Key Differences: Cloud-Native vs. Cloud-Enabled

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It is the high time of facing digital change as people are shifting from an on-premise software setup to a cloud setup. Many people may have wrong ideas or get mixed up about what cloud technology really is and the differences between Cloud-Native vs. Cloud-Enabled.

Moreover, cloud-based, cloud-native, and cloud-enabled are terms that may seem the same to people but are actually different. Hence, here I will explain the key differences between the three terms so you can differentiate them when needed.

But first, let’s start with what the word ‘cloud’ means. Broken down into simple terms, the cloud refers to a storage location for software, applications, servers, and databases that can be accessed by end-users and are independent of the location or devices.

This is one of the reasons why cloud technology is getting particularly interesting for organizations and also becoming a standard in today’s world at an increasing rate.

So, now that we got that out of the way, let’s dive into the differences between cloud-native vs. cloud-enabled software and applications.

Cloud Enabled

Any application that was not originally developed to be set up in the cloud and later on moved to the cloud is a cloud-enabled application. These are typically called enterprise applications or software.

However, it is necessary to change some characteristics of these applications to adapt them for the cloud. This process is called the ‘cloud-migration’ process and it is done by the lift and shift principle.

On the other hand, some enterprise applications or software are developed with cloud migration in mind. These applications are developed with cloud principles of elastic scaling, multi-tenancy, simple management, and integration in mind.

Cloud Native

Cloud-native applications and software, on the contrary, are based on micro-servers and are developed on a conceptual approach and operate in such a way that they can use numerous advantages of cloud computing.

Therefore, ‘Cloud native’ is a term that describes the way an application or software is designed, managed, and made available without the need for software or hardware configuration. The main difference between cloud-native vs. cloud-enabled software and applications is that cloud-native applications initially have nothing to do with location.

Cloud-Native vs. Cloud-Enabled

As we have already discussed, cloud-native applications and software have more agility. They benefit from the core advantages of cloud computing by being more at home than cloud-enabled applications.

The development is also comparatively faster, better, and more flexible, in terms of cloud-native applications. Consequently, the risks in the development process and operations can also be reduced.

Basically, a cloud-native application or software development is a concept of creating, executing, and optimizing highly scalable, company-relevant applications.

On the flip side, when we talk about cloud-enabled applications or software, we mean the applications or software that were once developed traditionally, but, have been adapted appropriately for cloud operation.

Some in-house enterprise systems and solutions that, over time, have evolved, can be great examples of cloud-enabled applications.

Which one to choose: Cloud Native or Cloud Enabled?

Looking at the current technological situation, the conceptual approach behind cloud-native applications can bring numerous advantages for growing organizations. As these applications are independent of hardware or software, they can be easily ported and can have high availability.

Moreover, in terms of partners and service providers, companies can remain as flexible as possible, with cloud-native applications. The cloud-native applications are cheaper to build and sustain and are highly scalable as well.

Furthermore, the known risks on operations from configurations and operational errors are also drastically reduced. So, the choice is clear, choosing cloud-native applications over cloud-enabled is worth it.