Cloud native computing can bolster the development of advanced applications powered by artificial intelligence, machine learning and the Internet of Things.
Modern enterprises are constantly adapting their business strategies and processes as they respond to evolving market conditions. This is especially true for enterprises serving fast-growing economies in the Asia Pacific, such as India and Australia. For these businesses, cloud computing is an invaluable means to accelerate change. From quickly deploying new applications to rapidly scaling infrastructure, enterprises are using cloud computing to create new value, build better solutions and expand business.
Now cloud providers are introducing new ‘cloud native computing’ services that enable even more dynamic application development. This new technology will make cloud application developers more agile and efficient, even as it reduces deployment costs and increases cloud vendor independence.
Many enterprises are intrigued but are also feeling overwhelmed by the rapidly changing cloud native technology landscape and hence, aren’t sure how to proceed. While cloud native computing has demonstrated success among early adopters, harnessing this technology has posed a challenge for many mainstream businesses.
Choosing the right cloud native open source projects
There are several ways that an enterprise can bring cloud native computing on board. One option is to build its own cloud native environment using open source software. This comes at the price of carefully evaluating many different open source projects before choosing which software to use. Once the software is selected, the IT department will need to staff and train hard-to-find talent to provide in-house support. All in all, this can be an expensive and risky way to adopt new technology.
A second option is to contract with a software vendor to provide a complete cloud native solution. But this compromises the organisation’s freedom to choose the best open source technologies in exchange for better vendor support, not to mention the added perils of a closed contract.
This dilemma can be resolved by using a technology provider that offers the best of both worlds — i.e., delivering standards-based off-the-shelf software from the open source projects designated by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), and also providing integration, testing and enterprise-class support for the entire software stack.
CNCF uses experts from across the industry to evaluate the maturity, quality and security of cloud native open source projects and give guidance on which ones are ready for enterprise use. Selected cloud native technologies cover the entire scope of containers, microservices, continuous integration, serverless functions, analytics and much more.
Once CNCF declares these cloud native open source projects as having ‘graduated’, they can confidently be incorporated into an enterprise’s cloud native strategy with the knowledge that these are high quality, mainstream technologies that will get industry-wide support.
Finding that single vendor who offers multiple benefits
But adopting CNCF’s rich cloud native technology framework is only half the battle won. You also must choose a technology provider who will package these CNCF-endorsed technologies without proprietary extensions that lock you in, and provide the necessary integration, testing, support, documentation, training and more.
A well-designed software stack built based on CNCF guidelines and offered by a single vendor has many benefits. First, it reduces the risks associated with technology adoption. Second, it provides a single point of contact to rapidly get support when needed and resolve issues, which means faster time to market and higher customer satisfaction. Third, it helps make cloud native applications portable to any popular cloud. This flexibility can help enterprises improve their operating margins by reducing expenses and unlocking future revenue growth opportunities.
Cloud native computing is becoming an everyday part of mainstream cloud application development. It can also bolster the development of advanced applications powered by artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and the Internet of Things (IoT), among others.
Leading users of cloud native technologies include R&D laboratories; high tech, manufacturing and logistics companies; critical service providers and many others.
The author is the group vice president of Product Management Infrastructure Technologies at Oracle Corporation.