During the past two decades, cloud-based computing has evolved from a fringe concept to become an established IT model that sits at the center of most digital transformation initiatives. However, there are a wide variety of “cloud” offerings, with some much more impactful than others. Furthermore, many organizations continue to struggle when moving from legacy IT applications and environments to modern cloud deployments.
At the basic end of the cloud spectrum are “lift-and-shift” initiatives, in which organizations simply move existing applications from their in-house data centers to hosted cloud environments. At the more-powerful end of the spectrum are solutions that truly warrant the label of “cloud-native.” These latter applications and services exploit a variety of technologies and methods that allow them to take full advantage of the cloud’s scalability, flexibility, and compelling business value.
While there is no one definition of what constitutes cloud-native software, there is growing consensus that such solutions share a number of core characteristics. For example, they comply with REST (Representational State Transfer) architecture standards and constraints in order to provide common interfaces, maximum scalability, security enforcement, and other foundational capabilities.
Also, unlike monolithic legacy applications, cloud-native software embraces a component-based development and deployment model. And, in today’s world, containers and Kubernetes have become the component technology of choice. Standardized Kubernetes building blocks – whether built in-house or provided by third-parties – can be easily combined to produce tailored solutions that fully leverage the cloud’s many capabilities.
Ideally, cloud-native solutions also embody another key characteristic: portability. A cloud-native solution shouldn’t be confined to a specific environment, whether public, private, or hybrid cloud. For instance, an organization that initially deploys a Kubernetes-based application on Amazon Web Services might want to migrate the solution to an on-premises private cloud a few years down the road. A well-designed and implemented cloud-native solution will make such migrations a straightforward process.
Predictably, there are some catches to this rosy cloud-native scenario. For one thing, it can be hard for organizations to find developers skilled in Kubernetes and other core technologies. Many companies are also finding it difficult to plot and navigate the transition from on-premises legacy applications and infrastructure to cloud-native solutions.
Recognizing these challenges, HCL Software has built a broad portfolio of containerized software products available in it’s cloud native solution factory, HCL SoFy . Already containing more than 50 product components with more than 2,000 REST API endpoints, the growing SoFy catalog spans a wide range of functional categories, from eCommerce and marketing to data management to secure DevOps and more.
HCL’s Kubernetes-compliant solutions are packaged as Helm charts, which allows organizations to install and configure them in minutes. Solutions constructed from – or enhanced with – HCL’s components can be deployed in any Kubernetes-compliant environment, whether on private clouds, on public clouds, or on HCL’s own dedicated cloud-native infrastructure, HCL Now.
For further information about the HCL Solution Factory (SoFy) collection of software products and HCL Now, and about the ways in which HCL can help your organization realize the many benefits of cloud-native solutions, click here.