New Book Explains How Cloud-Native Application Architectures Drive the Innovation Cycle

March 16, 2015 Matt Stine

featured-cloud-architectureStable industries that were previously dominated by entrenched leaders are now being disrupted. They are being disrupted by companies with software at their core. Companies like Square, Uber, Netflix, Airbnb, and Tesla have significant brand recognition and rapidly increasing private market valuations.

A new book, published by O’Reilly Media, and written by myself, explores how these companies work with software differently, and addresses how existing companies can transform to be more like them.

To start, I answer the question, “What do these companies have that is allowing them to change entire industries?”

  • Speed of innovation
  • Always-available services
  • Web scale
  • Mobile-centric user experiences

Moving to the cloud is a natural evolution of focusing on software. Cloud-native application architectures are at the center of how these companies obtained their disruptive character.

So How Do Large Enterprise Organizations Obtain the Same Innovation Cycle?

For years, much of the focus of Enterprise IT has been on managing data centers. Countless person-hours were poured into activities such as server management, storage management, and network management. These activities, while crucial to IT service delivery, collectively brought no additional business value to the organization. Moving to the cloud allows us to accomplish most of these activities via API’s, but there’s still the matter of the primary abstraction level, which is still focused on the hardware—both physical and virtual.

Pivotal Cloud Foundry is a platform that was developed to raise the abstraction level to that of applications and services. This shift allows a renewed focus on the delivery of business value via software. But this value cannot be achieved by simply forklifting existing workloads onto the platform. To maximize the value obtained from the platform, the enterprise must migrate to cloud-native application architectures.

At Pivotal, we’re constantly asked by customers “How do we get there?” To help answer that question I wrote Migrating to Cloud-Native Application Architectures, published by O’Reilly Media, Inc. In this book, I define the unique characteristics of cloud-native application architectures such as:

  • The Twelve-Factor App: a collection of cloud-native app architecture patterns
  • Microservices: independently deployable services that do one thing well
  • Self-Service Agile Infrastructure: platforms for rapid, repeatable, and consistent provisioning of app environments and backing services
  • API-based Collaboration: published and versioned APIs that allow interaction between services in a cloud-native app architecture
  • Anti-Fragility: systems that get stronger when subjected to stress

This book examines the cultural, organizational, and technical changes necessary to migrate traditional monolithic applications and service-oriented architectures to cloud-native architectures. Also included is a Migration Cookbook, that includes recipes for decomposing monolithic applications into microservices, implementing fault-tolerant patterns, and performing automated testing of cloud-native services.

At Pivotal, our goal is to help our customers adopt the architectures and processes necessary to speed up the cycle of innovation. This book was developed to help users better understand cloud-native applications and how organizations can evolve with the pace of changing industries. To learn more, download a copy of the Migrating to Cloud-Native Application Architectures book, and see how this cloud-based approach can improve how your business competes.

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