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Adoption of cloud-native apps high but security remains an issue - report

Nearly 9 in 10 organisations are using cloud-native apps, but due to security and networking issues, only 10% run half or more business apps on Kubernetes and only 12% run a quarter or more based on microservices, according to new research from Volterra.

Conducted by Propeller Insights, the survey found that while most organisations today are using cloud-native apps, Kubernetes and microservices, they struggle to secure and connect the complex environments resulting from them. 

Respondents indicated that cloud-native apps and Kubernetes deployments are particularly difficult to secure and connect because of the growing number of APIs and microservices they incorporate, which make them more distributed and harder to protect.

"Cloud-native is no longer just a bold new idea for most organisations, it's a reality," says Mark Weiner, CMO, Volterra. 

"Enterprises have increasingly adopted cloud-native apps over the past couple years to achieve faster development cycles, greater scalability and less vendor lock-in. 

"But their DevOps and NetOps teams are facing some serious security and networking hurdles they just didn't anticipate," he says.

"Cloud-native apps rely heavily on a microservices architecture and use far more APIs than traditional monolithic apps, including deeply embedded and hidden APIs. 

"This increase in microservices and APIs makes modern apps far more complex to secure and connect. As a result, organisations are really struggling to get the agility and scalability they expected from their cloud-native environment and investment."

Cloud-native app adoption has become mainstream, with 86% of respondents saying their organisation is actively using or have started using cloud-native apps today.

While over half of organisations are using Kubernetes in some capacity, security and networking challenges are preventing them from using Kubernetes widely across business apps, with only 10% of organisations running half or more of their business apps on it.

DevOps teams shoulder most of the burden of planning and managing Kubernetes infrastructure and operations: 67% of respondents say DevOps is responsible for choosing networking and security solutions for their Kubernetes environments, while 63% say DevOps is responsible for managing those operations.

Security and connectivity challenges are also preventing organisations from using microservices for more of their business apps: 57% of respondents say that less than 10% of all their business apps are based on microservices architecture, while 88% say that less than 25% of business apps are based on it.

Most organisations (58%) say the growing volume of APIs in modern cloud-native apps is causing them problems; respondents highlighted security as the top challenge resulting from this API sprawl.

"As the modern app environment has changed, the challenges have changed too," says Weiner.

"Cloud-native apps involve lots of complex moving parts namely APIs and microservices, as well as containers that cause significant security and networking challenges, which most organisations are not equipped to overcome," he explains. 

"The only way to solve the problems associated with modern cloud-native apps is with equally cloud-native infrastructure. A distributed cloud platform is the best option to provide that modern infrastructure. 

"The right platform should provide a comprehensive security and networking stack that includes all the tools needed for deploying, connecting and protecting these apps, enabling organisations to support even their most critical business apps in a cloud-native environment."