Cloud Native Solutions: Bringing Application and Platform Architects Together

Unprecedented changes in the new IT ecosystem, coupled with the rapid adoption of public and private cloud, provide significant challenges to two distinct but connected IT communities: platform architects and application architects. Additionally, an insufficient understanding of one another’s domain results in uneven application solutions that lack actual cloud value. Here, we emphasize the two domain architects’ divergent perspectives on common challenges often well resolved by the best cloud service providers. 

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Defining application and platform designs 

While application design is concerned with developing applications that achieve a business objective, platform design is concerned with non-functional features that create a supportive environment. Platform design enabled by the best cloud service providers is focused on services that host and run applications efficiently and following the application’s design requirements. 

Conflicting current customer designs in apps creates uncertainty, preventing developers from fully leveraging platform features in their applications. 

As a result of inconsistent application behavior in cloud-native solutions, this results in inefficient application design, incredible speed, underused platform, and even failed implementation. 

Design factors that need to be considered 

Therefore, what are the common visual elements that require attention from both worlds to avoid misunderstanding while developing an application? Notably, designing for the future necessitates some room for expandable storage and the flexibility to handle unanticipated future requirements. Therefore, platform and application designers must consider several complementary factors that the best cloud service providers often consider. 

Applications developed for cloud platforms or platform-as-a-service platforms can use platform characteristics to increase their robustness. Scaling is a function built into the platform architecture that begins a particular feature of managing failed apps or deadlock circumstances. It is critical for application architects to create self-healing applications and include a method for detecting failures or deadlocks. 

What should platform architects do? 

Platform Architects are accountable for developing platforms with resilience in mind, exposing services appropriately to developers, training them on correct usage, and facilitating motion for seamless behavior analysis. 

While the platform will provide numerous catch points for detecting and responding to application problems and failure warnings, the application must use them to report incorrect situations. In addition, platform architects must keep future network requirements in mind while designing a solution that allows for seamless capacity release. 

Points application architects should bear in mind. 

Instrumentation of application components enables the provision of internal runtime statistics to external tools for consumption. This data is being used to monitor and administer applications. 

For instance, Azure PaaS provides application insight as a platform feature for this purpose. Therefore, application architects can incorporate this into their designs to enable the usage of the application insight SDK while designing applications on Azure PaaS as a part of a robust azure cloud migration strategy. 

The external configuration server is also another platform that application architects must fully leverage. Maintaining settings enables updates to meet business requirements without affecting running applications. The PaaS Cloud architecture offered by the best cloud service providers includes several possibilities for real-time log management. One popular method is to channel all logs to a standard output called hosepipe, where an external log management system can easily connect and begin processing. 

Platform and application architects work collaboratively. 

When applications are reimagined in containers, they are modeled to offer services and data via application programming interfaces (APIs). This is a de facto method of converting the entire software module’s functionality. In addition, numerous managed private cloud services can bring application components contained within containers to connect using the PaaS system’s internal routing component.  

Usually, hiring the best cloud service providers ensures managing all incoming traffic, and a platform architect can write custom policies specific to the application design. In addition, a developer must ensure that API monitoring is provided to external systems to capture and log any API disconnect or failing situation. With specialist public cloud offerings and API administration software, the API ecosystem may be efficiently controlled with cloud backup strategies. 

How can PaaS help? 

Object-oriented software architects have utilized object-oriented design to create software. For example, JAVA provides extensive support for modular application development. However, hosting systems were never intended to be scalable and did not benefit fully from component-based architecture. As a result, while heavyweight application servers offered a functioning environment, they could not grow as the strain on specific components increased. 

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PaaS offered the optimal runtime environment for scaling up a few components and down when the load lowers. Program architects can begin by understanding the PaaS runtime platform architecture; this will enable the best cloud service providers to estimate the enormous work necessary to decompose a monolithic application into minor microservice components and redesign the application architecture. This is the initial step toward planning the application’s transfer to PaaS. 

Avoid performance issues during scaling. 

Distributed applications running on the cloud should be built to address latency and performance concerns. If the underlying platform is set up correctly, these cloud-native apps can be deployed across locations. 

Platform designers must consider the application’s deployment approach and establish the container’s scalability policy. For instance, a crucial Cloud foundry in which Diego cells may be designed to scale up or down in response to the performance of an application running on these cells. However, because cell rebalancing is a processor-intensive task, it might cause performance difficulties for applications when scaling. The best approach to cope with such circumstances is to jointly design a platform’s policy based on predicted future application load. 

Effective measures which help avoid inconsistencies. 

Maintaining session state in container-based apps is exceptionally challenging, and a container’s runtime crash might result in inconsistent application behavior. To circumvent this, cloud-native programs should keep session data separate from the application in a separate database. Additionally, creational patterns have been utilized in software engineering for an extended period and have become critical for creating cloud-native applications. For example, top public cloud providers often use the singleton pattern to ensure that there is only one version with global access, which aids in conserving the state and avoids inconsistent functioning in the program. 

Bringing architects across domains together 

Bringing Cloud application architects and system designers together for planning how to embrace a future where Cloud adoption is an essential part of the strategy is the next step. In addition, application re-platforming and application architecture redesign are needed for moving existing apps to a PaaS Cloud. 

When it comes to bridging this gap, the role of platform architects with cloud-native technologies is to promote information about platform adaptability, design policies driven by policy, and avoidance of future design disputes. 

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