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Rohit is an investor, startup advisor and an Application Modernization Scale Specialist working at Google.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Modernization Myths Explained 1 & 2

In this blog post we go deeper into the top two myths of Application Modernization. An overview of all the top 10 myths can be found here

Myth 1 - “Application has to be cloud native to land on a PaaS”

The truth is that most Platforms As A Service run applications of different cloud native characteristics just fine. Applications have to progress through a spectrum as they land and flourish in the cloud from Not running in the cloud, to running in the cloud, to running great in the cloud. A PaaS like Cloud Foundry has also evolved features like volume services and multi-port routing to help stateful and not born on the cloud applications run without changes on Cloud Foundry.  In his blog series  debunking Cloud Foundry myths , Richard Seroter authoritatively disproves the notion that  Cloud Foundry can only run cloud-native applications.
Applications do not have to be classic 12 factor or 15 factor compliant to land on PaaS. Applications evolve on the cloud native spectrum. The more cloud native idiomatic changes to an app - the more return on investment you get from the changes. The more cloud native you make the app, the higher the optionality you get since it becomes cloud agnostic allowing enterprises to exact maximum leverage from all the providers. The focus needs to be on the app inside-out to get the best returns. In general the higher you are in the abstraction stack the more performance gains you will get so Architecture changes will yield a 10x more benefit than JVM or GC tuning which will yield a 10x more benefit than tuning assembly code and so on … If it is the database tier that you think is the problem - then you can put in multiple shock absorbers instead of tuning the startup memory and app start times. Apps first, Platform second :-)  

Cloud Foundry Support For Stateful Applications
Myth 2 - “Application have to be refactored to run them on Kubernetes”
It's a fallacy that applications need to be modified by developers before landing them on Kubernetes. In fact an enterprise can get significant cost savings by migrating one factor apps to Kubernetes. A one factor app simply has the capability to restart with no harmful side-effects James Watters the cloud soothsayer has posed the question in the cloud-native podcast - Do you even have a 1-factor application ? 

Most business applications are not ready for refactoring but still want the cost advantages of running in the cloud.  For apps where the appetite for change is zero, starting  small, as in just restarting the application predictably i.e. making it one factor can make it run on a container platform like Kubernetes. As you shift to declarative automation and scheduling, you will want the app to restart  cleanly. There is an application-first movement of being able to do some basic automation of even your monolithic applications. Apps are the scarce commodity right now. With Kubernetes becoming more and more ubiquitous — All the application portfolios need a nano change mindset to adapt to the cloud.