A software application used to be like an island: a mostly self-contained service that ran on independent machines with few external dependencies. Businesses might use a dozen or so of these self-contained applications, but the level of integration with data systems and outside services was minimal. According to a recent survey by Mulesoft and Deloitte, modern enterprises, on the other hand, use an average of 976 applications. And each of these applications may include hundreds of integrations for data processing, inter-app communication, and additional features and functionality.
In addition, many organizations are developing and utilizing cloud native technologies, which tend to use newer architectures (such as serverless infrastructure) and decentralized deployments (such as container-based microservices). These cloud native technologies must work seamlessly with legacy, on-premises, and private cloud data and applications. However, this need creates additional integration challenges.
This blog post will explain how to overcome cloud native integration challenges and the benefits of using a cloud native integration platform.
Cloud Native Integration Challenges
Cloud native deployments often include newer cloud-based technologies like serverless architectures, container-based microservices applications, and Platforms as a Service (PaaS). Many organizations need these technologies to seamlessly integrate with legacy and on-premises resources and traditional cloud and SaaS platforms.
Older integration frameworks for monolith applications generally aren’t designed to deal with the volume of integration points and events involved in microservice application integrations. Even older cloud-based Integration Platform as a Service (IPaaS) solutions struggle with hybrid cloud native deployments. These difficulties are because they’re designed to handle simple plug-and-play integrations between compatible SaaS applications.
What is a Cloud Native Integration Platform?
A cloud native integration platform is a Hybrid Integration Platform (HIP) or Integration Platform as a Service (IPaaS). That means it’s a system framework for developing and managing integrations between applications, processes, data, and services.
Some examples of the functionality included in a cloud native integration platform:
- API creation and lifecycle management
- Messaging and event processing
- Data mapping and transformation
A cloud native integration platform is designed to build and manage integrations with containerized, microservice applications. In addition, these platforms typically support legacy and on-premises integrations, providing a unified solution from which to manage all integration flows.
As the name suggests, a cloud native integration platform is hosted in the cloud and usually deployed as a containerized application. This characteristic means the platform benefits from the increased performance and scalability of cloud native applications.
The Benefits of a Cloud Native Integration Platform
A cloud native integration platform delivers the following benefits:
Accelerating Cloud Adoption. Use modern cloud services and technologies while maintaining seamless integrations with legacy and on-premises resources. This feature allows you to accelerate cloud adoption initiatives without worrying about breaking legacy connections.
Dynamic Scaling. With a cloud native integration platform, you can easily add or remove endpoints and integrations as business needs change or customer demand fluctuates.
Facilitating Business Innovation. A cloud native integration platform provides quick integration of the cutting-edge and best-in-breed technologies needed to stay competitive.
Supporting Flexible Deployments. Depending on your speed, security, and data privacy requirements, you can deploy integration technologies in public or private clouds.
Microservice Application Integration. A cloud native integration platform can be deployed on top of a service mesh to act as an API gateway for microservice application integrations. Some integration platforms even include service mesh functionality.
Overcoming Integration Challenges with a Cloud Native Integration Platform
Some organizations choose to develop their own cloud native integration platform. Doing so may save you some money in subscription costs, giving you more control over your infrastructure and integrations, which simplifies data privacy compliance.
Conversely, building a bespoke solution takes longer than implementing an on-the-shelf platform (assuming your team has the knowledge and training required to tackle the task). Plus, you’ll be responsible for the ongoing maintenance and support of the integration platform.
Working with cloud native integration experts, like the team at Copado Strategic Services, is often a great middle ground between doing everything yourself and buying something off the shelf.