Benefits of Employing Cloud-Friendly Design Patterns

By leveraging cloud-friendly design patterns, companies can achieve greater scalability, efficiency, and agility, while addressing their unique needs.

When I was in high school, I had built a PC with the new blazing fast intel i486 chipset and was ready to start gaming with friends. I would regularly pack up my PC, Monitor, peripherals, and of course, a serial cable to connect the computers for a crazy evening of Duke Nukem at my friend’s house. However, my life had forever changed after going to college because my dorm room was connected to a T1 line.  I was able to play Quake with multiple people and virtually no latency, which made college was worth every single cent!  It was easy to feel the impact of technology quickly evolving when it directly impacts something you are passionate about back then. New cloud-friendly development and design patterns help to improve efficiency, agility, and scalability in many ways. Here are a few examples: 

Application Design and Cloud-Friendly Development is Changing

We have crossed a similar threshold in the world of cloud-friendly development and design patterns over the last five years.  Development and design patterns have traditionally been bound to the diversity within your infrastructure and its ability to scale those products.  Creating sophisticated applications typically translated into a high cost to architect efficient patterns, which is why you would most commonly find your typical 3 tier application architecture that would sit on top of just a few servers.

Then comes the challenges of evolving your development processes (Git, Jira, CD/CI, etc.) around this, which also means more hardware, people to support them, additional software costs, etc.  As you can see, the mounting complexity of creating a mature cloud-friendly design pattern coupled with a mature development process comes with a high cost in personnel, software, and hardware.

New Cloud Development Tools Have Revolutionized App Development

Just as the introduction of a T1 into my life made gaming online a viable option, the maturing of the cloud development tools within platforms such as AWS, Azure and Google Cloud has revolutionized the realm of application development.  We are now able to architect applications in a way that can reduce costs while increasing performance and features.  Since the cost of infrastructure is now dramatically mitigated, it makes more financial sense to architect an application in a way that is more efficient which ultimately lowers costs.

Let’s put the mitigation of infrastructure costs in perspective; imagine you woke up one day and wanted to see what it was like to be a race car driver.  In the world as we know it now, you have a few options, buy, or rent a car; either way you are spending an exorbitant amount of money to achieve this seemingly simple goal.

What if I told you that instead you could pick any car that you wanted and only had to pay me for each mile you drive it; nothing more, nothing less.  Well, now not only can you see what it is like to race cars, you can try virtually as many racing styles as you want because you can change out the type of car you are using for virtually no extra cost.

Cloud-Friendly Design Patterns Enable Greater Scalability, Efficiency, and Agility

This is how it works when running your applications in the cloud, which gives solution architects the freedom to easily engineer solutions in a way that is optimal for any customer’s given situation.  For example, I recently delivered a solution for a customer that required a complex data ingestion and workflow to de-normalize, organize, and action unique data scenarios.  I chose a reactive microservice architecture that allowed me to asynchronously process all incoming files while still supporting the synchronous workflow steps.  Each microservice had its own task and was tailored to do that task in the most efficient manner.

The nice part about this approach was that we could measure each individual task/step and target improvements against the individual task.   If we needed to scale up or down, we would simply scale the infrastructure for the single task that was falling behind automatically.  To achieve this in a data center, I would require over a dozen technologies to be purchased, installed, and maintained. In the cloud, I can spin up instances of these services instantly and only pay for them when they are used (or driven in the race car analogy).

If I did not have access to a diverse set of technologies like you do in the cloud, I would most likely be forced to create a monolithic style application given the customer was not comfortable adding and supporting new technologies and servers. This application would be difficult to scale, hard to measure and will always be limited to its weakest link/task since you would most likely not be able to effectively break out each individual component into its own container.

There is always the additional factor: cost; this would be forced to live on live servers that are always up and running, listening/waiting for a task to perform. In the cloud, these microservices can be managed on serverless technologies.  This means that your code is not running in memory on anything until the need for that software arises.

Addressing the Need for Cloud-Friendly Development Expertise

The efficiencies in hosting and code patterns that have been made are astronomical as of late.  However, on the flip side of that, the market is very hungry for developers who have experience developing using patterns in the cloud which take advantage of all that it has to offer.

Eliassen Group has been very focused not only on creating an environment that cultivates these cloud development practices but also on identifying these individuals during the recruiting process.

I personally joined this practice because of the level of talent here, which I can personally gain to take my skill set to the next level when developing these cloud solutions.

Learn more about our wide range of app development and cloud consulting services, and feel free to reach out to us for assistance. We’re always happy to help.