This post continues on the previous cloud posts (Part 1 and Part 2). These posts discuss general details about what “the cloud” is and some explanations on how to leverage cloud platforms/providers. In this post, we will discuss some of the details of “cloud first” services and applications.
What does Cloud First Mean?
First, we should start with a brief primer of what the term “cloud first” actually means. Cloud first refers to software solutions designed specifically to utilize modern cloud computing functionality. These solutions leverage modern cloud hosting providers (Azure, Amazon, and Google) to maximize investment.
A cloud first service or application was not updated and migrated to the cloud. Instead, the design of the application is from scratch. Cloud first applications and services are better performing and in many cases more stable than traditional application models.
How is Cloud First different than migrating to the cloud?
We described some strategies for cloud migration in our last post that included containerization of on-premise applications. This is still a very viable method to start taking advantage of cloud computing platforms. However, it falls just a bit short of a true cloud first service. Specifically, containerizing an application can increase performance and scalability by making it easier to distribute the application across a more extensive collection (or cluster) of computing resources but can sometimes create complications due to the design of the application itself.
For example, let’s say that we’re moving an application that requires a database running on the same machine. In this type of use, the assembly (program logic) and content (your data) both need to exist and be replicated across the containers that you distribute.
The most significant difference between cloud first and cloud migration software is the design concern. Designers of cloud first services and applications are aware of the moving pieces behind the scene that replicate and sync data. Thus, the cloud first service design has a smaller assembly footprint and more tolerance to the database syncing. In simple terms, cloud first can accommodate new tech more efficiently.
There are significant performance differences that cloud hosting providers empower developers with. Simply put, the ability to be able to scale applications across dynamic infrastructure immediately starts increasing performance of the hardware.
Cloud first designs typically follow modern data management practices that didn’t exist 4 plus years ago. These new logic systems and data management systems tend to operate much more efficiently and with much higher performance than “top of the line” systems of old.
Consistency can be a tricky topic when migrating on-premise software to the cloud. This is typically related to the design of the software expecting only a single individual data endpoint. In these instances, some of the load balancing and distributed features of cloud platforms may need to be restricted or disabled to allow for migrating applications to operate as if they had been installed as a single on-premise instance.
Cloud first applications are built for modern cloud platform efficiency and consistency. They truly leverage all of the features and functions provided by the selected host!
To recap, cloud first services use highly performant modern development practices. These services leverage current cloud platform technologies and deliver the most effective functionality. This includes end mitigating hosting and infrastructure costs for end users.
Cloud first services tend to outperform and come with less complication than containerizing and migrating antiquated software systems. (Remember that migrating on-premise software solutions to the cloud is still far superior to continuing to run on-premise infrastructure).
As always, speak to your friendly IT professional before making decisions on what or how to start leveraging the cloud. Experienced cloud IT firms can help determine what concerns and complications you may face when migrating. They subsequently can help you to evaluate and potentially select new cloud-first service applications for your business!