Metaswitch CTO sets the record straight on what "cloud native" really is
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Martin Taylor, CTO, Metaswitch Networks
Martin Taylor, CTO of Metaswitch Networks, is of the opinion that there is so much hype currently swirling around the concept of "cloud native" that vendors and telcos alike tend to present just about everything they are doing as being "cloud native" when, in fact, it is often nothing of the sort - and as a result "confusion proliferates". That's why he has authored two white papers on the subject in a effort to set matters straight.
Martin Taylor says that cloud native is, by its very nature, a moving target because the industry and technology is in a state of constant flux. He has his own definition of cloud native, which is that, at any time, it is "the set of current best practices that are used by web-scale application developers". Thus his white papers are a snapshot of today's best practices combined with a set or criteria by which to determine whether something is cloud native - or not.
As we all know the global telco and IT industries can't resist latching on to fashionable terminology and then sprinkling it liberally throughout its marketing communication, hence the emergence of wishy-washy terminology referring to notional sub-sets of cloud native such as "cloud native compliant" and "cloud native".
These, and other "degrees of cloud-nativeness", says Martin Taylor, "barely scratch the surface of what cloud native really is". That's why he wrote his white papers, to get real information about cloud native out to the market in an objective a manner as possible to allow people to make up their minds about the subject rather than wading through deluges of hype.
Martin Taylor examines the key features of a cloud native application architecture and lists it as using Open Stack software including dynamic orchestration, being decomposed into microservices, running in containers, being stateless, with elastic scalability and built in load-balancing. He adds that Kubernetes is now the de facto orchestration standard and goes so far as to say that if a cloud native network isn't orchestrated by Kubernetes then it can't claim to be cloud native at all.
Filmed at: Great Telco Debate, London, December 2019
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