Why Cloud-Native, You Ask?

Jon Walkenhorst

3 min read time

One of the most common questions I get asked is, “What is cloud-native computing, and how is it different from traditional cloud or on-premise computing?”

To borrow a well written definition, “Cloud native is an approach to building and running applications that exploits the advantages of the cloud computing delivery model. When companies build and operate applications using a cloud-native architecture, they bring new ideas to market faster and respond sooner to customer demands.”

If you are a CIO looking for a solution to manage infrastructure costs, build predictable budgets, capture and monetize data, then adopting hyper-scalable architectures like cloud-based infrastructure as a service (IaaS) or platform as a service (PaaS) open doors for rapid elastic scale and proof-of-concept based fail fast learning. IT, TechOps, and DevSecOps professionals are retraining and showing the fastest learning curves in a technological generation. 

Enterprises are continuing to disclose that migration from on-premise to public or private cloud isn’t slow and steady; it's meteoric and nearly infinite at the moment. In response to this new billion dollar market are thousands of companies anxious to offer their services for nearly every aspect of a migration, a new product, or a new startup. The hurdle to migration or adoption is in the architecture and the new cost models, and while it can seem daunting, the resources and experts are ubiquitous. While it is possible to take an entire data center of physical and virtual machines, their application, and “fork-lift” (a fancy term for pick up and move) to the cloud, this is not cloud-native computing. This is often the first step in a redesign on the path to cloud-native. 

For the CTO, the idea that cloud-native can be transformative and liberating isn’t new. Cloud-native is a tool and a framework as an approach to software development that utilizes cloud computing to build scalable applications in modern, dynamic elastic environments. It offers infinite compute and storage that allows rapid, iterative build-and-tune in a way that was both economically and physically impossible just a few years ago. The availability of IaaS and PaaS as a retail solution means cloud-native is the new normal. But cloud-native also means embracing technologies such as containers, microservices, serverless functions and immutable infrastructure. Technical leaders need to lean into the new talent pools comprising high-in-demand serverless software developers and the new DevOps engineers who tame the public cloud offerings to make the economics work.

Speaking from experience at Evercast, cloud-native was and has always been the architecture. The choice to build in AWS public cloud, the business model that leverages elastic compute and geographically distributed clusters, means lower latency for clients, better scalability, redundancy, and manageable costs. We are not a heavy S3 consumer. We don’t require or currently support the ability for clients to upload their content to our services. We are a real-time streaming service that moves media through compute and distributes the stream to multiple participants in full-duplex with extremely low latency. 

In early 2020, the adoption and corresponding growth curve of the collaborative workflow tools hit the steep end of the hockey stick and exploded, magnifying every aspect of the technology -- and SaaS companies had to be ready. 

At Evercast, we were ready. Now ten months in, we have learned a lot, adapted, changed our architecture to be even more adaptive and highly available, and have just introduced a brand new user experience that includes mobile apps and new features across the ecosystem to make virtual creative production that much easier and faster. 

For Evercast, being cloud-native from day one and not leveraging S3 facilitated our rapid growth and acceptance by both users and enterprise CISOs. Security is the most important requirement for the vast majority of our clients, and after 2020, studios and content creators have learned to trust AWS on the security of their technology. By launching a WebApp only client, not storing client content, and focusing on the most critical use cases, Evercast was the solution that rose to meet the need. As a leader in the media and entertainment space of high quality, ultra low latency streaming, we are going to continue to push the expectation of possible virtual workflows. What we have learned will allow us to push beyond what is thought possible today.

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Jon Walkenhorst

Jon Walkenhorst is the Chief Technology Officer at Evercast, where he works to build solutions that anticipate market shifts and identify business opportunities that help build enterprise value. Jon is a master craftsman, builder, educator, integrator, and advisory delivery partner. His experience spans product innovation, CPE, video delivery, cloud transformation, global IT, and Telco NFV/SDN.

Why Cloud-Native, You Ask?

Jon Walkenhorst

5/4/21

One of the most common questions I get asked is, “What is cloud-native computing, and how is it different from traditional cloud or on-premise computing?”

To borrow a well written definition, “Cloud native is an approach to building and running applications that exploits the advantages of the cloud computing delivery model. When companies build and operate applications using a cloud-native architecture, they bring new ideas to market faster and respond sooner to customer demands.”

If you are a CIO looking for a solution to manage infrastructure costs, build predictable budgets, capture and monetize data, then adopting hyper-scalable architectures like cloud-based infrastructure as a service (IaaS) or platform as a service (PaaS) open doors for rapid elastic scale and proof-of-concept based fail fast learning. IT, TechOps, and DevSecOps professionals are retraining and showing the fastest learning curves in a technological generation. 

Enterprises are continuing to disclose that migration from on-premise to public or private cloud isn’t slow and steady; it's meteoric and nearly infinite at the moment. In response to this new billion dollar market are thousands of companies anxious to offer their services for nearly every aspect of a migration, a new product, or a new startup. The hurdle to migration or adoption is in the architecture and the new cost models, and while it can seem daunting, the resources and experts are ubiquitous. While it is possible to take an entire data center of physical and virtual machines, their application, and “fork-lift” (a fancy term for pick up and move) to the cloud, this is not cloud-native computing. This is often the first step in a redesign on the path to cloud-native. 

For the CTO, the idea that cloud-native can be transformative and liberating isn’t new. Cloud-native is a tool and a framework as an approach to software development that utilizes cloud computing to build scalable applications in modern, dynamic elastic environments. It offers infinite compute and storage that allows rapid, iterative build-and-tune in a way that was both economically and physically impossible just a few years ago. The availability of IaaS and PaaS as a retail solution means cloud-native is the new normal. But cloud-native also means embracing technologies such as containers, microservices, serverless functions and immutable infrastructure. Technical leaders need to lean into the new talent pools comprising high-in-demand serverless software developers and the new DevOps engineers who tame the public cloud offerings to make the economics work.

Speaking from experience at Evercast, cloud-native was and has always been the architecture. The choice to build in AWS public cloud, the business model that leverages elastic compute and geographically distributed clusters, means lower latency for clients, better scalability, redundancy, and manageable costs. We are not a heavy S3 consumer. We don’t require or currently support the ability for clients to upload their content to our services. We are a real-time streaming service that moves media through compute and distributes the stream to multiple participants in full-duplex with extremely low latency. 

In early 2020, the adoption and corresponding growth curve of the collaborative workflow tools hit the steep end of the hockey stick and exploded, magnifying every aspect of the technology -- and SaaS companies had to be ready. 

At Evercast, we were ready. Now ten months in, we have learned a lot, adapted, changed our architecture to be even more adaptive and highly available, and have just introduced a brand new user experience that includes mobile apps and new features across the ecosystem to make virtual creative production that much easier and faster. 

For Evercast, being cloud-native from day one and not leveraging S3 facilitated our rapid growth and acceptance by both users and enterprise CISOs. Security is the most important requirement for the vast majority of our clients, and after 2020, studios and content creators have learned to trust AWS on the security of their technology. By launching a WebApp only client, not storing client content, and focusing on the most critical use cases, Evercast was the solution that rose to meet the need. As a leader in the media and entertainment space of high quality, ultra low latency streaming, we are going to continue to push the expectation of possible virtual workflows. What we have learned will allow us to push beyond what is thought possible today.

Jon Walkenhorst

Website
Jon Walkenhorst is the Chief Technology Officer at Evercast, where he works to build solutions that anticipate market shifts and identify business opportunities that help build enterprise value. Jon is a master craftsman, builder, educator, integrator, and advisory delivery partner. His experience spans product innovation, CPE, video delivery, cloud transformation, global IT, and Telco NFV/SDN.

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