Gartner Research

A Guidance Framework for Architecting Portable Cloud Applications

Published: 27 January 2015

ID: G00270845

Analyst(s): Eric Knipp , Richard Watson


Application architects must practice architectural discipline to prevent cloud-native applications from being "cemented in" to a cloud provider's service. This research provides guidance on how to create portable cloud applications as part of a hybrid cloud strategy that sidesteps vendor lock-in.

Table Of Contents

Problem Statement

The Gartner Approach

The Guidance Framework

  • Step 1: Assess Portability Priority
    • Determine Application Portability Priority
    • Assess Cloud Applications in Terms of the Hierarchy of Portability Needs
    • Consider the Cost and Effort Involved in Portability
    • Consider the Portability Scenarios for Each Application
  • Step 2: Select Portability Mechanisms
    • Private PaaS Frameworks
    • Multicloud Toolkits
    • IaaS+ Middleware
    • Legacy Plus Virtualization
    • Choose a Combined Approach for Maximum Portability
  • Step 3: Implement Application-Level Contextual Independence
    • Favor Modular and Composite Design
    • Avoid Monolithic Design and Deployment
    • Prioritize Microservices Architecture
  • Step 4: Maintain Vigilance in Production

Risks and Pitfalls

  • Pitfall 1: Lock-In to High-Productivity Platforms
  • Pitfall 2: Lock-In via Interface Dependencies
  • Pitfall 3: Lock-In to Proprietary Cloud Services

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