Cloud-Native Application Development For AWS

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Cloud-Native Application Development for AWS
December 28, 2018 | 6 min read

Cloud-native application development is a unique approach to developing applications using various cloud-based technologies that are entirely hosted and managed over the cloud. And there’s no doubt that Amazon Web Services (AWS) have brought a mini-revolution to the world of mobile application development.

Introduction to Microservices

Microservices are certainly a revolution that has brought the industry to the next generation with matchless performance and productivity. It essentially bifurcates a complex problem into structured counterparts in the form of a collection of services.

Advantage of Microservices

A complex scenario when decomposed into smaller sections, adds up a considerable level of testability, maintainability, and organized layout that can be deployed easily independently with ease.

Deployment option: Serverless v/s Containers

Serverless and Containers have been acknowledged to deliver significant benefits and are trendsetters among the development technologies. Individually, each of them offers many benefits that can be easily exponentiated upon combining the two giants into one segment.

Containers and Serverless are competitors’ developmental technologies that deliver a distinct set of benefits to the end-user and are opted to depend upon the situation. Let’s have a look at the insights.

Microservices using Serverless technology

Serverless microservices are yet another breakthrough in the developmental domain. ‘The technique builds an entire system without the need to manage a server, thus discarding the usage of traditional practices focusing on the central entity – “the server.”

Serverless technology is on a boom in the industry and is much appreciated by the tech giants, namely Google, Amazon, and Microsoft. It offers numerous benefits for both the developers and the business.

Pros to employ serverless microservices:

  1. Major cut in operational cost: As the name implies, serverless means the execution of all operations without the need for a physical server. This minimizes the cost incurred in outsourcing a server or managing the server and associated databases.
  2.  Faster deployment: The serverless technique deals with creating code only for any particular task instead of stressing the infrastructure at hand, making it a preferred choice for application deployment. With serverless, you can deploy any application in a few hours/days rather than weeks/months.
  3. Enhanced scalability: Having a notion of future expansion is not feasible, which turns out to be a decider on the infrastructure at hand. The major asset of going serverless is to feel free in the event of any future additions to your applications since it offers easy up-gradation of the applications without bothering the complications of expanding the underlying infrastructure.
  4. Green Computing: Hosting data centers on your server can be a preferable but costly affair since it deals with the essential requirement of being up. This very factor results in tremendous power consumption. With serverless technology, you can purchase the servers when needed, resulting in cost-cutting and greener hosting.
  5. Satisfied end users: Cutting down the waiting times for the users in the event of high traffic can be annoying. Serverless micro-processes technology amplifies the satisfaction level of the consumers and minimizes the waiting period for new and improved infrastructure. With serverless, your orientation transforms from being infrastructure-centric to process/logic-oriented, wherein you can concentrate solely on the logic of the problem.
  6. Pay per request: Using the server only at the time of requirement minimizes the expenses of running a server 24*7 and offers a considerable boost to your savings.

Opting for serverless microservices could be a good decision for your organization, empowered with many benefits. It is a smart, request-driven technique that brings a massive cut down in operational costs.

Cons of Serverless Architecture:

  1. Expensive: The architecture comprises several operational and maintenance overheads, making it a costly affair.
  2. Less portable: Several offerings from Serverless architecture, such as AWS DynamoDB and Azure CosmosDB, showcase difficulties in transporting.
  3. Difficulty in troubleshooting: The troubleshooting complexity in serverless applications is known to increase with their expansion.

Microservices using Containers

As the name signifies, containers are pretty much similar to the physical containers wrapping up all the essential components needed to execute a service. Being an autonomous bundle offering complete execution space to software makes it a highly portable unit that significantly adds to the execution speed.

On the other hand, microservices are a lightweight fragment of the problem in hand, divided into several counterparts where each segment performs a distinct function and produces the ultimate result upon knitting up as one.

Keeping in mind that microservices are a bunch of services executing to achieve the combined results, running them simultaneously on a single interface could result in severe conflicts and could mess up the entire execution cycle into a slow loading and complex scenario.

Why rely on containers for the implementation of Microservices?

Containers are a big asset to building up a microservice architecture in the AWS framework. Being lightweight, they can quickly deploy a runtime environment for the microservices ensuring smooth execution combined with a significant boost over the implementation of the entire process.

Pros to using containers:

  1. Smooth execution: Containers isolate the execution right at the operating system level, ensuring multiple application execution over a single operating system seamlessly. The whole idea revolves around freeing up resources and adding up the system efficiency to handle a myriad of tasks in an excellent way.
  2.  Refined processing: Executing microservices via containers result in the implementation of numerous execution environments over a single instance of the operating system. Additionally, it frees up the programmers from the overhead of creating separate VMs for different applications and simultaneously offers you enhanced processing from single hardware, ensuring no interference among the processes.
  3. Better workload management: Containers offer quick initialization and can start in a fraction of a second. The flash starts up amplifies its workload handling capability in contrast to inefficient handling of applications by Virtual Machines (VMs) in events of heavy traffic load.

Executing the microservices via the container is essentially an evolution that offers a significant performance boost at far less cost and streamlined usage of system resources merged with efficient traffic handling capability. The ultimate benefit of employing containers maps the sole aim of running a business, i.e., enhanced user satisfaction.

Cons of Container Architecture:

  1. Security: Keeping in mind that containers share the kernel, components of the host operating system and possess root access. Any vulnerability in one kernel can significantly affect the security of other containers as well.
  2. Networking issues: The containers face serious deployment issues while maintaining a network connection, and the procedure is regarded as tricky in the application.
  3. Limited flexibility in Operating Systems: Executing multiple containers with various operating systems can be a difficult task requiring a startup for a new server.

Summary

In a nutshell, serverless and container techniques promote better computing with minimized infrastructure overhead. Both the approaches deal with fragmenting a complex problem into relatively simple modules running independently towards a common goal.

The users need to choose wisely between the two approaches, assuming preference for a serverless technique if the application needs frequent iteration and non-consistent usage/traffic and opting for the container technique in case the requirement lies across the migration of legacy applications to the cloud.

Additionally, there can be hybrid architecture if your requirements match up to the use cases of both segments. Choosing the combo would help you reap the perks of both approaches as they complement the other and take care of each other’s limitations in the true sense.

About the Author

Scalex is a digital engineering company that partners with startups and SMBs to provide end-to-end product development services by leveraging the power of digital technologies such as Mobile, Cloud, and Analytics.

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