Cloud-Native Application

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What Does Cloud-Native Application Mean?

A cloud-native application is designed to take full advantage of distributed cloud resources and the software-as-a-service (SaaS) delivery model. This type of application is typically composed of microservices that are packaged as lightweight containers to improve speed, agility and scalability.


Native cloud applications are governed by policy and have the following characteristics:

  • Resiliency: Cloud spplications are built to take advantage of the redundancy and flexibility that a distributed architecture can provide.
  • Agility: Because cloud native apps are composed of microservices, they are usually easier to develop, deploy and iterate than traditional desktop apps.
  • Automation: DevOps teams can use a continuous deployment strategy to automate updates and other code changes without disrupting the user experience.
  • Maximum Uptime: Cloud orchestrators help developers build high availability (HA) apps that have almost zero downtime.

A major benefit of cloud-native apps is their modularity. Each part of a cloud-native app can be developed and deployed separately from the others.

Techopedia Explains Cloud-Native Application

Cloud-native applications are typically developed by DevOps teams, governed by policy and are usually highly automated. Typically, back-end communication is managed through a service mesh layer. Microservices that belong to the same application have independent lifecycles and discover each other during runtime.

Each microservice in a cloud app supports a very specific business capability, runs in its own process and communicates with other services through messaging or an application programming interface (API). Back-end communication is often managed through a service mesh layer.

Cloud-native platforms make it possible for organizations to build and run applications in public, private, or hybrid cloud environments. The flexibility, resiliency, and scalability provided by the cloud is essential to how cloud-native applications function.


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Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.