The movement away from on-premise and towards the Cloud is unstoppable. Even the US government is on board with their plans to “accelerate movement to secure cloud services, including Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and Platform as a Service (PaaS).”
There's many types of infrastructure to consider when selecting software. We aim to uncover the true difference of the key two, being on-premise software and cloud-native software below.
What is cloud-native software?
Cloud-native software and technologies are an approach to architecting, building, and managing workloads built in the cloud. This means that cloud-native software has the Cloud inherently built into its DNA, taking full advantage of all the technology that Cloud provider platforms offer. This results in the ability to scale for global performance.
What is on-premise software?
On-premises (or on-prem) software uses IT infrastructure hardware and software applications that are hosted on-site, and relies on constant maintenance and upkeep from dedicated resources. On-prem is quickly becoming the legacy approach in artifct, as organizations are realizing the power of the Cloud.
What exactly is the difference between on-premise and cloud-native?
On-premise (on-prem) software is deployed, hosted, and maintained by your organization. While you can host your on-prem software in the cloud to remove some infrastructure and maintenance costs, you really need cloud-native software to take full advantage of the Cloud.
Cloud-native software is designed, developed, and deployed to take advantage of modern cloud computing, using techniques like micro-services, modularity, containerization, continuous integration, and continuous deployment.
When you access your software over the cloud, that usually means using the SaaS licensing and delivery model. You access your software over a browser or via an API, and you pay for what you use, like a utility bill.
Cloud-native software using SaaS licensing empowers you to focus on growing your business while only paying for the services you use.
Advantages of Cloud-Native Software over On-Premise Software
Many new companies today are choosing to offload the overhead of maintaining the tools and infrastructure they rely on to cloud-native services. The use of on-prem software is mainly due to legacy or regulatory reasons.
For example, the innovation coming out of Cloud-first FinTech companies compared to the risk-averse old-school banking industry shows what you can do when unshackled from your on-prem mindset. Now you see older banks like Morgan Stanley accelerating their use of the cloud to remain competitive.
There are many advantages of cloud-native over on-premise software:
Cost of Maintenance and Infrastructure
Cloud software is hosted for you. You don’t have to worry about maintaining your “on-prem” software or infrastructure- No updates, no security patches, no replacing obsolete hardware. Cloud-native technologies allow businesses to reduce the total cost of ownership for businesses, especially when you factor in the staff costs of maintaining “on-prem,” never mind just the licensing fees.
Scalability is another area where the cloud excels. Cloud-native software can quickly re-adjust its resources to meet demand. A company experiencing rapid growth can use the cloud to expand its infrastructure and computing power. In contrast, the same company using on-prem infrastructure would have to quickly invest in more hardware, software, and Engineers to keep up with rapid growth. On-prem software cannot compete with Cloud-native software in terms of scalability and flexibility.
“On-prem” software solutions tend to be faster the closer you are to the infrastructure. It’s no longer acceptable for everyone near the company headquarters to have a responsive low latency experience, while other geographically distributed teams have to put up with significant replication lag. This lag stifles collaboration and productivity.
Cloud software can use techniques like content delivery networks (CDN) and edge caching to provide better performance for distributed teams without requiring you to implement complex global replication or maintain globally distributed infrastructure.
A secure system needs a secure building, training, constant security updates, high availability, monitoring, and disaster recovery infrastructure. Although many companies that host their software on-prem take security very seriously, it is expensive and consumes many working hours.
Cloud providers are driven to focus on security as their business and reputation depend on providing a robust and secure service. As a result, cloud providers use highly sophisticated security tools and resources beyond the reach of most in-house teams.
Where are the Software Devs?
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that from 2019 to 2029, there will be a 22% increase in the number of jobs available to Software Developers. It’s already hard to find Software Engineers, and the best ones want to work with the latest technologies. We need to embrace tooling that takes advantage of the automation and scalability of cloud-native technologies- freeing up your engineering and server resources to build your products.
Cloud-Native, not just Cloud-Hosted
When moving from “on-prem,” it’s crucial to select cloud-native tools, like Cloudsmith to use with your cloud infrastructure.
Some vendors offer their on-prem software on Cloud platforms. However, these legacy offerings were not designed to run on a Cloud platform or architected to take advantage of the paradigm shift that cloud computing enables. You are left with effectively paying on the double for the same on-prem software, just running in a virtual machine in the Cloud. These Frankenstein hybrid software solutions inherit the same scale and distribution problems as their on-prem alternatives.
Cloud-native software works in tandem with Cloud Infrastructure- secure, fully distributed workloads, fault tolerance, and thanks to containers, it can move from cloud to cloud with ease and scale in or out rapidly.
Cloudsmith- your very own Cloud-Native packaging tool
Package management is an example of a tool that would benefit from being Cloud Native. Package management tools develop, deploy and distribute software packages.
Cloudsmith is a Cloud-native package management tool that makes life simpler for your engineers. Don’t worry about infrastructure, patching, upgrades, replications, or scaling. Our cloud-native architecture enabled us to develop a smart CDN for software packages- or our Package Delivery Network (PDN). The PDN is optimized to ensure lightning-fast delivery for deploying or shipping licensed software to your customers.
We believe that the elasticity, flexibility, security, and scalability of the Cloud allow us to support infrastructure and service beyond the capability of traditionally provided “on-prem” tools.
Shift to the cloud away from on-prem software by choosing Cloud-native software to empower innovation, stay secure, reduce costs, and scale as your business needs change.