Customizations, vertical shift, horizontal shift, changing business needs, application services, data, etc. — a host of factors come into play while making a move to the cloud. Besides, the business must decide on infrastructural control — for instance, a high-end dedicated cloud offers maximum control, whereas low-code, no-code, and serverless platforms offer minimum control.
According to Gartner, cloud services investment will reach $494.7 billion by the end of 2022. However, to realize success with the cloud, businesses must understand the abstraction level of the cloud and maintain a clear understanding of the options available. This is where choosing between cloud-native and cloud-agnostic SaaS products becomes challenging. A thorough understanding of them is essential for making the right choice.
What Is Cloud-Native?
Cloud-native architecture leverages components native to a specific cloud service provider to build the applications. The developers are freed from the burden of building and managing infrastructure components and can focus on application architecture. Since the application leverages stable managed services provided by the cloud service provider ( such as database, container, virtual computation) , they are able to achieve the elasticity , scalability, flexibility and resilience , which are primary advantages of the cloud.
Cloud-native products enable organizations to develop and run scalable apps in private, public, and hybrid clouds. Prominent features included in this approach are containers, microservices, service meshes, declarative APIs, and immutable infrastructure.
Whereas some businesses maintain their private cloud, enterprises usually stick to third-party, proprietary platform providers such as Google Cloud, AWS, Oracle, Alibaba Cloud, or Azure.
Sophisticated plugins and features with managed services stability in these proprietary cloud platforms are beneficial for software teams. Application managers and developers need not focus on backend integration and configuration concerns.
However, it’s noteworthy that developers can only design applications and services that function within that specific cloud platform. Although some platforms retain cross-functionality, such as multi-cloud catches, porting such applications to a new platform requires intensive application rebuilds and code refactoring.
- Scalability:Cloud-native makes it easier to scale systems up and down to meet organizational needs.
- Performance:Overall, the system’s performance increases because of smaller segments focusing on individual components.
- Resilience:Resilience depends on the microservices of cloud-native environments. As it stands, any small component issue or failure does not impact the entire ecosystem.
- High Upfront Costs:Upfront costs are relatively high for developing and deploying applications having unique features.
- Portability:It is usually challenging to move applications to respective clouds, which makes portability difficult.
- Monitoring Confronts: Small services require micro-management, which creates conflict.
- Data Management & Security: With so many small parts moving around, security, network communication across services, and data loss concerns are complex to address.
What Is Cloud-Agnostic?
Cloud-agnostic is a set of platforms, tools, or applications compatible with all cloud infrastructure. Most importantly, these applications can be easily moved to and from various cloud environments without operational hazards. Cloud-agnostic tools work equally well on Microsoft Azure, AWS, and Google, which indicates uninterrupted portability.
Regardless of the movement, results remain the same as tools are not dependent on the custom features of platforms. It also offers flexibility and scalability with options to customize and meet specific requirements of the business.
The cloud-agnostic architecture emphasizes designing applications running seamlessly in all cloud environments. As elucidated above, cloud-agnostic services and applications do not depend on the regulated toolchains of any cloud platform. Rather, they integrate seamlessly with a customized combination of open-source and vendor-provided tools. Although it increases standardized application management and tool compatibility risk factors, it also liberates businesses from typical vendor lock-ins.
The cloud-agnostic approach offers freedom and flexibility to businesses. However, building an app independent of vendors requires more work in developing and integrating features, which is often tedious.
- Portability:Portability is one of the major advantages of Cloud-agnostic products. Programs work independently of functions. Hence, they are easily movable.
- Consistency:Businesses can leverage an array of features that maximize the system’s performance.
- No Lock-in: Portability frees the business from service providers who could change their terms and conditions.
- Security: The approach depends on third-party services with unsecured firewall data, which increases security risks.
- Cost:Cloud-agnostic is more expensive compared to the architecture of Cloud-native.
The Bottom Line
The cloud-native approach is designed for individual platforms such as Microsoft Axure, Google Cloud Platform, and AWS. However, Cloud-agnostic is not dependent on any platform; it can be easily moved across platforms to support the changing needs. As a result, it gives greater flexibility to organizations.
Therefore, if your business is looking for unique features, freedom, and flexibility, the cloud-agnostic approach would be more suitable. However, if you are looking for a quick solution, cloud-native is the best approach.
Before making the decision, businesses should develop a cloud adoption roadmap to realize their long-term goals. They can then implement a strategy that considers a future-focused architecture that will meet the changing business needs.
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