Cloud Age Solutions is a software company  – after all, we developed gpxcloud, a Telecom Lifecycle Management SaaS Solution.  In our blog, we usually don’t go too deep into the underlying technology behind our solutions because, most of the time, what our partners and their customers care about is the bottom-line benefits our solutions provide – not what coding language, architecture or platform our application uses.

But in this series of posts, we are going to get a little technical.  Why? Because, unlike most of its competitors, Cloud Age Solutions’ gpxcloud software uses a “Cloud Native” approach to building and running applications that exploits the inherent advantages of the cloud computing delivery model.   While there are many benefits to us as a software developer to create a cloud-native application, it’s important for our partners and customers to see how “Cloud Native” translates into bottom-line business benefits.  In this post, we will discuss what Cloud Native means overall – in later posts, we will dive into more specific business advantages of our Cloud Native architecture.

“Cloud Native” vs. “Cloud Enabled”

To understand what “Cloud Native” means, it’s useful to contrast it with another frequently used term, “Cloud Enabled”.  The two phrases are sometimes used interchangeably, but in fact, they are very different, with Cloud Native offering many advantages to customers that Cloud-Enabled does not.

Cloud-Enabled software is what most software vendors mean when they say, “Oh, yeah, my application runs in the cloud”.  Cloud-Enabled software was originally developed for use on an on-premise server or data center.  It was then later modified to run in a cloud environment such as AWS or Microsoft Azure.  A cloud-enabled application does provide benefits to customers in terms of remote access and ease of management, but it does not take full advantage of operating in the cloud.  The software application is fundamentally the same as before – it is just running in a cloud environment.

By contrast, Cloud Native is a software developed from the start to operate in the cloud.  Google, Amazon, and Facebook are household names and are examples of “cloud-native” software applications, but there are many other business software solutions that are embracing cloud-native. They are always available, continuously upgraded and infinitely scalable.  Here’s how one leading technologist summarizes the importance of “Cloud Native”:

 “Cloud-native is really just a shorthand for modern application and infrastructure practices. It’s the recognition that businesses across essentially all industries are increasingly reliant on software that can be brought online quickly, adapt to changing marketplace requirements, and run on infrastructure that’s attuned to both rapid changes in demand and new workload types. Think of it as the inverse of the big, monolithic application running on a big iron server that evolved on a timescale of years.”Gordon Haff, technology evangelist, Red Hat.

In the case of Cloud Age Solutions, we’ve used the software design principles of these well-known applications to create a Cloud-Native” telecom lifecycle management solution – gpxcloud.  As a result, gpxcloud offers MSPs, service providers, telecom resellers and their customers’ important advantages over other competing solutions.

Key FeatureCloud-NativeCloud-Enabled
ArchitectureDeveloped using software elements and programming languages optimized specifically for the cloudDeveloped using legacy software architectures optimized for on-premise operation
ScalabilityHighly scalable. Cloud Native software uses automation to add capacity and scale up or down as needed. New users and features can be added in seconds, with no disruption to the entire application. A huge advantage for customers.Limited scalability. Capacity is added using highly manual and error-prone processes. As a practical matter, capacity can never be matched to demand. Adding users and features often requires service disruption.
Speed of DeploymentCustomers do not need to deploy new hardware or software to address business requirements or opportunities. No hardware or software configurations required. The result is IT infrastructure that moves at the speed of business.Deployment of new services is slowed because hardware needs to be specified, purchased, configured and customized for software.
CostMore cost effective because costs can be closely tied to usage at any given point in time – customers don’t have to pay for infrastructure they don’t use.Customers must pay for minimal level of infrastructure and on-going upgrades, as usage increases.
MaintenanceEasily maintained because bug fixes and other feature changes can be made without software downtime.Updates need to be customized for the specific installation environment and can result in system downtime.

Conclusion: Cloud-Native Software is the Future – Don’t Get Left Behind

For all the many reasons summarized above, it’s clear that Cloud Native Software – not just Cloud-Enabled Software – is the future.  In fact, industry analyst IDC estimates that by 2022, 90% of all new software applications will be developed from the ground up as Cloud Native software.   Telecom service providers, MSPs, and resellers have expense and network management challenges that are tailor-made for the strengths of Cloud Native software.  If you or your customers are deploying new software, be sure to take advantage of the performance, reliability, scalability, and speed to market advantages that Cloud Native software provides.  Look for a more detailed discussion of these advantages in future posts in this series.

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