Cloud Native Application Monitoring and Best Practices - XenonStack

What are Cloud-Native Applications?

Cloud-native applications development is an approach to develop, build and ship applications that takes the advantages of modern Cloud computing services. Cloud Native Applications are applications that natively utilize services and infrastructure provided by Cloud computing providers, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Various servers and databases distributed across many regions. Cloud-Native Applications mainly built as Microservices, which is a modern architecture to build software.

Public and Private Clouds used for modern Cloud-Native applications. The best part is that developers get unlimited computing power, on-demand compute resources, also application frameworks and services for developers building Cloud-native applications. It helps in turning new ideas and solutions to the market with high velocity.

Cloud Native Practices

Cloud-Native applications are loosely coupled, dynamically deployed and managed using various services on Cloud. They are independent of underlying hardware and software, which makes Cloud-Native applications to be portable.

Modern practices are used to build Cloud-Native applications, such as DevOps, Agile methodology, Cloud platforms (AWS, GCP, Azure), Microservices, Containers (like Docker, Kubernetes), and CI/CD pipelines.


How Cloud-Native Services Work?

Building and managing Cloud-Native applications automate and uses the concepts of DevOps, Continuous Deployment, Microservices, and deploying Microservices in containers. Microservices is a modern architecture which allows development of application as a set of tiny services; each service has its business logic, runs in its isolated process and communicates with other services via HTTP REST API endpoints. Each Microservice is usually deployed, scaled, and managed independently of other Microservices which constitutes an application. Often, it happens in an automated fashion, which enables frequent updates in batches to production. It also helps in getting fast feedbacks and quick fixes to bugs.

Containers usually manage all Microservices as distinct independent services, Docker and Kubernetes come into the picture. Containers allow computing, memory, and networking resources for different Microservices.

VMs were suitable for monolith applications, but in the case of 10s or 1000s of different Microservices, Containerization is the best way to deploy and manage them. Containers are lightweight and provide the own isolation for packaging Microservices into single units.

The whole components process of building and running modern Cloud-Native applications includes –

Underlying Infrastructure

  • It is the base which provides all computing resources for applications.
  • Modern public Cloud computing services as well Private Cloud provides all the services to run, scale, manage all Microservices.

Provisioning the infrastructure

  • Tools to provide the infrastructure.
  • Tools such as Terraform, Ansible helps in this process.
  • Services provided by Cloud computing companies to architect an Infrastructure.

Applications Runtime

It provides –

  • Modern storage such as S3.
  • Runtime for containers such as Docker.
  • Network services such as AWS VPC.

Deployment, Orchestration, and management of Applications

Tools such as Kubernetes for Deployment and Orchestration of Microservices in Containers. Services discovery happens through a tool such as –


Why Cloud-Native Engineering Matters?

Following are the reasons why Cloud-Native application development matters –

It provides Microservices Architecture

Microservices architecture has tremendous benefits such as loosely coupled services, scale-out, faster release cycles, lower complexity as it's divided across many teams.

Provides all advantage of Cloud

It helps in delivering applications at a faster rate, as per customer needs. Cloud provides all the flexibility and resilience to these modern applications.

All communication is API-Based, which is quick and transparent

Services communicate via lightweight APIs which help in reducing the complexity and extra overhead of deploying scaling applications. All communication happens via service interface calls over the network. There is no risk of direct linking of services, shared memory models used in Monolith.

Benefits of Enabling Cloud Native Computing

  • Whole underlying Infrastructure is Container-Based which has tremendous benefits.
  • Cloud-Native applications deployed in containers, which gives application portability across various environments and infrastructure, including Public or Private Cloud.
  • Containers use OS-virtualization distribute available compute resources among different. applications while also making sure that applications are secure and complete isolation between them.
  • Modern DevOps Processes adopted which deliver software at high velocity.
  • Cloud-Native Application uses devops process with Continuous Deployment and Agile principles which focus on developing and delivering applications in collaboration with various teams.

How to Adopt Cloud-Native Applications?

  • Implement the DevOps process and methodologies amongst developers and Ops guys.
  • Break Monolith application into tiny Microservices.
  • Discuss with architects how to divide into independent business logic.
  • Make sure that team is following The Twelve Factors.
  • Only pick the tool which solves the problem.
  • Look for all scenarios and choose the one which solves problems in a most efficient way.
  • Keep infrastructure as code in VC such as Git.
  • Try to automate all manual steps.
  • Implement proper CI/CD and keep on improving it.

Benefits of Cloud-Native Applications

  • All applications Packaged as lightweight containers, which run anywhere.
  • It offers easy scaling of applications.
  • It provides decoupling for hardware.
  • Applications Developed with best-of-breed languages using Polyglot approach and frameworks.
  • Whole application designed as loosely coupled Microservices.
  • All Microservices centered around APIs for interaction and collaboration.
  • The application is isolated from various servers and OS dependencies.
  • Deployed on self-service, elastic, Cloud infrastructure.
  • Managed through Agile DevOps processes.
  • Defined, policy-driven resource allocation.
  • Provide higher agility, resilience, and portability across different Cloud providers to companies.

Cloud-Native Best Practices

Auto-provisioning – Automatically provision different environments using code which is VCed in GIT.

Auto-redundancy – Cloud-native apps highly resilient to failure. When an issue occurs, apps move to another server or VM automatically and seamlessly.

Auto-scaling – Increases/Decreases the resources whenever the spike in traffic is there. Application design was done using Microservices.

  • API exposure – Expose API using REST or grpc.
  • Enabled Testing.
  • Enable Firewall and Service Mesh.
  • Utilize Multi-Cloud Deployment.
  • Setup Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery.

Tools for Managing Cloud-Native Applications

  • Fluentd Used for logging. It collects and shares log data and sends to log aggregations tools such as AWS CloudWatch.
  • Prometheus Monitoring tool which records Time-Series data for distributed Microservices.
  • Kubernetes – Container orchestration system to deploy and manage Containers.
  • ELK Stack – Provides complete monitoring solution.
  • Grafana A Visualization tool.
  • AWS, Google Cloud – Provides Cloud computing services.
  • Istio Enables Service Mesh.