Application Modernisation with Azure Spring Apps

Application modernisation can enhance software, boost performance and improve customer experience. Moreover, the process takes existing legacy applications and transforms them, so they have the infrastructure and architecture they need to meet the demands of your growing business. Whether you’ve already started your modernisation journey or it’s just beginning, the question is how will your developers deliver. There are lots of approaches available to you, including Azure Spring Apps, a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) solution that fully manages application development with build-in discovery and configuration management. In fact, Azure Spring Apps is a formidable solution as a key part of application modernisation, facilitating implementation and management so your business can focus on business goals. 

What are the Benefits of Application Modernisation?

While cloud technologies have been around for several years now, many of our businesses still have enterprise applications running on-premises. Application modernisation involves assessing the strategic importance of these applications against emerging technology options. Ultimately, having applications running in an environment that delivers a good return on investment is everyone’s goal. Many applications are strategic to the business and will benefit from some level of modernisation. Some of the main reasons for doing so include: 

  • Speed – enable developers to deliver features to your customers faster instead of worrying about manual administration tasks.
  • Scalability – with a cloud-based platform, it’s much easier for your application to handle changes in traffic and scale to meet business needs.
  • Security – bolster your security with additional security protections in the cloud to ensure your applications are protected from attacks.
  • Cost-efficiency – modernise your applications to fit the requirements of your business more closely and reduce their overall cost of ownership.

Of course, if you’re considering application modernisation, the best first step is to explore the various technologies that can be used and identify which options suit your specific use case most closely. One such approach is using Azure Spring Apps. 

What Type of Service is Azure Spring Apps?

If you want to improve the day-to-day manageability of your application, you might well choose a PaaS solution, such as Azure App Service, that takes care of underlying infrastructure. On the other hand, if you want to expose the back end of your application to external sources, you might look to Azure API management, AKS and Azure Spring Apps. Azure Spring Apps is a great choice for microservices and container-based approaches, and, as it’s built on top of AKS, it delivers a fully managed PaaS infrastructure. 

With Azure Spring Apps, you get a PaaS solution with development management and containerisation. Azure Spring Apps has built-in application lifecycle management to make applications more cloud native and runs on the Kubernetes infrastructure, a portable, extensible, open-source platform for managing containerised workloads and services. That said, it’s possible to host applications without having to learn how to manage Kubernetes. This lowers the barrier to entry for the service and can help you to get your microservices applications up and running quickly. You can also take advantage of Spring Cloud components to coordinate between microservices, with elements including the config server, service registry and log stream natively built-in to the platform. Once modernised with Spring Apps, applications are easy to monitor from Azure without the need to integrate additional services. What’s more, scalability can be achieved easily within the platform itself and the entire application lifecycle can be managed through the service. 

While application modernisation involves a lot of discussion and decision-making. If you need to break applications into microservices so theory can run on containers, Azure Spring Apps can most certainly bring value to your business. Moreover, it is the right choice over AKS, if you’re looking for fully-managed platform services. 

The Five Pillars of the Azure Well-Architected Framework

Azure Spring Apps architecture needs to be developed with consideration for the Microsoft Azure Well-Architected Framework, a set of best practices to help achieve architectural excellence. The following five pillars enable you to evaluate the potential for success of your architecture:

  1. Reliability – with AKS as the underlying engine, Azure Spring Apps is built on scalability and reliability. A hub and spoke design can help to increase application availability and the architecture can deploy to multiple regions.
  2. Security – application architecture should comply with industry standards, including principles such as identity, access management and storage, with the principle of least privilege employed at all times. 
  3. Cost Optimisation – it’s important to efficiently use computing and operational resources to get maximum value. With Azure Spring Apps, you can deploy multiple applications that share resources for a single instance, supporting autoscaling, utilisation and cost-efficiency. 
  4. Operational Excellence – combined with the Azure cloud, Azure Spring Apps can enable you to build a more reliable and manageable architecture than on-premises, reducing manual errors and leveraging inbuilt monitoring. 
  5. Performance Efficiency – as Azure Spring Apps is a PaaS offering with scaling built in, you can scale to meet the demands of users much more efficiently.

Choosing the Right Azure Spring Apps Tier 

Azure Spring Apps is offered in three tiers, each of which is suitable for different use cases, such as the following:

  1. Basic – this is helpful for development and testing purposes but isn’t suitable for production and doesn’t come with a service-level agreement (SLA).
  2. Standard – this is the most popular tier and is suitable for those looking to host production-grade applications; it comes with an SLA, is suitable for deploying production workloads, and can support up to 500 app instances. 
  3. Enterprise – this is the tier for those wanting VMware enterprise features, including the API portal and Spring Cloud Gateway, with increased reliability, enterprise-grade support, configurability, flexibility and portability. 

When Will You Modernise Your Apps?
Application modernisation doesn’t just make good business sense, it’s vital if you want your organisation to be able to stay relevant and functional in a rapidly evolving landscape. Modernisation can help reduce the time your developers spend on repetitive maintenance and admin tasks and rapidly increase efficiency. If you want a great developer experience with capabilities such as native integration with Azure Services, Azure Spring Apps is an excellent platform choice. What’s more, the platform manages the application lifecycle, including monitoring and configuration, simplifying application development and reducing overall development time. By using a fully managed PaaS solution, like Azure Spring Apps, you’re able to get far more value from your Azure developers, focus on innovation and business logic and deliver business value more quickly.

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