Guide to Building a Cloud-Based Architecture for Apps
Cloud computing has never been more popular. In fact, according to Gartner projections, cloud-native platforms are expected to make up more than 95% of new digital workloads by 2025, up from 30% in 2021.
It is, therefore, not surprising that building a cloud-based architecture for apps is becoming increasingly popular as more and more organizations look to leverage the cloud. If you are interested in knowing how to build cloud architecture for an application, you are on the right page.
This guide explores the key things to consider when designing a scalable cloud architecture. It also includes tips and best practices, selecting the right tools and services, and ensuring compliance. If you are a developer, architect, or IT professional, you will find this guide valuable for building cloud-based apps successfully.
What is Cloud Architecture?
Cloud architecture is the structure of a cloud computing system. This high-performance computing platform includes the hardware, software, networking, storage components, analytics, and other platforms that help deliver services via the internet in real-time.
Cloud environment architecture offers several benefits for modern app development, including:
- Scalability: Cloud architecture can be scaled up or down as needed, allowing apps to handle increased traffic and growth without significant infrastructure investments.
- Flexibility: Cloud-based infrastructure can be accessed from anywhere and on any device.
- Cost-effectiveness: Cloud providers offer pay-as-you-go pricing models, meaning you don’t need to raise huge sums for investments in hardware and infrastructure.
- High availability: Cloud providers offer built-in redundancy and disaster recovery features, ensuring that apps are always available to users.
- Security: Cloud providers make significant investments in security infrastructure and best practices, which help protect user data from cyber threats.
With these benefits, cloud architecture allows for faster and more efficient app development.
The primary components of cloud architecture are:
- Client Infrastructure
- Runtime Cloud
These components work together to provide a flexible, scalable, and cost-effective way for developing a cloud architecture for an application.
How to develop an effective cloud migration strategy? Read the practical advice in our blog post Cloud Migration Strategy Must-Do’s: Preparation, Migration, and Maintenance
Cloud architecture is massively different from on-premise architecture, which is limited by location and device dependency, performance and capacity constraints, vulnerability to manmade and natural disasters, and maintenance challenges. No wonder Gartner estimates that global spending on the cloud could reach almost $600 billion by the end of 2023.
Top 6 Tips for Creating Cloud Application Architecture
When it comes to cloud-based architecture development, there are a few key considerations to keep in mind, especially in terms of design, performance, scalability, and security. Here are seven tips to help you get the best result:
1. Clearly define your requirements and goals
Before you even begin to develop apps cloud architecture, it’s important to take the time to clearly define your goals.
What are you trying to achieve? Remember, this should focus more on the business value of your product. When you can identify the solutions your product will deliver, you will be able to choose the right technology for your purposes.
To deliver business value, your product should target two areas:
Hard cost savings: This means the cost-effectiveness of your application. Will it deliver cheaper storage or cost-effective computing?
Soft cost savings: These are the intangible benefits of your product. Admittedly, they are difficult to quantify, but focusing on business values means that your app should be able to deliver some form of competitive edge.
What are the cloud migration costs? Start calculating with this article. How to Estimate the Cost of Cloud Migration
Answering these questions upfront will make the design process much smoother, make it easy to milestone your progress, and help you track metrics.
2. Use a service-oriented or microservices architecture
One of the best ways to take advantage of the cloud is to use a microservices architecture. This approach allows you to build apps with cloud architecture and deploy individual services independently. On the other hand, single unified designs lead to lengthy development cycles and require significant testing needs.
Why choose microservices? Learn the advantages and disadvantages of microservices here. Microservices Architecture Advantages and Disadvantages, Risks, and 5 Use Cases
It also gives you the ability to scale services independently. This means that you can scale only the resources you need, and prevent bottlenecks in the system.
3. Use Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) best practices
CI/CD helps to automate the process of building, testing and deploying code changes. This can be a huge help when it comes to deploying cloud-native applications, as it can help to ensure that code changes are tested and deployed quickly and efficiently. This can help reduce downtime and improve overall reliability.
4. Consider serverless architecture for certain parts of your application
One of the emerging trends in cloud application design is serverless architecture. This approach can be a great option for certain parts of your application, such as event-driven workloads or infrequently used functions.
Some of the benefits of strategically using serverless are:
- Serverless computing has the potential to minimize your overall cloud cost, as you don’t have to pay for idle resources.
- It enables applications to swiftly scale up and down regardless of data centers.
- It decreases the amount of time and effort necessary for developers to install and manage apps. They do not need to set up a whole server to host the application.
5. Include security in your design
Security is a critical concern for any application, but it’s especially important for the cloud and should be a top consideration when creating cloud-aware application architecture. It should be integrated into your cloud-based application architecture from the get-go, as part of the application design.
This includes securing data in transit and at rest, implementing cloud access controls and authentication, and monitoring for potential security threats.
6. Allow plenty of time for testing
You need to allocate adequate time and resources for testing so you can be confident that your design will scale and perform as expected. This includes testing for performance, scalability, and cloud architecture security, as well as user acceptance testing to ensure that the application meets the needs of your users.
Remember, testing should be done not just at the end of the project, but throughout. This is the best way to avoid experiencing problems down the road.
How to test a legacy codebase without breaking anything? Learn here. Testing Legacy Codebase: What is, Common Problems and Best Practices
Best Practices for Cloud Architecture Development
Netflix, Spotify, Salesforce, Dropbox, Uber, and Airbnb are some of the most popular applications and platforms based on cloud architecture. These products are successful because they followed a checklist of best practices before, during, and after development. Netflix alone made a whopping $31.4 billion in 2022 after improving the cloud architecture.
Any business or organization looking to develop and deploy cloud-based applications needs to be aware of certain best practices to ensure a successful outcome. Some of the important ones are.
Design for failure
When you’re building a cloud architecture for an app, it’s important to design for failure. This means that you need to anticipate that things will go wrong and create a fault-tolerant cloud architecture design that can handle those failures. By doing this, you can ensure that your application will be able to continue running even if something does go wrong.
Implement a multicloud strategy
Another important thing to keep in mind when developing cloud-based architecture for an app is that you should not put all your eggs in one basket. Instead, you should implement a multicloud strategy to minimize your risk and take advantage of the different features and capabilities of each cloud provider. Google Cloud, AWS, Microsoft Azure are vendors you can use for your multi-cloud strategy.
Design for automation
The cloud allows for dynamic and high scalability system design, therefore, you should create your architecture in a way that makes it easy to automatically provision and manage your servers and components. This will allow you to quickly and easily scale your architecture as your needs change.
Decouple your components
When you’re designing, it’s important to decouple your components. This means that each component should be able to function independently of the others. By doing this, you will make your application scalable and easier to maintain.
Design components to be stateless whenever possible
When you create a cloud architecture for an app, you must be deliberate about how and when you store state. By making your components stateless, you can avoid having to store sensitive data in the cloud. Designing your component stateless also makes it easy to scale, repair, rollback, and load-balance components.
Plan for security and compliance
Finally, security should always be a top priority. You need to make sure that you develop a secure cloud architecture, and that your system meets all relevant compliance regulations.
What about on-premises to cloud migration?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question how to create a high scalability architecture, however, some general tips that can help make the transition smoother include:
- Defining the goals and objectives of the migration.
- Assessing the current state of the on-premise infrastructure and identifying which components can be migrated to the cloud.
- Developing a clear plan for the migration, including timeline, budget, and resource allocation.
- Testing the migration plan thoroughly before executing it.
- Monitoring the progress of the migration and making necessary adjustments along the way.
- Post-migration, reviewing the results and fine-tuning the process for future migrations.
Cloud migration is never simple. Read our proven tips for an effective transition. 20 Top Tips for a Smooth Cloud Transition
By following these best practices, organizations can create a cloud-ready application architecture that is robust and scalable and can effectively meet the needs of their users and customers.
Discover ModLogix’s Experience in Legacy Architecture Modernization Services
As enterprises move more and more of their workloads to the cloud – 61% of businesses did so in 2020 alone – they are also rethinking their application architectures. Why? Because in many cases, existing on-premises applications were not designed with the cloud structure in mind, and so they need to be reworked to take advantage of cloud-native features and architectures.
That’s where ModLogix comes in. We have extensive experience in improvements of architecture for legacy applications so that they can be deployed and run efficiently in the cloud.
Our Azure Migration Case Study
To migrate from ASP.Net Webforms to Microsoft Azure for a scalable database registry storing sensitive healthcare data.
Here’s how we executed this project:
- Determine the project’s scope.
- Prioritize the transfer of business functionalities.
- Validated the idea to discover any potential problems.
- Set up a feedback system to keep our clients informed at all times.
- Acquired and configured Azure Virtual Machines (VM) using Visual Studio.
- Moved the system’s APIs to VMs, however, the biometric matching service failed to function. Refactored biometric matching service and included load balancing in the biometric API.
- Made additional tweaks to adapt it to the Azure environment.
- MS SQL database was not compatible with Azure MS SQL.
- Azure firewall blocked harmless requests.
- Using ASP.Net to insert data in the Azure SQL database.
- Replacing the Azure firewall with the Cloudflare firewall to solve the error request problem.
- Refactored sections of the code to make it faster.
- .NET Framework
- ASP.NET Webforms
- SQL Server
At the end of the project, everyone involved was happy with the result. Please click here to see the full case study.
How to choose a cloud migration vendor for the project? Ask the right questions! 9 Questions to Validate Your Legacy Modernization Vendor Before Starting the Cloud Migration Process
Hopefully, this guide has taught you a few things about how to build a cloud applications architecture as well as some best practices to make your architecture more efficient and create a scalable solution.
But if you’d rather hand this over to experts so that you can have the time to face other aspects of your business, ModLogix is the name to trust. Get in touch with our legacy software modernization company today to start your successful cloud migration journey.