Cloud native series: Avi Networks defines pros & cons

This is a guest post for the Computer Weekly Developer Network written by Ides Vanneuville in his capacity as director of systems engineering for EMEA at Avi Networks.

Avi Networks is known for its Intelligent Web Application Firewall (iWAF) technology. 

The firm has come forward with a software-only solution that operates as a centrally managed fabric across datacentres, private clouds and public clouds.

Cloud native applications are capturing the hearts and minds of strategic IT leaders by changing the narrative around how applications are developed and consumed.

The growth in container and microservices adoption frees developers from the shackles of the underlying infrastructure so they can consume limitless amounts of resources and services in the cloud.

Developers understand the benefits of going cloud native more than most, as it makes for much shorter development cycles and the ability to update and maintain applications with minimal impact on other systems and the customer experience.

The agility and flexibility of cloud native applications also give the enterprise a renewed sense of innovation, as developers embrace speed, automation and scale to drive the business forward.

Ops in DevOps gets tougher

While the pros of cloud native applications are apparent, there are a number of issues that enterprises need to address. This is especially true when it comes to the Ops side of the DevOps equation, where cloud native applications introduce a new level of complexity.

For example, an Ops team may currently have to manage, perhaps, a few hundred virtual machines, in order to stay on top of application performance and security.With cloud native applications, they could be faced with tens of thousands of containers, adding considerably to the support and security workload.

Consider also the exponential rise in the number of network connections needed for containers, each with the potential to become a performance bottleneck or security vulnerability, both from outside threats and from each other.

Granular crunch

Providing services and security for cloud native applications requires automation and a far more granular approach (per-app or per-container, instead of per-tenant) than currently practiced.

The complexity of cloud native applications is also why so much emphasis is being put on the use of advanced analytics and machine learning.

Analytic tools lend themselves to delivering visibility, making it easier for operations teams (with the assistance of machine learning) to identify and address anomalies and inefficiencies in real-time across complex cloud native deployments.

Bottoming out

The bottom line here is that the cloud native approach is gaining traction due to its ability to jumpstart the enterprise’s ability to innovate and deliver business agility.

Moreover, while this shift in architecture isn’t without its complications, a commitment to cloud native—from both developers and operations teams alike—can deliver significant business value and can only gain in popularity going forward.