Eclipse Foundation Finds Cloud Native Gaining Ground

A survey of 534 cloud developers and software professionals conducted by the Eclipse Foundation found 35% of an organization’s most critical applications are now cloud native.

Respondents are also working with containers (45%) and microservices (36%), followed closely by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies, the survey found. Top integration priorities are unit testing (42%), followed by continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipelines (37%), debugging (36%) and container deployment (36%).

Thabang Mashologu, vice president of marketing for the Eclipse Foundation, said the survey suggests that organizations are building and deploying cloud-native applications much faster. In effect, cloud-native applications are now mainstream, he added.

The survey also found developers are still highly committed to open source technologies, with 56% of respondents using open source software. A full 84% affirmed that open source is important to their strategy, with 81% noting they expect that would continue.

A total of 89% of respondents said their organization allowed developers to use open source technologies, with 37% placing some restrictions on usage.

Nearly three-quarters (74%) also reported they would like to see their companies invest more in open source software. However, only 31% said they contribute to open source projects. Another 12% said their organization is exploring how to participate in open source more appropriately.

Well over three-quarters (36%) also noted they preferred working with projects supported by some type of foundation, but only 38% work for organizations that are a member of any foundation.

Overall, the survey makes it clear that organizations are using both public clouds (53%) and on-premises IT environments (40%) to build and deploy applications. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the most widely used (39%), followed by Google (36%) and Microsoft (33%). A full 57% said they are likely to adopt new cloud tools over the next year.

It’s not clear what programming languages are being used to build cloud-native applications, but Java continues to be the dominant language used in enterprise application environments. Most organizations are not investing widely in the training that would be required to teach developers a new programming language.

At the same time, Java has been experiencing a renaissance. More organizations began contributing to Java projects once the core platform became available under an open source OpenJDK license. The Java community is now adopting many concepts pioneered in other programming languages to enable organizations to, for example, drive digital business transformation initiatives that are dependent on legacy applications that are being modernized. As part of those efforts, the rate at which mission-critical applications written in Java are being deployed in the cloud has substantially increased.

The challenge now will be finding ways to manage all those cloud-native applications alongside the still-dominant monolithic applications. Monoliths still outnumber the number of applications running in enterprise IT environments, but may one day be replaced or refactored into a set of cloud-native microservices to drive innovation. The issue, as always, will be finding and retaining the developer expertise required to build all those cloud-native applications as quickly as possible.

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

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