Digital transformation projects are well underway 

For most organizations, that’s true. And the technical landscape underpinning and driving businesses has never looked more promising – or more complex.

Two cloud experts recently met for coffee to discuss what it really means to be cloud-native in 2022 and why a cloud-native approach is the key to business innovation and success.

Following are some highlights of the discussion between Thomas Maine, Cloud Architect at Cloudreach and Tim Walton, Partner Technology Strategist at Microsoft Azure. You can watch the full webinar here.

What is cloud-native and why go there?

Defining cloud-native: Package application code and dependencies in containers, deploy as microservices and manage them using DevOps process and tools. 

cloud native services


Tim Walton explains cloud-native in a nutshell… “It’s about improving the supply chain of compute.” He goes on to say that key to gaining greater business value is a DevOps approach. As developer velocity increases, so does your organization’s ability to innovate at speed. 

In addition to accelerating innovation, going cloud-native also facilitates: 

  • Reliability – Elastic scale, the ability to easily test apps and rapidly recover.
  • Security at scale – Containerized applications and XaaS delivery allow for a streamlined approach to managing security and compliance. 

Cloud-native is the North Star

Getting to cloud-native is a different path for every organization, but the starting point is the same for all: perform a detailed assessment of your entire digital estate – applications, databases, the data itself. 

From there, you can consider your workloads through the lens of the 5 Rs: Rehost, Refactor, Rearchitect, Rebuild and Replace. Not every application will have to be rebuilt – for some, simply rehosting or refactoring will provide cloud-native attributes. 

Tim Walton cites an example: “When Microsoft IT moved all of its applications, of which there were thousands, they really wanted to be optimized for the cloud. What was fascinating was that 70% of those applications were very quickly refactored, put into containers and achieved something close to cloud-native, without very much – and in some cases no – code changes.”

Nail then scale

In order to optimize your migration and modernization efforts, it’s important to identify and start with the easy things – and avoid the edge cases, at least initially. 

“What we have found is that by starting with simple cases first, we learn how to walk before we run. And some of the small workloads end up being the biggest benefactors of modernization,” says Thomas Maine. 

As a Microsoft, AWS and Google Cloud partner, Cloudreach holds numerous  specializations, competencies and certifications with each of these cloud service providers. This audited skill set, access to partner resources and funding programs and our migration and modernization software tools enable us to nail then scale cloud-native initiatives for our customers. 

Lots of Ops: DevOps, DevSecOps, DevSecFinOps, GitOps

Like we mentioned earlier, when you embark on a cloud-native and modernization journey, DevOps (a combined development and operations team) is a key enabler of accelerating your organization’s ability to innovate. 

The “Ops” family has grown to include:

  • DevSecOps – integrates security at every phase of the DevOps development cycle, from initial design and coding to testing, deployment and running.
  • DevSecFinOps – a cross-functional team that combines development, security, finance and operations.
  • GitOps – tools and framework to apply DevOps practices to infrastructure automation and application deployment.

“When you think about the developer velocity index of a customer, how do we help the customer mature? We can do some kind of modernization, but the most important piece is that supply chain, and that is the people process and technology, “ says Tim Walton. Partners like Cloudreach focus on improving the developer velocity for a customer. 

What’s in your digital estate? There’s a tool for that

You could have hundreds or even thousands of servers in your organization’s digital estate. How do you possibly gain a clear understanding of where to begin your migration and modernization journey?

Cloudreach has recently developed a new software tool – Sunstone – that automates resource discovery and application dependency mapping. It leverages AI and machine learning to identify application modernization opportunities and recommend action plans.  In two to four weeks, Cloudreach guides you through this modernization assessment process:

  1. Discover – Understand your cloud environment by leveraging Sunstone’s agentless, rapid and onboarding process. It integrates with your cloud environment in minutes and discovers data in hours.
  2. Assess – Analytics pipelines are used to generate automated modernization recommendations for your infrastructure, including business case justification, confidence rating of potential risk and TCO forecast.
  3. Design – Build a future-state cloud architecture with the objective of meeting performance, scalability, high availability and flexibility requirements.

Sunstone delivers rapid results for UK publishing company

With the help of Sunstone, Cloudreach discovered inventory, application and service data in <13 minutes for a 100-node account and identified 17 IaaS-Paas modernization opportunities.

Tune in to the full webinar, What it Means to be Cloud-Native in 2022, and learn more about Sunstone here.