Cloud-Agnostic vs Cloud-Native
April 18, 2023
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Cloud-Agnostic vs Cloud-Native

Cloud technology can offer huge benefits to companies.

The market across industries strongly reflects rapid cloud adoption and the appeal of its value proposition. In several key market segments, over half of IT spending is already being made on cloud solutions.

There are two main cloud computing solutions to consider: cloud-native vs cloud-agnostic.

Understanding the differences between these will help you find the right strategy for your business.

Let's examine and compare both of them.

Cloud-agnostic definition

Cloud-agnostic is a process for building applications, platforms, tools, or services to run in any cloud environment.

This means that businesses that use cloud-agnostic architecture will not be confined to the services of one cloud provider. Instead, they are free to change to different cloud providers quickly and easily when needed.

Cloud-native definition

Cloud-native is an approach to building software explicitly for the cloud environment.

Cloud-native applications usually depend on one specific cloud platform and therefore cannot switch between providers easily.

But the big upside of cloud native architecture is that it allows companies to fully exploit the software features of one provider while enjoying the benefits of the cloud's scalability, flexibility and resilience.

lists of cloud-native and cloud-agnostic differences and similarities
Cloud-native vs cloud-agnostic - a comparison

Cloud-native vs cloud-agnostic - a comparison

Now we have looked at the definitions of each solution, let's make a direct comparison between each solution.

Below are the main areas in which they differ and are similar.

1. Vendor independence

If reducing the risk of vendor lock-in is a strategic priority for you, then cloud-agnostic solutions may be appealing.

This enables you to migrate between cloud service providers at any time. If you find one cloud provider unreliable, with high levels of outage, vendor independence can enable you to switch to another and achieve satisfactory uptime.

Cloud-agnostic architecture also enables you to quickly mitigate any provider security issues, which helps maintain consistent performance and customer satisfaction.

It also helps if there are any unfavourable changes to pricing or terms and conditions.

By contrast, a cloud-native approach alone, often ties you to a specific cloud vendor.

2. Vendor-provided value

The upside to a cloud-native approach being linked to a single cloud provider is that it enables you to fully maximize the technology, maintenance and operational tasks they provide.

Cloud-native architecture aims to fully exploit cloud-specific processes and features. This can create important performance benefits. And it can save time and reduce the cost of building certain features from scratch.

But you might be left in a difficult spot in the rare instance that a cloud service provider (CSP) increases their prices, changes policies or discontinues services.

A cloud-agnostic solution doesn't provide this level of optimization to a specific provider's platform and services.

However, it might enable you to use a larger selection of helpful features and cloud components from multiple cloud providers, which will maximize system performance.

After all, every cloud provider has its advantages and limitations.

3. Time to market (TTM)

Cloud-native solutions are relatively simple to build. This means they can help you achieve a shorter time to market (TTM) than a cloud-agnostic approach. Ready-to-use tools, features and pre-built templates are common and useful features.

This can be particularly beneficial if you have a smaller team or you are at risk of losing your competitive advantage by delaying your launch.

Cloud-agnostic architecture is more complex.

For instance, it might require creating additional features from scratch. This approach can be appealing but difficult. You will often need a dedicated development team.

This means they have a longer TTM. But for larger enterprises with more abundant resources, there can be long-term rewards for investing in this approach.

4. Scalability

Both cloud computing solutions offer your business the opportunity to break free from traditional server systems and scale quickly.

Cloud-agnostic applications can quickly scale by moving across cloud platforms to fulfil resource needs and meet demand.

This is also helpful for organizations looking to migrate from operating on-premises to a particular cloud environment. Cloud-agnostic architecture maintains key business services during the switch.

Cloud-native can also be great for scaling - if your provider is able to help you with it.

5. Costs

Building and deploying cloud-agnostic solutions generally comes with high upfront costs. Investing time to build your own unique features will also mean spending more on a development team.

In contrast, cloud-native solutions are cost-efficient. You can prevent wasted spend by adjusting resources according to your business activity levels.

You will not have to worry about paying and managing additional resources once they are no longer required.

The main costs involved will simply be licensing and the storage levels you need. This means you can work with pay-as-you-go pricing models instead of a fixed subscription fee.

Furthermore, cloud-native is time efficient. Cloud providers can offer general cloud management as well as cost management services.

lists of pros and cons of cloud-native and cloud-agnostic
Cloud-agnostic vs cloud-native or cloud agnostic and cloud-native

Cloud-agnostic vs cloud-native or cloud-agnostic and cloud-native?

Both the cloud-agnostic and cloud-native approach are often thought of as mutually exclusive and you need to choose one or the other.

But they don't have to be. Both can be adopted simultaneously.

They can be complementary solutions that support each other. This can cancel out the cons of both solutions.

Choosing between cloud-native and cloud-agnostic (or both) will also depend on your short and long-term goals.

Overall, you will have to weigh the pros and cons of both cloud approaches and decide what features matter the most to your business.

Flexera reported that 92% of enterprises use a multi-cloud strategy. By using a multi-cloud and cloud-agnostic strategy, you too can access features that are exclusive to other providers.


The differences between cloud-agnostic and cloud-native solutions have big implications for businesses.

Cloud-agnostic solutions enable companies to operate on any cloud platform and switch providers when needed. Cloud-native solutions are built specifically for a single cloud platform to maximize its features and performance.

The two approaches differ in areas such as vendor independence, vendor-provided value, time to market (TMM), scalability, and cost.

Using a multi-cloud and cloud-agnostic strategy can allow companies to access features exclusive to different cloud providers.

Both approaches can be complementary. Choosing between them depends on the short and long-term goals of your business.

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