Cloud-Native Platforms

You look at the clouds, but monoliths ahead!

Cloud-Native Platforms

When talking about prominent technology trends it's good to ask ourselves who is going to benefit from that. In the case of Cloud-Native Platforms those are billion-dollar businesses (AWS, GCP, Azure), owned by trillion-dollar organisations (Amazon, Alphabet, Microsoft). Promoting cloud-native meme is in the best interest of their shareholders.

But the cloud-native platform, in practice, is a modern way to build complex distributed systems. Truth to be told, it has more to do with advanced system architecture and practical software engineering, than the cloud. It just so happens those systems are being deployed to the cloud, nowadays. Is that going to happen in the future the same way?

Cloud revolution was an important-break through. The timeline is unfortunate though: cloud offering started circa 2005, while containerization exploded a decade later. In fact it's the containers that offered scalability, portability and cost-efficiency that VM or cloud instances promised, but could not deliver.

Experienced corporations start to realize the cost of cloud and risks related to vendor lock-in. As an effect companies started to revisit their IT strategies regarding cloud. Some decided to invest in their own data centers, using software-based networking and container orchestrators as main building blocks. That is one of the trends.

Other trend started with multi-cloud approach. Currently implementing such solution is complicated, because various cloud providers have incompatible APIs. There's a hope to develop standardized layer on top of those, called sky computing. I'd like to see that happening, but I dare to ask a question: is it in the best interest of the cloud behemoths?

Why bother investing in hardware sitting in some data centre or building a portability layer between cloud offerings? The so called vendor lock-in is not only about could outages that we've experienced last few months. It's also about decisions where cloud providers refuse to host your business due to political reasons. Politics change, so who knows what would be future line of thought?

That brings us to what stands behind cloud-native mnemonic: distributed architecture and solid software engineering. When choosing your next software solution vendor ask yourself a question whether they want to sell specific cloud solution, or rather if they understand how to build resilient distributed system that is independent and gives you freedom.