The History of Application Infrastructure from Local to the Cloud


The final aspect of IT evolution we'll cover on this blog is application infrastructure, which has progressed alongside the development process, app architecture, and software deployment and packaging.

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Apps Based In the Cloud

One of the biggest insights into this evolution is that both apps and data are now stored in the cloud, usable from anywhere, and never need to be installed on your device. This is why so many things can be accomplished from within a single app: the browser. As long as an app can run in your browser, you don't need hard drive space or RAM to run it, which increases compatibility.

Modern apps rely heavily on virtualization and containers, which allow them to run on servers or the cloud regardless of the server's operating system, making it easier to code apps based on what works best for the app rather than the server. Microservices have replaced larger apps, further enabling this transition. And because these apps don't exist on any single server, performance and uptime see a boost. The redundancy of the cloud makes it an ideal place to store and run apps.

Of course, the tradeoff is that you must be connected to the Internet to use the app. Without a stable connection, the software may become unusable, which can be quite frustrating. Because these apps are stored online, cybersecurity has become increasingly important to protect the data they send and receive.

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How We Got From There to Here

The move to cloud-hosted apps seems quite inevitable when you look at the history of the application infrastructure. Before being stored in the cloud, apps were often stored remotely, which was made possible by the advent of broadband Internet. For the first time, you could log into the software remotely. It was certainly convenient but required access to the specific server that houses the app. If the server goes down, however, so does the app.

These servers could be owned by the company that owned the apps or rented. The latter option meant that companies could pay others to house their apps and data, thus reducing the space, hardware, and even electricity needed to run their own facilities. On the other hand, data centers grew in size, frequency, and power consumption. Serverless Tools

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Benefits Encourage Evolution of Application Infrastructure

Renting server space also reduced the amount of hands-on technical support that companies were responsible for. This now fell under the purview of the company renting out the server space. This allowed companies to further save money by shrinking their IT teams. When companies do need specific services, they can rent them. This has paved the way for the "everything-as-a-service" business model. You can now rent infrastructure, containers, applications, functions, and software as a service to create the perfect solution to your IT needs.

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It's easy to see why companies welcome the changes in application infrastructure with open arms. Before, there was no option but to house data on in-house computers and hire those capable of protecting both the hardware and software. On top of this, programmers still needed to create and update apps. And if any app was poorly coded and could potentially harm the server? That was just another thing companies would have to deal with.

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