Gartner Research

How to Architect and Design Cloud-Native Applications


Cloud computing benefits are realized by implementing a solution with elastic scalability, metered consumption and automation, not by simply using IaaS or PaaS. IT architects must adopt cloud-native principles and design patterns such as microservices and understand the impact of design decisions.

Published: 29 December 2015

ID: G00296114

Analyst(s): Richard Watson

Table Of Contents

Problem Statement

The Gartner Approach

The Guidance Framework

  • Prework: Define Cloud-Native Application Adoption Goals
  • Step 1: Map Cloud Adoption Goals to Cloud Characteristics
    • Characteristic 1: Uses Dynamic, Shared and Virtual Infrastructure
    • Characteristic 2: Offers a Service in an On-Demand, Self-Service Model
    • Characteristic 3: Scales Rapidly and Elastically
    • Characteristic 4: Meters Consumption
    • Characteristic 5: Available Across Common Networks
  • Step 2: Map Cloud Characteristics to Cloud Architecture Principles
    • Principle L: Latency-Aware
    • Principle I: Instrumented
    • Principle F: Failure-Aware
    • Principle E: Event-Driven
    • Principle S: Secure
    • Principle P: Parallelizable
    • Principle A: Automated
    • Principle R: Resource-Consumption-Aware
  • Step 3: Choose Design Patterns That Implement Architecture Principles
    • Actor Model
    • Asynchronous Integration
    • Autonomous
    • Bulkhead and Circuit Breaker
    • Command Query Responsibility Segregation (CQRS)
    • Containerization
    • Content Delivery Networks
    • Data Replication
    • Encryption
    • Event Sourcing
    • Eventual Consistency
    • Federated Identity
    • Finely Grained Components and Services (Microservices)
    • Gatekeeper
    • Idempotency
    • In-Memory Data Caching
    • Interoperable Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)
    • Lazy Loading
    • Mediation Points
    • Partitioning Data
    • Redundancy
    • Restartable
    • Separating Business Logic From Infrastructure Concerns
    • Shared Nothing
    • Simplification
    • Stateless Services
    • Template-Driven Deployment
    • Throttling
    • Valet Key
    • Workload Decomposition
  • Step 4: Choose IaaS and PaaS Based on Design Pattern Implementation Responsibilities

Risks and Pitfalls

  • Avoid Cloud Design Anti-Patterns
    • ACID Transactions
    • Chatty Interactions
    • Complex Dependencies
    • Direct Code-to-Runtime Relationship
    • Hardware Affinity
    • Latency Guarantees
    • Manual Provisioning Workflow
    • Monolithic Design and Deployment
    • Resource Hogging
    • Scalability by Application Server Clustering
    • Scalability by Scaling Vertically
    • Single Points of Bottleneck
    • Single Points of Failure
    • Single Tenancy
    • Single-Threaded, Serial Execution
    • Stateful Services
    • Synchronous Interactions
  • Delegate Responsibility for System Behavior to Cloud Providers or Platforms
  • Increase Complexity as You Distribute Your System
  • Be Aware of Cloud Market Evolutionary Risk
  • Related Guidance

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