As more and more businesses move to the cloud, they are faced with the decision of whether to adopt a cloud-native or cloud-agnostic approach. According to a survey conducted by International Data Group in 2020, 41% of organizations are pursuing a cloud-native strategy, while 51% are taking a cloud-agnostic approach.
The choice between these two approaches can significantly impact a business's operations and bottom line. For example, a cloud-native approach can offer greater agility and scalability, while a cloud-agnostic approach can provide greater flexibility and cost savings.
In this article, we'll explore the pros and cons of each approach and help you determine which one is right for your business. But first, let's take a closer look at what each approach entails and why it's such an important decision for businesses today.
Cloud-native vs. Cloud-agnostic
Recent studies have shown that businesses that adopt a cloud-native approach experience 50% faster deployment times, 63% reduction in infrastructure costs, and 60% fewer failures than those that use traditional infrastructure, highlighting the potential impact of this approach on a business's operations and bottom line.
However, a cloud-agnostic approach may be more suitable for businesses that require flexibility and cost savings across multiple cloud platforms. Let's take a closer look at what each approach entails and the pros and cons of each.
What is the Cloud-Native Approach?
A cloud-native approach involves building applications and services specifically for the cloud. This approach emphasizes the use of cloud-native tools and services, such as containers and microservices, and leverages the benefits of cloud computing to deliver greater agility, scalability, and resilience.
Cloud-native tools and services
Some of the cloud-native tools and services include-
- Containers: Containers are a lightweight, portable way to package and deploy applications. Popular containerization tools include Docker and Kubernetes.
- Serverless computing: Serverless computing allows developers to write and deploy code without worrying about infrastructure management. AWS Lambda and Google Cloud Functions are popular serverless computing platforms.
- Microservices: Microservices are a software architecture that breaks down an application into small, independently deployable services. They are often used in combination with containers and serverless computing to create highly scalable, resilient applications.
- Cloud databases: Cloud databases are fully managed, scalable databases that are hosted in the cloud. Examples include Amazon RDS, Microsoft Azure SQL Database, and Google Cloud SQL.
- Cloud storage: Cloud storage services, such as Amazon S3, Google Cloud Storage, and Microsoft Azure Blob Storage, provide scalable, secure, and durable storage for files, objects, and data.
Some of the pros and cons of a cloud-native approach include:
Pros of the Cloud-Native Approach
- Greater agility: Applications are designed to be highly modular and scalable, allowing for rapid development and deployment.
- Better scalability: Applications can scale dynamically based on demand, allowing businesses to handle traffic spikes and ensure a consistent user experience.
- Improved resilience: Applications are built to be resilient to failures and can recover quickly from disruptions.
Cons of the Cloud-Native Approach
- High learning curve: Building cloud-native applications requires specialized skills and knowledge of cloud-native tools and services, which can be challenging for developers who are not familiar with these technologies.
- Vendor lock-in: Cloud-native applications are typically tightly coupled to specific cloud platforms, which can limit a business's ability to switch to another provider in the future.
- Increased complexity: Cloud-native applications can be complex and difficult to manage, especially as they grow in size and complexity.
What is the Cloud-Agnostic Approach?
A cloud-agnostic approach involves creating applications and services that can run on any cloud platform. This approach emphasizes the use of standard tools and technologies that can be deployed in any environment. It allows businesses to take advantage of the cost savings and flexibility of multi-cloud environments.
Cloud-Agnostic tools and services
Here are some examples of cloud-agnostic tools and services:
- Cloud management platforms: The platforms, such as CloudBolt and Scalr, enable organizations to manage their infrastructure across multiple cloud providers from a single interface.
- Multi-cloud storage: Multi-cloud storage solutions, such as NetApp and Pure Storage, allow businesses to store data across multiple cloud providers and on-premises storage environments.
- Kubernetes distributions: Kubernetes distributions, such as Red Hat OpenShift and VMware Tanzu, provide a consistent, portable way to deploy and manage Kubernetes clusters across multiple clouds.
- Cloud automation tools: Tools, such as Terraform and Ansible, automate the deployment and management of infrastructure and applications across multiple cloud providers.
- Cloud monitoring and management tools: Datadog and New Relic are some of the many monitoring and management tools that provide visibility and control over applications and infrastructure deployed across multiple cloud providers.
Some of the pros and cons of a cloud-agnostic approach include:
Pros of the Cloud-Agnostic Approach
- Greater flexibility: These applications can run on any cloud platform, allowing businesses to choose the provider that best meets their needs.
- Cost savings: Such applications can take advantage of the best pricing and features from different cloud providers, which can result in cost savings.
- Reduced vendor lock-in: Cloud-agnostic applications are designed to be portable across different cloud platforms, reducing the risk of vendor lock-in.
Cons of the Cloud-Agnostic Approach
- Limited access to cloud-specific features: Cloud-agnostic applications may not be able to take advantage of some of the advanced features and services offered by specific cloud providers.
- Increased complexity: These applications can be more complex to build and manage, as they need to be compatible with multiple cloud platforms.
- Reduced agility: Such applications may not be as agile as cloud-native applications, as they need to be compatible with multiple environments.
Choosing the Right Approach: Factors to Check before considering Cloud-Native vs. Cloud-Agnostic
So, which approach is right for your business? The answer depends on your business's unique needs, goals, and resources. Here are some factors to consider when choosing between a cloud-native and cloud-agnostic approach:
- Development team's skills and experience: If your development team has expertise in cloud-native tools and services, a cloud-native approach may be the best fit. However, if your team is more comfortable with standard tools and technologies, a cloud-agnostic approach may be more appropriate.
- Business goals and requirements: If your business requires high levels of agility, scalability, and resilience, a cloud-native approach may be the best fit. But, a cloud-agnostic approach may be more appropriate if your business requires greater flexibility and cost savings.
- Budget and resources: A cloud-native approach may require more investment in specialized tools and services, whereas a cloud-agnostic approach may require more investment in standard tools and technologies.
Which is the best approach for your business: Cloud-Native or Cloud-Agnostic?
Choosing between a cloud-native and cloud-agnostic approach requires careful consideration of a business's unique needs and goals. While a cloud-native approach may offer significant benefits in terms of deployment speed, infrastructure cost reduction, and reliability, a cloud-agnostic approach may be more suitable for businesses that require flexibility and cost savings across multiple cloud platforms.
It is difficult to say which approach will give better ROI as it largely depends on the specific needs and goals of a business. However, in general, a cloud-native approach can result in faster time-to-market, increased efficiency, and higher application performance, which can ultimately lead to better ROI.
As for recent examples, many companies have reported significant ROI after adopting a cloud-native approach. For example, in a case study by AWS, GE Healthcare reported a 30% reduction in infrastructure costs and a 50% reduction in time-to-market after adopting a cloud-native approach.
In another case study by Google Cloud, HSBC reported a 30% reduction in costs and a 90% reduction in deployment time after migrating to a cloud-native architecture.
Work with a knowledgeable partner to determine the best approach for your business
Of course, every business is unique, and the ROI of a cloud-native approach will depend on factors such as the complexity of the application, the size of the organization, and the specific goals of the business. That's why it's important to work with a knowledgeable partner, such as Valuebound, to help determine the best approach for your specific needs and goals.
If you're looking to transform your business with cloud-based solutions, Valuebound can help. Our team of experts specializes in AWS services and cloud deployment, and we can help you determine whether a cloud-native or cloud-agnostic approach is right for your business.
Contact us today to learn more about our digital transformation services and how we can help you unlock the full potential of the cloud.