  

What is a cloud-enabled application?

Although cloud-native and cloud-enabled are two words that are frequently and interchangeably used to describe an application that benefits from a cloud environment, they both are different concepts with different functionality. Cloud-enabled applications are traditional enterprise software applications that are designed and built on a static environment on in-house servers but are enabled for cloud compatibility and functioning. 

What is a cloud-native application?

A cloud-native application is a software application that is completely designed and built using cloud principles. It takes total advantage of the cloud’s scalability, responsiveness, and flexibility. With native-cloud applications, you can have faster speeds, advanced scalability, and optimized management costs. 

Key differences between cloud-native vs cloud-enabled applications

Design

Cloud-native: Cloud-native applications are designed with the main focus of adopting full cloud scalability and accessibility. It is developed from the start to work on the cloud. 

Cloud-enabled: Cloud-enabled applications are designed to use on an on-premise server or data center. It can be modified to use cloud compatibility and functioning.

Architecture

Cloud-native: Cloud-native applications are developed using programming languages optimized specifically for the cloud. They have micro-service focused principles.

Cloud-enabled: Cloud-enabled applications are developed using traditional architectures optimized for on-premise operation.

Scalability

Cloud-native: Cloud-native applications are highly scalable. They automatically scale up or down as needed with no disruption to the entire application. This is a huge advantage for both the business and customers.

Cloud-enabled: Cloud-enabled applications have limited scalability. The capacity is added using a manual and error-prone process. 

Deployment

Cloud-native: No hardware or software configurations are required in cloud-native when deploying new services. So, the IT infrastructure moves at the speed of business

Cloud-enabled: The deployment of new services in a cloud-enabled application is slow because the hardware needs to be configured for the specific installation environment.  

Uptime

Cloud-native: Cloud-native applications ensure 99.9% uptime with their scalable architecture and ability to withstand heavy workload capacity at all times.

Cloud-enabled: Cloud-enabled applications can also ensure great uptime but the lack of dynamic scalability makes them less preferable.

Maintenance

Cloud-native: Maintaining a cloud-native platform is easy and requires little to no effort. Updates are automated from the service provider and can be made without software downtime.

Cloud-enabled: Cloud-enabled services require manual upgrades. They also need to be checked from time to time for any faults or discrepancies causing disruption to the application.

Cost

Cloud-native: Cloud-native applications are more affordable as it requires no hardware or software investments. They are made entirely on the cloud.

Cloud-enabled: Cloud-enabled applications are costlier as they require infrastructure upgrades to accommodate the changing requirements. 

According to a report by IDC (https://www.idc.com/research/viewtoc.jsp?containerId=US44403818), by 2022, 90% of all new apps will feature microservices architectures and 35% of all production apps will be cloud-native. Clearly, the future belongs to cloud-native applications. In a digital-first world, innovators like Intone can help your organization embrace the limitless possibilities enabled by cloud technologies.

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