Data Strategy
Cloud Native vs. Cloud Enabled: Key differences in 2024

Cloud Native vs. Cloud Enabled: Key differences in 2024

Uncover the crucial distinctions between "Cloud Native" and "Cloud Enabled" in 2024.

Cloud computing has revolutionized the IT landscape, offering businesses flexible and scalable solutions to meet their ever-growing needs. As organizations continue to leverage the power of the cloud, two terms that often surface are "cloud native" and "cloud enabled." While both these terms relate to cloud technologies, they have distinct characteristics and implications for businesses. In this article, we will delve into the key differences between cloud native and cloud enabled and explore their impact on the industry in 2024.

Understanding the Basics: Cloud Native and Cloud Enabled

Before we dive into the differences, let's establish a clear understanding of what each term represents.

Defining Cloud Native

Cloud native refers to applications and infrastructure that are purpose-built for the cloud environment. These applications are designed to take full advantage of cloud capabilities, such as scalability, elasticity, and resilience. Cloud native solutions are typically built using containers, microservices, and orchestration tools, enabling rapid deployment and continuous delivery.

Cloud native applications are inherently distributed, fault-tolerant, and highly scalable. They are designed to be highly resilient, allowing for seamless horizontal scaling and fault recovery. The use of modern technologies, such as containerization, allows for efficient resource utilization, making cloud native applications well-suited for dynamic and unpredictable workloads.

For example, imagine a cloud native e-commerce platform that automatically scales its infrastructure based on customer demand. During peak shopping seasons, the platform seamlessly adds more container instances to handle the increased traffic, ensuring a smooth shopping experience for users. This level of scalability and resilience is only possible with a cloud native architecture.

Defining Cloud Enabled

On the other hand, cloud enabled refers to applications or systems that have been adapted to run in the cloud environment without significant architectural changes. Unlike cloud native applications, cloud enabled solutions are not purpose-built for the cloud, but rather migrated or extended from existing on-premises systems.

Cloud enabled applications may leverage virtual machines (VMs) or traditional server-centric architectures. While they can benefit from certain cloud features, such as on-demand provisioning and scalability to some extent, they may not fully exploit the cloud's potential due to their legacy design and dependencies.

For instance, consider a legacy enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that has been migrated to the cloud. While the system can now take advantage of cloud-based storage and computing resources, it may still rely on a monolithic architecture that limits its ability to scale horizontally. This means that during peak usage periods, the system may struggle to handle the increased load, resulting in slower response times for users.

Furthermore, cloud enabled applications may have dependencies on specific hardware or software configurations that are not easily replicated in the cloud environment. This can lead to compatibility issues and potential performance bottlenecks, as the cloud infrastructure may not be optimized for the specific requirements of the application.

The Evolution of Cloud Technologies

Understanding the journey of cloud technologies is crucial in comprehending the nuances between cloud native and cloud enabled.

The Journey of Cloud Native

The concept of cloud native emerged with the advent of containerization, spearheaded by technologies like Docker and Kubernetes. By encapsulating applications and their dependencies within lightweight containers, cloud native architecture unlocks a higher level of portability and scalability.

Cloud native development approaches have gained immense popularity due to their ability to enable continuous integration, continuous deployment (CI/CD), and microservices-based architectures. This evolution has paved the way for a highly agile and scalable software delivery model, empowering organizations to respond quickly to market demands.

When it comes to cloud native, it's not just about the technology itself. It's also about embracing a new mindset and culture within organizations. Developers and operations teams collaborate closely to build and manage applications using cloud native principles. This collaboration fosters innovation, improves efficiency, and accelerates time to market.

The Progression of Cloud Enabled

Cloud enabled solutions, on the other hand, have evolved from traditional on-premises deployments. As organizations sought to leverage the benefits of the cloud, they began migrating existing applications to the cloud or extending them to run in a hybrid cloud environment.

Cloud service providers offer tools and services to assist with the transition, such as virtual machines, managed databases, and networking capabilities. These services make it possible to move existing workloads to the cloud without significant architectural changes, reducing the disruptions during the migration process.

However, the journey of cloud enabled doesn't stop at migration. Organizations continue to optimize their cloud environments by adopting cloud-native practices and leveraging cloud-native services. This allows them to fully harness the power of the cloud, taking advantage of features like auto-scaling, serverless computing, and AI-driven analytics.

Moreover, cloud enabled solutions provide organizations with the flexibility to choose the level of cloud adoption that best suits their needs. Whether it's a full-scale migration to the cloud or a hybrid approach, organizations can tailor their cloud strategy to align with their business goals and requirements.

Key Differences Between Cloud Native and Cloud Enabled

Now that we have a solid foundation, let's explore the key differences between cloud native and cloud enabled from an architectural, operational, and cost perspective.

Architectural Differences

Cloud native applications follow a microservices-based architecture, where applications are broken down into smaller, loosely-coupled services that can be developed, deployed, and scaled independently. This modular approach allows for easier scalability, fault tolerance, and better resilience compared to monolithic architectures.

On the other hand, cloud enabled solutions often retain their existing architecture, which may be monolithic or tightly-coupled. While they can benefit from some cloud features, such as auto-scaling and load balancing, their inherent architecture may limit the scalability and resilience that cloud native applications can achieve.

Operational Differences

Cloud native applications require a different operational mindset. The agility and scalability offered by cloud native architectures necessitate the use of container orchestration platforms like Kubernetes, which handle tasks such as automated scaling, load balancing, and service discovery.

Cloud enabled applications, being more closely tied to their original architectures, may rely on traditional virtualization for scaling and management. While they can leverage cloud infrastructure for resource provisioning, their operational complexity may be higher compared to cloud native applications.

Cost Implications

Although both cloud native and cloud enabled solutions can bring cost savings compared to traditional on-premises infrastructure, there are differences in cost implications.

Cloud native applications benefit from the ability to scale resources up or down dynamically, allowing for efficient resource utilization. The use of containers also facilitates efficient packing of applications, reducing the infrastructure footprint and cost. However, cloud native architectures often require specialized skills and additional tooling, which could result in higher initial development costs.

Cloud enabled solutions, by leveraging existing architectures, may require fewer changes and have lower initial development costs. However, they may struggle to achieve the same level of optimized resource utilization and cost-efficiency as cloud native applications.

The Impact of these Differences on Businesses

The differences between cloud native and cloud enabled have significant implications for businesses, impacting both strategy and IT infrastructure.

Influence on Business Strategy

Cloud native solutions offer organizations the ability to respond rapidly to market opportunities and challenges. Their modular and scalable nature enables faster time-to-market, making them well-suited for businesses seeking agility and innovation.

Cloud enabled solutions, on the other hand, provide organizations with a stepping stone to the cloud, allowing them to leverage cloud capabilities while maintaining compatibility with existing systems. This approach can be beneficial for businesses with legacy systems or strict compliance requirements.

Effect on IT Infrastructure

The deployment of cloud native applications requires a shift in IT infrastructure and operations. Organizations need to invest in container orchestration platforms, automate processes, and upskill teams on new technologies and practices. The payoff, however, is a highly scalable and resilient infrastructure that can handle intricate workloads more efficiently.

Cloud enabled solutions, being less transformative, may have a lower impact on IT infrastructure. However, organizations still need to adopt cloud-centric technologies and establish connectivity between on-premises and cloud environments to ensure smooth integration.

Future Predictions for Cloud Native and Cloud Enabled

As the cloud landscape continues to evolve, it is important to keep an eye on the future trends in cloud native and cloud enabled solutions.

Trends in Cloud Native

Cloud native architectures will move towards increased adoption of serverless computing and event-driven architectures. These approaches allow organizations to further abstract away infrastructure management and focus on building business-critical services. DevOps practices will continue to play a pivotal role, facilitating the seamless integration of development and operations teams to achieve faster delivery cycles.

Trends in Cloud Enabled

For cloud enabled solutions, hybrid cloud adoption is expected to grow as organizations look to maintain the balance between their existing systems and the cloud. Managed services and improved migration tools will help ease the process of transitioning workloads to the cloud, allowing businesses to leverage the best of both worlds without compromising on security and performance.

In conclusion, cloud native and cloud enabled have distinct characteristics and implications for businesses. While cloud native offers agility, scalability, and resilience through purpose-built architectures, cloud enabled provides a pathway to the cloud for legacy systems. The right choice depends on the unique needs and priorities of each organization. By staying informed about the key differences and future trends, businesses can make informed decisions regarding their cloud strategies in 2024 and beyond.

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