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Factors to Consider When Building a Cloud Native Application

In this blog we take a look at what factors to consider when building a cloud-native application.

A cloud-native application is a software program that has been developed to be hosted in the cloud. The software program will typically be broken down into multiple services, each running independently, taking advantage of cloud technologies/techniques to ensure these services are resilient, and scale with customer demand. A cloud-native application should also be agile, flexible, and secure.

Traditionally, applications would be monolithic, meaning all the components for the application are integrated together in one solution (tightly coupled) and deployed as one unit. Updating monolithic architecture can be restrictive and time-consuming, harder to scale (it is not possible to scale a small proportion of your application, which can be costly), and can be less flexible and harder to deploy.

The modern approach is often to break down the service into multiple smaller services, each called a microservice. These microservices are independent of each other (loosely coupled) and can be scaled independently, as well as deployed separately. A microservice is an independent service, with its own data store, with the aim of successfully completing one business requirement/task. It’s then possible to orchestrate these independent microservices, to deliver powerful applications.

Factors when building a cloud native appWhen designing a cloud-native application, care and attention should be taken in the following areas:


A resilient application is one that can withstand and recover from events such as hardware failures, network outages, and other unexpected events. There are multiple patterns we can use to provide this resiliency. Depending on the project, you may adopt one or multiple approaches. What follows is a list of some of these patterns (this is not an exhaustive list):

  • Bulkhead: Pool elements of an application, so that if one fails the others will continue to function.
  • Retry: Enable the application to retry requests to a service or network resource when they fail.
  • Circuit breaker: handles faults that may occur when engaging with third-party resources, enabling the application to pause and then retry connection after a variable amount of time.
  • Compensating Transaction: this is the ability to undo work undertaken by previous steps when a failure occurs.
  • Health endpoint monitoring: expose the health of an application via endpoints that external tools monitor.

Building a resilient cloud native app


When dealing with requests, a service should be able to scale to meet the demand – scaling out/up when demand is high, and scaling in/down when demand is low. This can be easily achieved when using cloud resources, by making configuration changes to the application or cloud resource:

  • Scale out: Control the number of concurrent requests a single instance can consume.
  • Scale up: Multiplying the number of instances running simultaneously and scaling back down when the demand tails off.


When a team is working on a project, the team should be able to quickly pivot to the project’s demands, following the path to success. Choosing the right platform to plan, track and discuss work, that integrates to your cloud provider seamlessly, providing continuous delivery with observability is required to facilitate a successful project.


Cloud-native applications need to quickly adapt to changes in requirements and in the environment where they are hosted. Taking advantage of new technologies when they become available, and not being locked into any service/technology that slows them down – either in execution, development, or planning.


Processes and tools for building cloud native apps

When designing cloud-native applications, having these isolated independent services can help by reducing the scope of attack. It’s very important to keep security and secure thinking high on the agenda at every stage of a project lifecycle. The following processes and tools can be used to protect your project:

  • Threat modelling: Review the threats there are to a system, consider how likely the threats are, and the damage that could occur. Use this knowledge to help guide your focus on higher-priority items.
  • Principle of least privilege: the principle is that any user or process should have the smallest number of rights possible to execute its task.
  • Penetration testing: Use external actors to attack the system to find security holes to patch.
  • Monitoring: Reviewing the logs of services can help spot attacks. Create alerts for known suspicious activity, alerting a team for review when activated.
  • Securing the build: The Build server should be secure, and tools should be used to scan for insecure code.
  • Building secure code: Choose a secure framework, use secure guidelines to write secure code (OWASP).
  • Built-in security: Build in security technologies that actively scan and alert when detecting insecure configurations.

Cloud-Native Development at Transparity Ballard Chalmers

I’m hoping that this information can help you understand what a cloud-native application is. There are lots of areas to consider when planning your project. Here at Transparity Ballard Chalmers, we have many years of experience designing, developing, and testing cloud-native applications in Azure. We are experts in the Microsoft platform, continuously helping clients achieve success in all the projects we undertake.

Please do get in contact to discuss any project you are thinking of starting. We can help whether you are looking to outsource a whole project, decorate your existing team with new members (team augmentation), or purely a consultancy model. One of our many different services is sure to be a good fit.

Post Terms: Azure cloud | cloud native | Cloud-native web apps

About the Author

Our technical team contribute with blogs from their respective specialities, be that Azure, SQL, BizTalk, SharePoint, Xamarin and more. From the lead architect to developers and testers, each person provides content straight from their experience.

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