Question

How might a team make an app “cloud-ready”?

Answer

Many companies are trying to figure out how to send applications and workloads to the cloud. When it comes to designing applications for the cloud, there are some fundamental guidelines about what makes applications cloud-ready – how to get them into the right condition to be best supported in the cloud.

One major aspect of cloud-ready applications involves their builds. Loosely coupled applications are better candidates for the cloud. Decoupling data from the application often helps. Performance and latency are major factors, but by integrating loosely coupled architectures, applications become more versatile, which leads to better cloud success. Applications can be built as a collection of services or APIs to create a build that’s going to run well in the cloud.

Applications also benefit from being built for elasticity and scaling. Elasticity contemplates dynamic requirements in real-time or non-permanent spikes in demand. Scalability, on the other hand, addresses the need for a system to gradually grow as demand eventually increases. Applications that are built for horizontal scaling can benefit from better cloud outcomes.

Another aspect of cloud readiness has to do with resource allocation. It’s critically important to examine the structure of the application, and how it uses CPU and memory. There has to be some sort of equilibrium between how the application is supported in its original environment, and how it will be served in the cloud. It can be tough to make these comparisons between different environments, but it’s a major part of deciding whether applications are ready for prime time in the cloud.

In addition, teams also have to look at application interdependencies. How does the application work with Active Directory? What do all of the components of the application do inside of an architecture? There are also network dependencies, such as required IP address changes and firewall rules, and other types of administrative details to consider.

Generally speaking, engineers and teams must also look at input/output needs and storage methods and requirements – this goes back to the point about separating the data from the application. With so many different types of network setups in play, including virtualization and hyperconvergence, there are many ways to set up storage for applications. Finding the best solutions is another puzzle piece for cloud readiness.

In general, applications built with a “cloud-native” design are made to operate well in a cloud environment. Some experts recommend using a DevOps approach to build and condition applications in particular ways that make them cloud-compatible. However, some of the above tips are also practical ways to evaluate cloud readiness.

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Justin Stoltzfus
Contributor

Justin Stoltzfus is an independent blogger and business consultant assisting a range of businesses in developing media solutions for new campaigns and ongoing operations. He is a graduate of James Madison University.Stoltzfus spent several years as a staffer at the Intelligencer Journal in Lancaster, Penn., before the merger of the city’s two daily newspapers in 2007. He also reported for the twin weekly newspapers in the area, the Ephrata Review and the Lititz Record.More recently, he has cultivated connections with various companies as an independent consultant, writer and trainer, collecting bylines in print and Web publications, and establishing a reputation…