Cloud native basics: 4 concepts to know 

An image of a dark cloud.
ACF Image Blog

Cloud native environments are essential for modern businesses. Learn what components help build out cloud native and its benefits.

A woman with purple hair standing in front of flowers at CloudNativeCon.
Jess Lulka | Technical Content Writer | Chronosphere

Jess is a Technical Content Writer on the content marketing team at Chronosphere. She has over a decade of experience writing, editing, and managing content for B2B technology brands. Prior to Chronosphere, she worked at TechTarget covering data center, virtualization, and IoT technology. She currently resides in Seattle and is a trivia enthusiast.


To stay competitive, companies must adjust and adapt their technology stack to accelerate their digital transformation. This means engineering teams now experience exponential data growth that is starting to outgrow underlying infrastructure. That requires durable infrastructure that can support rapid data growth and high availability. With cloud native architecture, companies can meet all their availability requirements and effectively store data in real time.

So what is cloud native? Well, cloud native is an approach to build  and run applications that takes full advantage of cloud computing technology. If something is “cloud native,” then it is designed and coded to run on a cloud architecture at the start of the application development process like Kubernetes.

At its core, cloud native is about designing applications as a collection of microservices, each of which can be deployed independently and scaled horizontally to meet demand. This allows for greater flexibility because developers can update specific services as needed, instead of updating the entire application.

Such agility lets engineering teams rapidly deploy and update applications through agile development, containers and orchestration. It also provides improved scalability because teams can easily spin up containers in response to traffic demand, which maximizes resource usage and reduces cost. Additionally, applications that are distributed across multiple servers or nodes means that one component’s failure does not bring down the entire system.

The four basic cloud native components

Before your organization implements any sort of cloud native architecture, it’s important to understand its basic components. The four pillars of cloud native are microservices, DevOps, open source standards, and containers.

  1. Microservices are the foundation of cloud native architecture because they offer several benefits, including scalability, fault tolerance and agility. Microservices are smaller and more focused than monolithic applications, which makes them easier to develop, test and deploy. This allows teams to move faster and respond more quickly to changing business requirements and application needs. Plus, a failure in one microservice does not cause an outage of the entire application.This means that developers can replace or update individual microservices and not disrupt the entire system.
  2. DevOps is a set of practices that emphasizes collaboration and communication between development and operations teams. Its goal is to deliver software faster and more reliably. DevOps plays a critical role to enable continuous delivery and deployment of cloud native architecture. DevOps teams collaborate to rapidly test and integrate code changes, and focus on automating as much of the deployment process as possible. Another key aspect of DevOps in a cloud native architecture is the use of Infrastructure as Code  (IaC) tools, which allow for declarative configuration of infrastructure resources. DevOps’ focus on CI/CD enables products and features to be released to market faster; improves software; ensures that secure coding practices are met and reduces cost for the organization; and  improves collaboration between the development and operations teams.
  3. There are a variety of industrywide open source standards such as Kubernetes, Prometheus and the Open Container Initiative. These cloud native open source standards are important for several reasons:
  • They help organizations avoid vendor lock-in by ensuring that applications and infrastructure are not tied to any particular cloud provider or proprietary technology.
  • Open source standards promote interoperability between different cloud platforms, technologies and organizations to integrate their environments with a wide range of tools and services to meet business needs.
  • Open source standards foster innovation as they allow developers and organizations to collaborate on new projects and coding advancements for cloud native architectures across the industry.
  • Open source standards are developed through a community-driven process, which ensures that the needs and perspectives of a wide range of stakeholders are considered.
  1. Containers enable organizations to package applications into a standard format to easily deploy and run on any cloud platform. Orchestration on the other hand, is the process of managing and automating the deployment, scaling and management of containerized applications. Containers and orchestration help build and manage scalable, portable, and resilient applications. This allows businesses to quickly respond to market changes, which gives them a competitive advantage so they can constantly implement value-add features and keep customer-facing services online.

Chronosphere + cloud native = A perfect match

Cloud native practices offer significant business benefits, including faster time-to-market, greater scalability, improved resilience, reduced costs, and better application agility and flexibility. With cloud native adoption, organizations can improve their software development processes and deliver better products and services to their customers.

When migrating to a cloud native architecture, teams must have observability software to oversee system health. Observability tools provide real-time visibility into system performance that help developers to quickly identify and resolve issues, optimize system performance, and design better applications for the cloud.

Built specifically for cloud native environments, Chronosphere provides a full suite of observability tools for your organization to control data cardinality and understand costs with the Chronosphere Control Plane, and assist engineering teams with cloud native adoption.

Share This:
Table Of Contents
Most Recent:

Ready to see it in action?

Request a demo for an in depth walk through of the platform!