Cloud Native: how to know if you’re strategic about it

Recently another CIO Dive article caught our attention, this one titled A CIO’s guide to going cloud native.

If you haven’t seen our previous article where we discussed the CIO Dive piece on prioritising IT projects, you can read that one here.

But back to this article. We were excited to read it, as we welcome any attempt to try and open up the world of cloud computing, and some of the principles in this article are incredibly helpful when thinking about what cloud computing is and isn’t.

Right at the start we want to stress, and this is highlighted in CIO Dive’s article, written by David Smith of Gartner, that cloud isn’t automatically better (by the way, Runecast is a Gartner Cool Vendor, so we stay tuned in to what they have to say about things) – in the same way that just because a car has ‘Turbo’ or ‘4x4’ on the back doesn’t automatically make it a better fit for what you need. There are certain use cases where cloud makes more sense, and ones where on-prem hosting of services and applications still works better.

And we certainly wouldn’t encourage anyone to simply take their existing on-prem solution and ‘put it in the cloud’ without first thinking about what that means and how it would be done. Cloud shouldn’t be a reflexive knee-jerk option, it should be part of a considered strategy.

So what is cloud native?

In the article, David writes, “Something is cloud native if it is created to leverage cloud characteristics.”

He defines those characteristics as:

  • Scalable
  • Elastic
  • Metered by Use
  • Service-based
  • Ubiquitous by means of internet technologies
  • Shared

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation has a slightly wordier definition

Cloud native technologies empower organizations to build and run scalable applications in modern, dynamic environments such as public, private, and hybrid clouds. Containers, service meshes, microservices, immutable infrastructure, and declarative APIs exemplify this approach.

And this is typical of definitions concerning cloud systems. If you stopped 10 people in the street, you would likely get 14 different definitions of what ‘the cloud’ is and how it can work for you (see also ‘digital transformation’).

You can also read our recent demystification of cloud-based acronyms like CWPP, CSPM and CNAPP.

What’s your cloud strategy?

When thinking about using cloud infrastructure, or working towards a ‘cloud native’ approach, we think it’s best to think in terms of principles or strategy first, then move on to practice. Whether you have a strategy for it or not, your team likely works in the cloud, and possibly across multiple types of cloud. By not having an overarching strategy for this, you’re only slowing things down.

Staying vendor neutral or open to using all technologies can be vastly beneficial when creating your cloud strategy. 

“Gartner's interpretation of cloud native is something that optimally leverages or enables cloud characteristics. It does not require use of any specific technology or capability.”

If you are just beginning to explore cloud technology you may not want to dive straight in and virtualise every nut and bolt you have currently. It may be too much of a leap to take your existing applications and try and fit them into container technologies.

As David writes in the article, “Use cases tend to differ based on which interpretation organizations use. They generally include performance agility, portability and resiliency.”

One of the best ways to get what you need from ‘the cloud’ is to think about your end goal. WIth your end goal in mind, cloud computing should be a bridge or one lane of the roadmap between where you are now and where you want to be.

In the video below Runecast’s Head of Product Management Markus Strauss and Systems Engineer Simon Ahmet talk through some of the ways that Runecast can help you with your hybrid cloud. Whether that’s providing you a unified platform to view your disparate cloud technologies, or leveraging the latest in algorithmic protection, Runecast is here to help. 


What are the benefits?

Using cloud computing and cloud native applications should be about enabling your business to do its business quicker and more efficiently. 

The benefits become more obvious as you combine more of the list of characteristics given in the article. Once you begin to think of something that can be scalable, elastic and shared, for example, you see an application that can be available, on demand, to more and more people as required. You’re not limited to the physical connections to your physical server in your server room, with increased availability only when you add a new server.

Cloud native applications are built to take advantage of this scalability, using resources as and when needed, scaling up and down to meet demand. 

Securing your cloud

If you want a solution that plays well across the cloud, giving you greater transparency and proactive visibility into all of your environments, then you want Runecast. It’s built with the hybrid and multi-cloud in mind, covering a whole host of technologies.

Interested?

If you’re interested in saving your security and operations teams time and money (our customers report between 75-90% time savings in troubleshooting and upgrade planning).

Contact us
About the Author | Daniel Jones

Daniel Jones is the Technical Content Writer for Runecast. Daniel has 10 years experience working IT Operations and Infrastructure/Network admin before transitioning to Process Improvement and documentation. Working and writing for Runecast means he can combine his interest in tech with his love of the written word.

When Daniel is not working he can be found writing stories and songs, chasing around after his family and pining for the seaside.