native cloud application (NCA) definition

This definition is part of our Essential Guide: How to implement a successful SaaS business model
Contributor(s): Karen Goulart

A native cloud application (NCA) is a program that is designed specifically for a cloud computing architecture.

NCAs are designed to take advantage of cloud computing frameworks, which are composed of loosely-coupled cloud services. That means that developers must break down tasks into separate services that can run on several servers in different locations. Because the infrastructure that supports a native cloud app does not run locally, NCAs must be planned with redundancy in mind so the application can withstand equipment failure and be able to re-map IP addresses automatically should hardware fail.

The design paradigm is cost-effective, however, because services and resources for computation and storage can be scaled out horizontally as needed, which negates the need for overprovisioning hardware and having to plan for load balancing. Virtual servers can quickly be added for testing and, in theory, an NCA can be brought to market on the same day it's created.

In general, a native app is an application program that has been developed for use on a particular platform or device.

This was first published in November 2014

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