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Community Blog Better Managed Applications with ACM

Better Managed Applications with ACM

This article introduces and discusses Alibaba Cloud ACM, its benefits, functionality, and usage.

By Shantanu Kaushik

Deploying an application isn’t only hosting anymore. Business applications are the backbone of economic stability and proper functioning of any organization, including big data applications or a DevOps practice. In today’s ever-changing technological paradigms, business applications are highly dependent on proper management.

With microservices and containers, loosely coupled application architecture helps reduce dependencies and allows for more independent application management. In this article, we will introduce and discuss Alibaba Cloud ACM, its benefits, functionality, and usage.

Let’s take a look at the technical workflow architecture associated with Alibaba Cloud ACM:

1

Alibaba Cloud Application Configuration Management (ACM) enables you to centralize the management of application configurations. ACM enhances service capabilities when coupled with practices, such as microservices, DevOps, and Big Data.

Alibaba Cloud ACM enables a real-time configuration push in a distributed environment. If you are using Alibaba Cloud ACM to configure and manage your applications, your configuration management workload can be drastically reduced.

During application lifecycle management, the configuration of an application is stored by the developers in terms of code or metadata. This information is used for configuring applications and is commonly known as application configuration.

Storing an application configuration in a file is one of the most common ways to manage any application changes. This configuration file can be used to adjust the application behavior and feature connections depending on which environment the application was published. The end-user can easily edit the configuration file to achieve this. This was the traditional method of configuration management.

With Alibaba Cloud ACM, the same configuration file is implemented using an ACM console by the administrator. The ACM console calls on the backend server cluster and provides configuration and management data to the application with ease.

2

Alibaba Cloud ACM has been designed to offer a number of alterations and other functions, including configuration push, version management, model gray release, modification, and configuration audit.

The Alibaba Cloud ACM server offers four layers and an application console to ensure an extremely reliable, quick, and user-centric service scenario.

  1. The first layer is the service protocol layer that executes the protocol conversion and authentication functions.
  2. The second layer is the consistency management layer that is responsible for maintaining consistency with management and enabling the configuration push.
  3. The third layer is the configuration cache layer. This layer is responsible for enhancing configuration query and delivery efficiency by utilizing the distributed cache.
  4. The last layer is the storage layer. It is a backend distributed storage configuration layer that is used to store configurations. This layer offers high performance and high scalability in operations since it is backed by Alibaba Cloud Storage solutions.

3

Alibaba Cloud ACM is a configuration system that works on a distributed system and enables the user to centralize the management operations for any type of application configuration. This practice helps reduce the cost of configuration management in distributed systems and helps maintain high availability. Alibaba Cloud ACM was designed to prevent any failures caused by incorrect configuration changes to ensure a hassle-free system.

Benefits | Features | ACM |Alibaba Cloud

Alibaba Cloud ACM works with a multi-user distributed system that supports the configuration management of DevOps and any standard deployment practice. Some of the benefits that the ACM offers are listed below:

  • ACM automatically takes care of the necessary recorded information for the user to review later.
  • Any updates to the configuration are automatically queued for delivery and delivered almost instantly.
  • ACM cuts the workload of users by automating most of the tasks associated with configuration management and delivery.
  • Strong integration with APIs to manage changes and provided version history management is another benefit offered by Alibaba Cloud ACM.
  • ACM can also handle audit and diagnosis-based needs of an organization’s application configuration.

The most prominent offerings from the Alibaba Cloud ACM are listed below:

  • Its basic and core functionalities are creating, modifying, removing, and querying configurations. With that, synchronizing configuration across environments helps you better control your application management scenarios.
  • Alibaba Cloud ACM enables you to manage the configuration tasks in batches.
  • Supports multiple languages, such as Java, C++, Python, OpenAPI, and HTTP, to enable a more versatile service solution.
  • Configuration management requires a clear format to be followed. When one or more users are handling the same resource, clear description and configuration tags are highly important to increase and maintain efficiency.
  • ACM automatically highlights the syntax and validates the changes made by the user. This increases efficiency and any possible editing mistakes.
  • Alibaba Cloud ACM works well with DevOps a default feature that isolates different stages of an application lifecycle and provides a great differentiation of processes for the user, including daily configuration, sandboxing, or production.
  • Disaster recovery and one-click rollback using version history is another great feature of Alibaba Cloud ACM. Data center-level disaster recovery scenarios make ACM a highly-reliable solution. With a multi-level cache, ACM can provide disaster recovery solutions. It caches the host and the backup database storage, the SDK cache used for configurations, and the full server cache.
  • With Gray release, ACM reduces the risk of faulty configurations making it to production.
  • Alibaba Cloud ACM uses HTTPS for added security and offers standard encryption to secure your sensitive data. Alibaba Cloud RAM is utilized for advanced authorization features and to manage uses.
  • ACM can manage millions of configurations. It adapts to the changing business scenarios and supports DevOps delivery cycles. ACM can effectively deploy massive amounts of configurations concurrently within seconds.

Wrapping Up

Alibaba Cloud provides a highly-reliable and stable environment for your application deployment scenarios. You might be using the DevOps pipeline for application delivery, or you might be considering hosting an application using the Simple Application Server. Multiple products cater to the specific needs of a developer or an organization. Alibaba Cloud ACM is a tool with deep integration of service for business continuity and smooth operations.

Upcoming Articles

Distributed Handling with Alibaba Cloud ACM for DevOps and Microservices - This article will further explain about Alibaba Cloud Application Configuration Management (ACM) and its benefits in development to deployment scenarios.

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