In this blog post, we will try to explain the Cloud-Native approach to creating SaaS business and the benefits of using it. We will discuss the leading solutions on the market offering cloud computing. Most importantly, we will consult with an expert in this matter, who will translate this complex subject into the human language!
When it comes to the cloud computing business, we have “the big three” present - Amazon with Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft with Microsoft Azure, and the Google Cloud Platform. The first two are the market leaders, with Microsoft Azure holding 20% and Amazon Web Services 31% of the market. However, these are very general figures in terms of market breakdown because each cloud has its own flagship services.
What is Cloud-Native Saas?
SaaS is a cloud-based software provisioning model in which a cloud provider develops and maintains cloud applications, provides automatic updates, and makes the software available to its customers over the Internet on a pay-as-you-go basis. On the other hand, Cloud-Native is an approach to developing applications for the cloud, where the software is created based on independent instances. It allows for easier scaling and development of the software, regardless of other elements. That is, Cloud-Native enables us to develop the way we want.
Azure vs AWS
Although AWS holds most of the overall market, when it comes to the business approach, here reigns Azure. At first glance, there are many similarities between the services they offer. However, when you dig deeper, the differences between the services are actually significant and most often stem from the business model adopted by the provider. For example, Microsoft Azure is considered a better solution for implementation in large companies and is more self-sufficient in terms of developing its services. AWS, on the other hand, more often enters into partnerships with external companies. In addition, clouds differ because of billing issues. AWS can already count some services to the second, where Azure still counts them up to every minute. Also, customers and services prove a lot about the cloud.
Q&A with our DevOps superhero Mirek Choma
Since the topic is quite complicated, I invited our DevOps expert, Mirek Choma, to join the conversation and answer a few questions. Mirek has impressive and long experience in cloud computing and has held a Senior Technical Security Architect position, first at EY and now at PRA Group. He is also a knowledge sharing enthusiast, so he teaches subjects related to cloud DevOps engineering at the University. In short, we are very lucky to have him onboard our Meetsales team!
What should SaaS business owners consider while choosing a cloud?
The company should first and foremost pay attention to the technology and support because building an application in the SaaS model must constantly be up to date with new technologies and thus should have the provider’s support. It is also worth paying attention to security, reliability and performance and such issues as localization or compliance with GDPR policies. So it’s necessary to keep in mind that the application is no longer a local application but a global one.
What is most vital - location, security, price, other?
This is where it all matters. Security first and foremost, but also cost, location, technology, support, etc. Everything depends on what we want to use the cloud and how to use it. What applications will be available and in which direction our business is going. For example, for many SMB’s it’s essential that the software primarily is easy to use and similar to using consumer apps, while for tech startups, scalability. On the other hand, for the financial services sector, data security and privacy will be imperative in providers selection.
What are your thoughts on Cloud Native solutions, and what are the key benefits of the approach?
The advantages are many, such as the speed of building and deployment, optimization to run in the cloud, flexibility & agility. Besides, it is resilient to hardware or infrastructure failures; it supports automated configuration and portability between the clouds. What is more, it enables a rapid rollout of new business ideas, allowing such startups as Meetsales to come to life! As it scales easily and allows for rapid development cycles, it can be quickly adjusted to customer’s demands, so it takes up a customer-centric approach.
The cloud goes beyond simply storing and hosting; how would you explain a Cloud-Native approach in SaaS development?
The cloud-Native approach is inherent to the cloud. If we have an application in the SaaS model in the cloud and we want to develop it, share, ensure availability and security, choosing a Cloud-Native approach seems an obvious and necessary way to go. The application is just what we see, but the cloud goes beyond that. We have many services like AI, storage or virtual machines but also database services or analytics that also work in our favor.
How to understand deployment, containerization and clusters?
Deployment is understood as a stream or a pipeline in which there is a full continuity of processes from the creation of the code through subsequent stages to the launch of the application. We integrate other services such as containerization in which we can put our application and finally throw it into the cluster and scale depending on the need.
Containerization, on the other hand, can be simply compared to a box in which we store an application that uses the resources of the system but is not located in the system itself. Thanks to this, we can efficiently move applications from one cloud to another and almost immediately run them.
How to understand modern DevOps?
It has to be designed to get applications to the customer as quickly as possible, so modern DevOps is all about cloud and automation that enables faster code delivery. It is inextricably linked to the Cloud-Native approach but also combined with Cloud-Agnostic, which means not closing to the accepted patterns but developing those patterns, playing with them and creating them.
Why have you decided to help Meetsales?
I really enjoy the opportunity to build something from scratch in my own way. There is no imposed framework, so there is great potential to create a great product and go beyond the usual pattern. Building the application today is the first step, but plans are ambitious to be able to develop it in the future; hence Meetsales adopted the Cloud-Native approach. The most important thing is to be scalable, reject the monolithic approach and create the architecture to be as future-proof as possible for both our customers and us. Besides, Meetsales has a great team of passionate people from whom you can learn a lot and give a lot to them.
Cloud-Native is the right way to go!
The development of applications as well as the development of the 5G Internet contributes to the fact that more and more applications will be hosted in the cloud. That is why we can be pretty sure that Cloud-Native will conquer the world. As Mirek Choma says:
“The market forces companies to deliver applications faster and better to any place in the world. Cloud-Native gives us this possibility, so it is becoming the most popular approach in software development. It also has a lot to do with the business model. More and more applications are based on a subscription model, which allows us to access services but do not own them, just like in the case of Netflix or Spotify. We do not own a library with films or music, but we can enjoy it when we want to! The same applies to services and applications in the SaaS model, which are created to use them when we actually need them. And Cloud- Native approach is definitely in line with it!”.