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Community Blog Alibaba Cloud Sets the Standard for Open Application Architecture in Cloud Computing

Alibaba Cloud Sets the Standard for Open Application Architecture in Cloud Computing

This article highlights some of Alibaba Cloud's latest awards and innovations in cloud computing.

On May 26, at the 2021 Cloud-Native Industry Conference, the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT) joined CNCF to release outstanding cloud-native cases and technological innovations in 2021. Alibaba Cloud Container Service for Kubernetes (ACK), Serverless Kubernetes (ASK + ECI), Alibaba Cloud Service Mesh (ASM), and the AHAS comprehensive-procedure stress testing solution were named the cloud-native technology innovative solution/product in 2021; powered by the technologies of Alibaba Cloud, TAL and Chanjet stands out in cloud-native applications in 2021.

At the same time, Alibaba Cloud teamed up with more than ten organizations to release the Open Application Architecture Standard for Cloud Computing. Based on the open-source application architecture model OAM, this is an open-source project launched by Alibaba Cloud and Microsoft Cloud. This architecture is designed to provide a unified application description specification and an open application capability management framework for cloud application managers. As such, it helps drive the large-scale implementation of cloud-native application management and simpler, more efficient, and controllable delivery methods for more industries and enterprises.

Cloud-Native Practices Boosts Efficient Innovation for Enterprises

Chanjet is a member enterprise of Yonyou Group, focusing on serving the financial and management services of domestic small and micro-enterprises. In the early days, Chanjet's business applications were built on the CSP Platform independently developed by the company. With the increase in the number of users, allocating an independent virtual machine to each user has gradually become a protruding issue.

In this context, Chanjet's research and development team decided to cooperate with Alibaba Cloud to adopt an industry-leading cloud-native architecture solution. It uses cloud infrastructure to share computing and storage resources. In addition, a containerized solution is used to realize rapid elastic scaling, and microservice architecture is used to update the products by applications. This solves the current problems of high operation and maintenance costs, insufficient elasticity, and unbalanced resource utilization. After leveraging the benefits of cloud-native technologies, Chanjet only needs to focus on business development. On the one hand, it accelerates the construction of new applications. On the other hand, it can also optimize existing applications and integrate them into the cloud-native architecture.

TAL is a leading online education company in China. It is continuously strengthening the exploration of AI to provide users with a better experience. Troubled by the limitations of the original monolithic architecture and the concept of cloud-native microservice governance, TAL asked Alibaba Cloud for help to make a comprehensive transformation into a cloud-native architecture based on Kubernetes and Spring Cloud.

Thanks to the design of the cloud-native architecture, TAL has built a standard hosting service platform for AI service deployment in the future, with 99.99% stability. It supports high concurrency for more than 300,000 instances during peak hours and can respond to business needs quickly for scaling. The usage efficiency of hardware resources has been improved through efficient cloud server management abilities, saving about 300,000 RMB per month in machine costs. A total of more than 30 O&M monitoring tools have been launched, such as automatic scaling, monitoring, custom alerts, and log queries. As a result, the AI R&D team does not need additional development, which reduces the O&M cost by 90%.

A New Digital Engine Built for Enterprises with Alibaba Cloud-Native Products and Solutions

Li Xiaoping, Product Director of the Alibaba Cloud-Native Application Platform, mentioned in his speech at the 2021 Cloud-Native Industry Conference that cloud-native is a shortcut for enterprise digital innovation. Alibaba Cloud has the most extensive range of cloud-native products in China. It offers over 300 cloud products and nearly 1,000 technical solutions, including cloud-native DevOps, aPaaS and microservices, messaging and event-driven application tools, Serverless architecture, cloud-native databases, big data/AI, application delivery, and security capabilities. Suffice it to say that an enterprise was born in the cloud-native era and can build its own IT system based on the cloud in an all-around way, in which Alibaba Cloud provides the most complete technical solutions and product systems.

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Li Xiaoping, Product Director of the Alibaba Cloud Cloud-Native Application Platform

Alibaba Container Service for Kubernetes (ACK) provides high-performance and scalable container application management and supports the full-lifecycle management of enterprise-level containerized applications. It has been included in Gartner's public cloud container report for three consecutive years and ranked first in China in the 2019 Forrester container report. ACK integrates with the virtualization, storage, networking, and security capabilities of Alibaba Cloud to help enterprises run Kubernetes-based containerized applications efficiently.

The innovative cloud-native solutions and products are recognized by CAICT from three aspects, including the innovative deployment of container service for ACK in cloud-native AI, container security runtime, and bare metal architecture. Serverless Kubernetes is fully compatible with Kubernetes. It runs on elastic container instances (ECI) in a secure and isolated running environment, which improves the agility and elasticity of application deployment, reduces computing and O&M costs, and enables customers to focus on business applications rather than infrastructure management. Alibaba Cloud Container Service has been widely applied to enterprises and institutions in fields, such as the Internet, finance, retail, education, manufacturing, and government affairs. This lowers the threshold for application development and allows enterprises to enjoy the cloud technology dividend.

Alibaba Cloud Service Mesh (ASM) is the first Istio-compatible hosted service mesh platform that uniformly manages microservice application traffic. It continuously optimizes the managed service mesh platform, featuring hosting, standardization, security, stability, ease of use, and scalability. Service governance can be simplified in all aspects through traffic throttling, grid observation, and inter-service communication security. It provides unified capabilities for services running on heterogeneous computing infrastructures, applicable to Kubernetes clusters, Serverless Kubernetes clusters, ECS instances, and multi-cloud hybrid clouds.

Application High Availability Service (AHAS) comprehensive-procedure stress testing solution originated from the high-availability technology system of Alibaba's e-commerce business. With years of experience supporting the Double 11 Global Shopping Festival, it supports the stress testing of online production clusters to obtain the most authentic online load capacity. The solution efficiently improves the stability and robustness of enterprise applications with an integrated high availability guarantee system, including online stress testing, capacity planning, traffic control, traffic scheduling, switching plans, and fault drills. It also helps enterprise applications cope with uncertainties caused by all businesses and technologies.

Open Application Architecture for Cloud Computing Released to Accelerate the Large-Scale Cloud-Native Implementation

At the 2021 Cloud-Native Industry Conference, Alibaba Cloud, in collaboration with the CAICT and more than ten organizations, released the Open Application Architecture Standard for Cloud Computing. The open application architecture provides a set of unified application description specifications for cloud application managers, decouples cloud computing applications from the underlying platform, and addresses the difficulties in deployment and migration. Developers, O&M, and platform operations personnel are separated so they can focus on knowledge and capabilities in their respective fields, making application delivery more efficient, reliable, and automated.

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As a representative of the core initiators, Li Xiaoping, Product Director of the Alibaba Cloud Cloud-Native Application Platform, said "Openness, standards, and agility are the keys to the rapid development of cloud-native technologies. With the help of cloud-native technologies, enterprises are now at the last stage to implement the digital landing, which requires the common definitions and construction of the whole industry."

Walking the Walk: Alibaba Cloud Lives for the Cloud-Native Values

Practice is an important criterion for testing cloud-native technologies. As migration to the cloud is now trending in the business world, it is time to make full use of open-source technologies and cloud services when constructing software services. For enterprises, embracing cloud computing and cloud-native technology and using them to accelerate innovation will become the keys to successful digital transformations. In the future, every enterprise in the world will become a digitalized software enterprise. There may be various paths for digital transformation, but cloud-native has proven to be the shortest path for enterprises to realize digital innovation. Alibaba Cloud cloud-native is committed to providing enterprises with five core values: resource elasticity, system stability, application agility, business intelligence, and trusted security.

Zhongan Technology uses ACK to reduce the O&M pressure and labor cost by more than 50% and the investment of hardware resources by 10%. Perfect Diary uses ACK to rapidly scale in and out, reducing the server cost by more than 50%. PTS and ARMS (observable) are used to predict the load capacity of the system and achieve reasonable resource planning. Based on the Enterprise Distributed Application Service (EDAS), Chanjet builds a stable and reliable microservice architecture and connects with the observable product ARMS, improving the efficiency of fault locating by 50%. Taobao applies Node.js Serverless technology on a large scale to its core system, effectively handling millions of queries per second during peak hours and saving 50% of the labor cost. With Alibaba Cloud Serverless SAE, Vcinema implements a comprehensive integration with Serverless within seven days, which accelerates the business iteration cycle and increases the efficiency by 80%.

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