Elevate Your iPaaS Game with Native Images

Elevate Your iPaaS Game with Native Images

In the age of modern cloud computing, native images have been gaining traction as a powerful tool for optimizing the performance and scalability of Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) solutions. These native images are pre-compiled executables directly available to the host operating system without needing an additional runtime environment. Unlike traditional container images that rely on runtime environments, native images are compiled to run directly on the target platform.

In this article, I will explore native images in detail and how organizations can use them to scale their iPaaS platforms better.

Why use native images?

Native images typically have smaller file sizes than their non-native counterparts, making them lighter and easier to distribute. For example, it is pretty common to reduce the size of a regular image from 300-500 MB to 20-30 MB. This size reduction allows for efficient and fast deployment, reducing downtime and improving the operational efficiency of iPaas platforms.

Native images contain only what we need, not more. They are pre-compiled, which results in millisecond-level startup times. This attractive startup time aspect can be especially interesting for serverless functions or overall serverless-based apps since the pricing model for those apps is millisecond-based billing. Reducing the typical startup time from ~1 second to 50-100 milliseconds can result in significant cloud computing savings.

In the case of Java applications, native images can deliver peak performance immediately upon deployment. In contrast, in a typical Java-based environment, the JVM would need to have a piece of code run enough times to stop interpreting it and move it into "fast memory." Since the code is interpreted and compiled ahead of time (AOT compilation) in native images, this process is of no concern.

The native image-building process statically analyzes the code and only includes the parts of the dependencies that are referenced in the code. They eliminate everything not used, resulting in a significantly reduced attack surface.

Native images also come with challenges

Building native images can take longer than building traditional container images, as they require pre-compilation of the executable code for the target platform. The building process of native images includes static analysis phases, where the code is analyzed, and the imports are optimized. This and other background processes are resource-hungry, consuming more than building a regular image.

Another thing to keep in mind is that native images are built for specific environments. For example, a native image built for ARM environments won't work for AMD environments. This means that if a native image needs to be deployed to multiple different types of platforms, then respective native images would have to be built for all said platforms.

How to Leverage Native Images for Efficient iPaaS Scaling

When scaling iPaaS solutions, the choice between native and non-native images can significantly impact performance, resource utilization, and overall scalability.

Native images, thanks to their pre-compiled nature, exhibit millisecond-level response times, ensuring rapid processing of incoming requests and minimizing latency. In the financial industry, where low latency and high performance are both crucial, native images are much more suitable than non-native images. We can give trading platforms as an example, where fast algorithm execution is required, and native images help reduce startup times, ensuring quick response to market changes.

The lightweight nature of native images allows iPaaS platforms to handle a larger volume of requests simultaneously, enabling seamless scalability to accommodate growing workloads. For media streaming platforms or content delivery networks (CDNs), native container images can help optimize resource usage and scale dynamically based on demand. This is very crucial as these industries usually experience usage spikes, where the ability to scale up the availability and performance quickly is vital.

Native images have smaller file sizes than non-native alternatives, resulting in reduced resource consumption and lower infrastructure costs when scaling iPaaS solutions. In healthcare, especially in scenarios like telemedicine or remote patient monitoring, applications need to run efficiently on very small and resource-limited devices, making native container images not only beneficial but also a must in some situations.


The adoption of native images represents a strategic move towards optimizing iPaaS scalability and maximizing resource utilization in the era of cloud-native computing. As businesses embrace the agility and flexibility of cloud-based integration solutions, leveraging native images emerges as a cornerstone strategy for achieving seamless scalability and unlocking new levels of application integration operational excellence. Creating a native image is relatively easy; practitioners can get started with popular frameworks like open-source Quarkus and GraalVM.

Author Bio: Mert Öztürk

Mert Öztürk is a Senior Software Engineer at Jetic. He has half a decade of experience in the iPaaS industry as an end-user, developer, and developer advocate. Mert also contributes to the Camel-K open-source project.