DevOps

SODEC JAPAN 2021 | Empowering Digital Transformation through DevOps and App Modernization

SODEC JAPAN 2021 | Empowering Digital Transformation through DevOps and App Modernization 768 487 Exist Software Labs

SODEC JAPAN 2021 | Empowering Digital Transformation through DevOps and App Modernization

Exist, a global consulting and IT solutions leader continues its pursuit to promote empowerment in Digital Transformation through DevOps and App Modernization with its participation in SODEC 2021 Autumn.

Software & Apps Development Expo (SODEC Spring) is Japan’s largest exhibition showcasing a wide range of products for the development, operation, and maintenance of software and apps. A large number of IT Enthusiasts from all around the globe visit SODEC every year to conduct business discussions with exhibitors.

The event was made possible by the Philippine Software Industry Association (PSIA), supported by the Philippine Government, Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), and with the cooperation of the Ministry of Trade and Investment of the Philippine Embassy in Japan and the Philippine Ministry of Trade and Industry’s Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB). The 29th Japan IT Week 2021 Autumn was held at Makuhari Messe, Chiba, Japan, for three days, from October 27th to 29th, 2021

The recent outbreak of COVID-19 has enabled large-scale businesses to create remote working facilities and remote access of the workforce to their data; fortunately, many enterprises have succeeded in keeping average to minimal decline in productivity. Businesses from various industries have supplied all necessary infrastructure and security support to their clients and employees to maintain company continuity throughout this period. As a result of these circumstances, enterprises are accelerating their migration to modernized infrastructures and advancing their legacy systems and applications; This only indicates the increased demand for the service.

According to a new analysis published by Valuates Reports, The global Application Modernization Services market size is projected to reach US$ 43350 million by 2027, from US$ 16200 million in 2020, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 15.1% during 2021-2027. Application modernization is the refactoring, re-purposing, or consolidation of legacy software programming to align it more closely with current business needs.

DevOps, on the other hand, is expanding and integrating with numerous technological advances such as machine learning and AI, which will gain traction not just this year but also in the future. “The global DevOps market exhibited strong growth during 2015-2020. Looking forward, the global DevOps market to grow at a CAGR of around 21% during 2021-2026.” – According to Businesswire research conducted in June of this year.

Exist will continue to innovate and provide comprehensive solutions through DevOps and Application Modernization as part of our mission to empower digital transformation.

Check out our products and services to learn more about how we can help your enterprise accelerate. Start your digital transformation journey now!

EXIST showcases the importance of Application Modernization and DevOps at SODEC JAPAN 2021

EXIST showcases the importance of Application Modernization and DevOps at SODEC JAPAN 2021 768 487 Exist Software Labs

EXIST showcases the importance of Application Modernization and DevOps at SODEC JAPAN 2021

Companies that are striving to innovate their systems to adapt to the fast-changing business landscape continue to expand as demand for DevOps and App Modernization grows. With our end-to-end IT solutions and services, Exist can help you plan and implement your digital journey to meet evolving client demands, regulatory changes, and global market opportunities in today’s digital economy.

Today as part of Japan’s Autumn IT Week 2021, Exist participates in the Software and App Development Exhibition (SODEC) in Makuhari Messe, Chiba, Japan. With the support from the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT); and the cooperation of the Ministry of Trade and Investment of the Philippine Embassy in Japan, and the Department of Trade and Industry, along with the Export Marketing Bureau.

Exist Software Labs will share their knowledge and skills in giving current solutions to the dynamic changes in the business relating to DevOps and App Modernization via a video confirmation system. 

Don’t miss out! Know more about how you can modernize your system, improve efficiency and compete at a global scale with confidence. Be sure to drop by our booth at Japan IT Week SODEC 2021 at Makuhari Messe, booth number 31-49, which will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. JST until October 29, 2021.

We want to meet you in SODEC 2021!

Creating a Flexible and Affordable DevOps Kickstarter Webinar Highlights

Creating a Flexible and Affordable DevOps Kickstarter Webinar Highlights 768 487 Exist Software Labs

Speaker: Mr. Dennis De Vera | Exist Tech Architect

The primary purpose of DevOps implementation is to accelerate software delivery and increase business agility. The enterprise-wide impact that it can bring has been more evident, and much desired by businesses who want to remain at the top of their games. Although transitioning to DevOps can be vital to business success, challenges along the way might become overwhelming.

This session was organized to give an introduction to DevOps and assist businesses at the early stage of their DevOps journey.

Why DevOps; What is the fuss all about?

DevOps is a culture-changer. It is a process wherein each individual should be able to contribute to their own little way for it to be successful. Most of the time, it is correlated to your build automation. Build automation is directly correlated to your CI/CD pipeline.

How mature is your automation strategy?

Continuous integration

The process wherein you have a central source code repository. A developer can commit code, build, validate, compile, test, and can build an artifact out of it.

Continuous Delivery

The process wherein you deploy your application to your QA server, do the necessary tests and deploy it to your UAT servers for end-users to validate. The goal here is to automate it/deploy it to your UAT server and subsequently, to your production server with just a click of a button.

Continuous Deployment

The application is deployed into production. With the help of your continuous integration and continuous delivery, the right set of tools, and the right set of configurations, you won’t need an individual to put an application to production. With this automation, the risk of having human-errors is alleviated.

What is Application Modernization

It is the process of breaking down a monolithic application into smaller pieces to make changes faster, allowing you to deploy just a specific module, or augment a new feature without having to deploy the whole ecosystem. Having smaller pieces of codes or features with a smaller set of individuals participating in the process makes the process more agile than in monolithic setup.

Implementation of DevOps in Your Organization

There is no such thing as a generic DevOps because of different things to take into consideration such as:

Deployment Environment

We first have to assess if the existing pipelines and continuous integration are working before going into production.

Connectivity

Continuous integrations usually need to have access to download and upload artifacts. You have to consider firewalls, bandwidth, security, and other stuff under Connectivity.

Type of Application

You have to consider whether you want to build a web application, a mobile application, or a desktop application.

Infrastructure

Without the proper infrastructure, you will not be able to start anything. Under this, you should consider whether going on the cloud, on-premise, or hybrid.

Software Licenses

Should you go directly for enterprise licenses, or can you go for an open-source first? If you are already subscribed to a cloud provider, can you utilize those tools, and if these aren’t enough, can I choose for the other options?

People

You need to have the right people to guide your organization in making sure that you are implementing it the correct way, people who are experienced in building this kind of environment. You also need to have some changes in management.

Infrastructure – Cloud

Pros:

    • Less management
    • Resiliency and scalability
    • Built-in tools for CI/CD
    • Cost (Opex vs. Capex, pay as you go)

Cons:

    • Connectivity

Infrastructure – On-Premise

Pros:

    • Complete control of infrastructure
    • Complete control of data

Cons:

    • Harder to scale
    • Maintainability
    • OS Licenses

Infrastructure – Hybrid

Pros:

    • Best of both worlds

Cons:

    • Latency
    • Specific hardware to bare metal to match cloud infrastructure
    • Cloud compatibility

Software – Licensed

Pros:

    • Support
    • Larger List of features
    • InfoSec Compliance
    • Highly Scalable

Cons:

    • Cost

Licensed Tools:

    • ThoughtWorks
    • Urban Code
    • Perforce
    • Bamboo
    • GitLab
    • Jenkins

Software – Open-Source

Pros:

    • No License Cost
    • Easy to Jumpstart

Cons:

    • Support
    • Restricted Scalability
    • Non-Enterprise Grade Standard

Open-Source Tools:

    • Jenkins
    • Teamcity
    • GitLab
    • Sonar
    • Ansible

Open-source is more recommendable for starters since it won’t have license cost and it is easier to set up.

Software – Cloud Tools

Pros:

    • Less Management
    • Scalability and Resiliency
    • Fast Development
    • Pay as You Use

Cons:

    • Dependent on Deployment Locations (e.g. On-Premise
    • Network

Cloud Tools:

    • Microsoft Azure
    • GitLab Runner
    • Docker

DevOps as a Culture

How does DevOps affect each individual within your organization?

People

Consultants

    • They will guide your organization in implementing the right tools, the right configurations, and the right strategies for you to be able to successfully implement a DevOps culture within your organization.

Project Team

    • DevOps will make the process more transparent to project managers, making each individual more accountable for what they need to deliver and improve the delivery process.
    • DevOps will make sure that the developers are responsible for their codes from the point that they committed it until the code reaches the production.
    • DevOps will allow QAs to make more tests which secure the improvement and quality of the deliverable.
    • Faster deployments mean faster the end-users can also see the output faster, which will allow the business analysts to get a clearer understanding of the end-users’ perspective.
    • Some of the deployment tasks will be from the infrastructure through DevOps. This will let them focus on more specific tasks like improving the infrastructure, security, network connectivity, compatibility of hardware to software.
    • DevOps will be a new participant in the project team which will serve as the bridge between the developers and the infrastructure team. This person will also be responsible for streamlining the process and making sure that the process will be improved over time.

Management

    • Management – The more efficient the process and people are, the faster it will be to release into production. Work will be done faster. By making your people more effective, the management can minimize their operating costs.
    • Sales & Marketing – It will be easier to sell products since they can be launched earlier in the market. It will also let the business cope up with competitors with a faster process of delivering the product to the customer.
    • Finance – Costs will be down, while sales will be up. Thus, making the company more financially stable.
    • Human Resource – HR can hire employees on a more specific scale to supplement the existing teams.
    • Product Owners – They can see the product in the market and easily compare it to competitors, and easily make adjustments to stay one step ahead.

What Is Our Success Criteria?

    • Improve turnaround time
    • Improve the quality of deployment
    • Automate the deployment process
    • Streamline the process

Exist Partners with Microsoft in Its 1st DevOps Webinar

Exist Partners with Microsoft in Its 1st DevOps Webinar 768 487 Exist Software Labs

With the increasing demand to drive enterprise-wide technological innovation, technology leaders Microsoft and Exist Software Labs, Inc. joined forces to hold its first-ever DevOps Webinar entitled “Creating a Flexible and Affordable DevOps Kickstarter” last May 27, 2020.

Mr. Jonas Lim, Exist’s Vice President for Tech Services facilitated the webinar, while, Exist Tech Architect Dennis De Vera and Microsoft APAC Open Source Lead Sindhu Chengad were the speakers.

Mr. De Vera expanded on DevOps essentials such as what it is and how it changes the culture of an enterprise and identifying the maturity of the automation strategy.

“Going into the webinar, I have this perception that most people have some level of automation. But I was surprised that most organizations are already taking the first step in building their CI/CD pipeline, which is a good thing. These organizations can now take the next step on optimizing and further automating items on their pipeline that can be done by machines instead of people,” Mr. De Vera said.

Meanwhile, Ms. Chengad shed some light on effective DevOps solutions. She also elaborated on Microsoft’s decision to support open source solutions, which aligns with their mission of empowering every person and every organization to achieve more.

The said webinar is first among the series of online events that Microsoft and Exist are devising. This initiative aims to introduce and assist businesses that are at the early stage of their DevOps journey using open source tools and assist corporations in implementing it to accelerate their software development process.

“Hopefully, with this webinar, we were able to enhance the organizations’ knowledge on how DevOps can help them ship their products/system faster and with more confidence than before, which could bring more potential growth to their organization by edging out competitors in terms of quality and speed of rolling out features and products to complement their existing products/process.” Mr. De Vera ended.

Stay tuned for more informative webinars that we are brewing.

Exist To Help Spread Cloud-Native Revolution Across APAC at the Pivotal Summit 2019

Exist To Help Spread Cloud-Native Revolution Across APAC at the Pivotal Summit 2019 768 487 Exist Software Labs

Manila, Philippines, Nov 08, 2019 — Exist Software Labs, Inc., a global consulting and IT solutions Philippine market leader is set to join Pivotal Software, leading cloud-native platform provider, in its annual roadshow summit in two key cities in Singapore and Japan this November.

Taking place at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore on November 14 and at Roppongi Hills in Tokyo on November 26, visitors can catch Exist at the Sponsors booth area. The team will highlight its technical and innovative expertise as an upcoming key Pivotal partner ready to help Asia-based enterprises build and operate software at startup speed.

“As a technology leader, we are committed to helping spread the use of advanced technologies that enable companies to digitally transform how they manage and deliver software and data. Our track record of designing and implementing solutions spans the Asia region and it makes perfect sense that we join Pivotal as it showcases new technologies that power enterprise-grade clouds and help developers ship code more frequently,” narrates Mike Lim, Exist president and CEO.

Spanning across five countries, the APJ Pivotal Summit 2019 gives business leaders in the Asia-Pacific and Japan region valuable facetime opportunity to meet with expert Pivotal speakers and industry thought leaders in both traditional presentation and informal conversations about the latest developments in Development and Operations (DevOps), Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD), application development, cloud architectures, legacy modernization, and more.

“We marvel at Pivotal’s ambitious mission which is to transform how the world builds software and we believe that we are capable of providing end-to-end support in reaching this goal. This means that with Pivotal, we can help clients across every industry in Asia, innovate on how they use software to meet their own respective business goals as well,” Mr. Lim exclaimed.

At every summit stop, visitors and conference attendees will learn about the latest developments in DevOps, CI/CD, application development, cloud architectures, legacy modernization. Technical managers or executives looking to educate themselves will pick up the latest software development tools and methods to help transform their teams.

Business track
Learn how organizations and governments can transform the way they build and run their most important software applications leveraging a cloud-native platform, developer tools, data insights, and modern methodologies.

Technical track
Listen to speakers discuss the best cloud-native Java content from the flagship SpringOne Platform 2019 conference. Learn about both traditional monolithic and modern, cloud-native Java from the source.

“We are excited to be side-by-side with Pivotal in helping customers in Asia launch their digital transformation initiatives. With their cloud-native platform plus data tools together with our tried and tested agile methodology, we can help provide a complete solution for forward-thinking businesses who look to software for their success,” explains Mike.

You can learn more about the APJ Pivotal Summit 2019 Singapore here and APJ Pivotal Summit 2019 Japan here.

Becoming the ‘Big Fish’: Pivotal Steps Up the Game with Its 4x-Bigger New Office

Becoming the ‘Big Fish’: Pivotal Steps Up the Game with Its 4x-Bigger New Office 768 487 Exist Software Labs

Pivotal, the go-to provider of cloud-native platform, developer tools, and unique methodology to help the world’s largest enterprises transform the way they build and run their most important applications, opened its new office in Funan at the Wework Offices last Sept 19, 2019.

Moving into the new space four times bigger than the previous office, it houses amenities where innovation teams can get together and create wonderful applications.

Jonas Lim, Exist’s Vice President for Engineering and I represented the Philippines & Exist Software Labs. The impressive space can house client team members as well in what they call “Dojos” – a training quarters used in martial arts training, this time used in the building of modern software.

Present in the event were Pivotal President Bill Cook, Senior Vice President for Products & Marketing Ian Andrews, Vice President and Managing Director of Asia, Pacific and Japan Lionel Lim, and General Manager of Partners & Alliances in APJ KM Tan. We also met up with other Singapore team members; Sachin, Shaun, David, Dennis, and Nam along with the APJ regional officers in Korea, China and from Pivotal Japan, Andrew Lee, Yanagihara-san, Kobayashi-san, and Takashi-san.

Curtained space encased Pivotal Labs’ clients, having Pivotal engineers pair up with clients and do knowledge transfer of best practices and learning the pivotal process for application development and platform implementation.

This is a very important concept for success learned – “The Big Fish”. In a pond, the small fish always gets eaten by the big fish. In the corporate context, if a new process needs to be adopted, this new process should be in an environment wherein it will be the “big fish” devouring the old practice from the client team, the “small fish” which leads to the transformation into the new Pivotal process. Once the company gets strong enough and better established, it can go back to its old environment with a higher rate of success to thrive and propagate the new process.

At Exist, we implemented one of the first and largest ever Pivotal Cloud Foundry (PCF) installed here in the Philippines for a Government project. The application uses designed and containerized microservice and cloud-native architecture that is meant for the management, monitoring and accelerating the processing of the documents importation handled by multiple agencies to process port entries of goods and containers. It has been rolled out to 14 agencies already and will still be rolled out to other agencies.

Fulfilling Exist’s mission to provide cutting edge technologies to provide a competitive edge to our client is one of the key reasons why our large enterprise clients chose Exist as their innovation partner in the implementation of their digital transformation strategy.

In the opening ceremony, a Lion dance was performed as a Chinese tradition for good luck, health, blessing, and prosperity and to bring positive energy in the space. In performing this, paints are being dotted onto the lion’s body. The first to be dotted will be in the mirror at the front of the lion’s head. This is known as the “third eye”. Then, it will be followed by the nose so that it can breathe and smell deals from all over. Next will be inside the mouth. Next, the ears to be able to listen to clients’ needs, the eyes to be able to see more deals. Lastly, it will be dotted all over its body – from its head to have the wisdom to successfully help in achieving clients’ goals and satisfaction, down to its neck, tail and finally, the limbs. The Lion Dance was performed all around the space to spread the blessing.

It is such a wonderful experience overall to be able to be around key people from the industry and we look forward to creating amazing stories with them from this new home towards the new frontier of Cloud-native and modern architecture for applications.

D2iQ, Exist Team Up for First Day 2 Cloud-Native Event Manila

D2iQ, Exist Team Up for First Day 2 Cloud-Native Event Manila 768 487 Exist Software Labs

D2iQ (formerly Mesosphere), a leading provider of enterprise-grade cloud platforms that enable smarter Day 2 operations, alongside Exist, a global consulting and enterprise IT solutions leader, is set to host the first-ever “Day 2 Cloud-Native Event in Manila” on the 10th of October, Thursday, at Ascott Hotel, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

Upholding the theme “Driving Business Success through Cloud-Native Architecture”, the event is tailored to present the benefits of cloud-native technologies and the approaches for enterprises to embrace prevailing open-source innovations while achieving long-term success. It brings a mix of keynote presentations, strategic use cases, business stories, and technical analysis from cloud-native experts of D2iQ, Exist, and Voyager Innovations. 

“We are thrilled to make history as we are about to hold the very first Day 2 Cloud-Native Event in Manila. We have been looking forward to introducing our new brand and product portfolio especially to organizations that are at the early stages of exploring cloud and container technologies,” expressed Sam Chen, APJ RVP, D2iQ.

In early August, Mesosphere has changed its name to D2iQ (Day-2-IQ), reflecting a new strategy to bring cloud capabilities to the enterprise. The D2iQ strategy includes: Ksphere, a solution category tailor-made to deliver advanced capabilities for application orchestration leveraging a foundation of Kubernetes; Datasphere, a data-centric set of solutions which are centered around requirements for building and maintaining large-scale data analytics and processing environments; and Mesosphere, a solution category rooted in providing a very mature foundation for massive application scale and reliability leveraging a Mesos and DC/OS foundation.

With this recent amendment, D2iQ also wanted to clasp every opportunity to impart the understanding of cloud-native technologies across its market. The company deems the event a great chance to tap into enterprises in the country that need professional assistance in venturing the platform, reintroducing its brand accompanied by its recalibrated strategy.

“Throughout the years, we found customers still need lots of help getting educated and supported around cloud-native technologies – from planning and selecting the right technologies, to the workload deployments, scaling up and maintenance. As one of the original cloud innovators, D2iQ has years of unmatched experience in driving some of the world’s largest cloud deployments with a focus on scalability, resilience, governance, and security. With the enterprise-grade technologies, training, services, and support across a wide spectrum of cloud-native services, we are here to help more Philippines enterprises during their cloud-native journey as a trusted partner,” D2iQ explained. 

Among the expected attendees are IT heads from some of the foremost companies in the industry within the Philippines. An interactive panel discussion rounds out the event where attendees have the opportunity to share and exchange ideas and best practices, and network with fellow tech enthusiasts.

Exist, being one of the front liners in forwarding such technology, also shared its end-goal in taking a part in initiating this event.

“The underlying idea is to leverage emerging technologies to help large enterprises accelerate their cloud-native journey. As an early go to market partner with D2iQ in the Philippines, our deep experience in open-source and cloud-native technologies combined with our Agile development process and successful cloud-native implementations is an essential part of creating a holistic cloud adoption strategy for our enterprise clients,” shared Michael Lim, president and CEO of Exist.

“We believe that engaging in cloud-native has a significant business value. We can help more innovative organizations have a smoother path in their cloud-native journey and accelerate their time to market through imparting our expertise and experience in enabling our enterprise clients to deliver cloud-native apps successfully.” Mr. Lim further affirmed.

For the participating firms to gain a better comprehension of the cloud-native architecture, some of the subjects to be discussed are the effective navigation and deployment of cloud-native strategy, familiarizing Kubernetes, and DC/OS practices.

For more information, visit https://www.d2iq.com and https://exist.com.

Exist Heads to SODEC Japan 2019, Highlights the Value of DevOps

Exist Heads to SODEC Japan 2019, Highlights the Value of DevOps 768 487 Exist Software Labs

Exist, a global consulting and IT solutions leader continues its quest to promote its comprehensive portfolio of innovative IT solutions and services in Japan with its participation to SODEC Japan on May 8-10, 2019.  

One of the largest conferences during Japan IT Week Spring, the Software & Apps Development Expo (SODEC) is known as Japan’s largest exhibition featuring a variety of products for development, operation, and maintenance of software and apps.

“Together with PSIA, DICT, and other Philippine participating companies, we’re excited to once again be part of SODEC and explore more opportunities for collaborations and partnerships with Japanese companies”, reveals Michael Lim, president and CEO of Exist. “As Japanese organizations continue to face globalization, we believe Exist can provide them readily-available and top IT talent pool to enable them to accelerate the digitization of their business.”

During the event, Exist will present and share the value of Agile and DevOps required to successfully transform and guide the customer’s digital journey. At the booth, Exist’s experts will discuss the challenges of implementing DevOps in Japan and will share insights on how to come out from those challenges. Visitors looking to know more about the value of adopting a DevOps approach in driving business agility also get to discuss various case studies and client success stories with the team.

“In today’s complex business environment, DevOps is fundamental to compete successfully, and enable rapid innovation”, shares Michael. “Whether you’re just getting started or want to advance to the next stage in your DevOps journey, Exist will equip you with the tools and strategies you need to attain new levels of automation, efficiency, and deliver greater value to your customers”.

Among the other offerings which Exist will showcase in the event includes Technology Consulting, Software Development, Automated Software Testing, API Integration, Big Data and Analytics, Blockchain, Mobile App Development, Anahaw retail solution, and Medcurial healthcare solution.

“Adopting DevOps is both a cultural and organizational shift that significantly impact deployment frequency, accelerate time to market, enable continuous delivery and boost quality”, explains Michael. “Given our experience in implementing DevOps for global clients and expertise on open source tools and technologies, we are in the best position to help Japanese companies plan and implement their DevOps journey to meet changing customer preferences, regulatory changes and global market opportunities in today’s digital economy”, concludes Michael.

To reserve a meeting with the Exist team at SODEC, visit: https://exist.com/sodec2019/.

Cloud-Native Applications, Part 1: An Introduction

Cloud-Native Applications, Part 1: An Introduction 768 487 Exist Software Labs

This is the first post in a four-part blog series on cloud-native applications that aims to provide a better understanding of what cloud-native applications are and how to fully exploit the benefits of this new architecture.

In this introductory post, we’ll cover some of the advantages of cloud-native apps, drivers behind it and discuss some of the challenges you should be aware of when building cloud-native applications.

Many organizations are now shifting to a cloud-native approach in combination with microservices architecture and container technologies to accelerate innovation and take advantage of the higher scalability, flexibility, and speed that the technology offers.

To give us an overview about cloud-native applications, we sat down with one of our Directors of Engineering, Chris Lim, to talk about the emergence of cloud-native architecture, its benefits and challenges, and some considerations in adopting this approach.

Q. There’s a growing buzz in the past 2-3 years about Microservices, containerization of applications and Devops around Kubernetes. What is it all about? And how do Microservices and Kubernetes play in this concept?

Chris Lim: The traditional way of software application development is to have a single deployable unit that contains all the features of the application. This is also called monolithic architecture. So for example, we have created a Healthcare Information System which includes the billing, admission, nursing, pharmacy and other modules — all of these components are bundled together and deployed as a single deployable unit. This kind of architecture has its trade-offs. For one, it is relatively easier to develop as developers are dealing with a single set of source codes and popular IDEs support this. Another is that it easier to deploy and scale as we are dealing with a singular deployment unit. However, the disadvantages of monolithic architecture overshadow its advantages over the long term. A large code base is not easy to maintain and intimidates developers. Introducing a code change may introduce bugs on other parts of the application. Over time the size of the deployment unit grows and overloads the server. In order to fix a bug or implement an enhancement to one component means redeploying the whole application. This means some production downtime and interruption in the business operation. Depending on the size, technologies and process used, deploying an update is very time-consuming and the whole cycle will have to be repeated with every change. In systems that can’t afford a downtime such as healthcare, production deployment is a very risky business. Scalability in a monolithic application is also another area of major concern. Multiple copies of the application have to be deployed to cater to an increased transaction volume. This is not a very efficient configuration. Different application components have different resource requirements. A component may be CPU intensive and another component might be memory intensive. The total resources have to be taken into consideration in planning for server capacity. There is no way to scale components individually.

Monolithic to Microservices

Cloud-native application architecture aims to solve the limitations of the monolithic application architecture. Microservice is about designing the software such that the components are broken down into separate deployable units. Component separation is usually around functional boundaries. So going back to our Hospital Information System example, components would be the billing, admission, nursing modules. These will become separate deployable units. Imagine for a moment that there is a surge in patient admission stretching the computing resources for the admission module. In a monolithic environment, this is a big issue as probably the whole application is experiencing a slowdown at this point. In a cloud-native environment however it is a different story. Other components of the application continue to function as normal. What the operations team needs to do is to scale the admission module to 3 or 4 or 5 depending on the load. Another option is for the operations team to define an autoscale policy. Without human intervention, the system will self-heal itself. Scaling up when more resources are needed and scaling back down when demand is low.

Kubernetes serves as the platform in which the microservice components are deployed. It is responsible for the deployment, scaling, maintenance, scheduling and operation of multiple application components.

These tasks will be very tedious if performed manually. Automation tools and practices exist to streamline the process of coding, testing, integration, deployment and infrastructure management. To coin a single term for all this — DevOps. It helps to improve efficiency in the software development lifecycle.

Q: What are the advantages of cloud-native applications?

Chris Lim: One of the benefits of a cloud-native application is its scalability and flexibility — the ability to change or add new features without putting down the whole system or application and disrupting your operations.

The distributed nature of cloud-native applications provide the benefits of scalability and overall higher system availability. Because the system is distributed, cloud-native apps are more robust, highly fault-tolerant and remove the single-point-of-failure.

A cloud-native architecture enables flexible and agile development, shorter development cycles, and quicker time to deployment.

Combining agile techniques and DevOps philosophies such as continuous delivery in cloud-native patterns, you can reduce development cycles to short sprints and incorporate small, incremental changes into an application on a frequent and regular basis thus increasing your time to market while reducing your development cost.

Q: What are the challenges of cloud-native applications?

Chris Lim: Cloud-native architecture is no silver bullet. One of the challenges lies in managing the complexity of the system. Since it is distributed in nature, there is an inherent challenge in maintaining the system like handling network latency, inter-component communication, and handling multiple data store.

Since you have a lot of moving parts, another challenge is on monitoring. It is not practical to monitor each component separately so there needs to be a centralized monitoring application to monitor the whole cluster.

Challenge in troubleshooting is another one. Microservices architecture is a little more complex compared with monolithic, which makes isolating and debugging performance problems much harder.

And lastly, deploying a cloud-native app with a microservices‑architecture is also much more complex. The testing and deployment process should be robust and seamless because it is not that simple to rollback the deployed component to a previous version if something bad does get deployed.

Q: What would be the parameters enterprises should take into consideration in shifting to cloud-native architecture?

Chris Lim: From my perspective, enterprises should consider moving to microservice architecture or into cloud-native application in general if they think that they can no longer scale their business or application to the point that they are losing their business. But more than the application itself, I think it’s equally important for enterprises to consider building the capability first or getting a team with the right skills and expertise who will develop and govern the architecture.

Because embracing cloud-native applications is not just about a technological shift. It is also about a shift in an organization’s deep-rooted mindset and culture. We have to change the way we think about developing and deploying applications. It requires us to develop whole new mindsets, ways of working together, communicating with the team and practicing new design patterns.

Stay tuned for the next three parts of the series.The next post will look into how microservices and containers play together and what role container orchestration tools such as Kubernetes play in a cloud-native architecture.

About Chris Lim

Chris Lim is an engineering and technology leader with over 15 years of experience building software for the enterprise. He is passionate about empowering teams to bring innovation and build enterprise solutions that delight customers. He has a proven track record of delivering business results, successful project implementations that involve cross-functional teams and driving continuous process improvement.