Community Blog Cloud-Native Operation and Maintenance Technology: General

Cloud-Native Operation and Maintenance Technology: General

This short article discusses Cloud-Native Application Management solutions.

By Lishan

If we review the birth of cloud-native, we can find that the mobile Internet has changed the form of business and the way people communicate with each other. Anyone can obtain services they need at any time and any place. IT systems need to be able to cope with the rapid growth of the Internet scale and iterate quickly at a low cost.

A series of Internet companies represented by Netflix and Alibaba have promoted a new generation of transformation of application architecture. Then, Spring Cloud, Apache Dubbo, and other microservice architecture were created. Microservice architecture has solved several problems of traditional monolithic applications. Thanks to microservice architecture, each service can be independently deployed and delivered, significantly improving business agility. In addition, every service can independently scale out horizontally to respond to Internet-scale challenges.

Compared with traditional monolithic applications, distributed microservice architecture has faster iteration speed, lower development complexity, and better scalability. However, the complexity of deployment and O&M has significantly increased. What should we do to tackle this?

For example, more computing power than usual is required at midnight during the Double 11 Shopping Festival. A piece of breaking news may cause tens of millions of social media visits. Cloud computing is a more economical and efficient way to deal with burst traffic peaks. The O&M teams of enterprises focus on how to migrate to the cloud, how to make good use of the cloud, how to manage the cloud, and how to make applications fully utilize the elasticity of the infrastructure.

These business and technical challenges have also brought cloud-native O&M technology systems: CloudOps, DevOps, SecOps, AIOps, and FinOps.

Currently, container images have become the standard for the delivery of distributed applications. Kubernetes has become the standard for distributed resource scheduling. More applications are managed and delivered through containers, including stateless Web applications, stateful applications (such as databases and messages), and data-based and intelligent applications. Kubernetes is the best platform for O&M teams to implement various Ops concepts.

When a large number of enterprises begin to embrace Kubernetes, the de facto standard in the field of container orchestration, they are in trouble. Kubernetes is like a double-edged sword. It is the best container arrangement technology but is very complex with a high application threshold. This process often leads to common errors.

The Cloud-Native Application Management solution demonstrates the complete evolution of a container-based intelligent O&M system from standardization and automation to data-based and intelligent methods to make it easier for enterprises to use and maintain the Kubernetes system.

Standardization of Observability: With the development of Prometheus, OpenTelemetry, OpenMetrics, and other projects in the cloud-native technical community, the application observability is further standardized and integrated in logging, monitoring, tracing analysis, and other fields, making datasets of multi-metric and root-cause analysis more abundant.

The zero-trust security architecture based on service mesh: The service mesh decouples the network security architecture from applications and can be independently evolved and managed to improve security compliance assurance. In addition, with its telemetry capability for service calls, risk analysis and automated defense of inter-service communication traffic can be carried out through data-based and intelligent methods. The key points are a unified identity system, unified access authorization model, and unified access control strategy.

The deployment process of continuously validating and improving security: With an immutable infrastructure of cloud-native technologies and declarative policy management named Policy as Code, the implementation practice of DevSecOps is realized.

Unified cost optimization, event alerts, and security governance: ACK provides a cost center, event center, and security center to provide fine-grained and unified cost management, event alerts, and security governance for public and hybrid cloud customers.

The capability for intelligent diagnosis: Based on the Alibaba Cloud Container Team’s large-scale practice on Kubernetes, the Cloud-Native Application Management solution uses data-based and intelligent technologies to automatically diagnose typical Kubernetes problems and provide solutions. Currently, it includes over 100 diagnostic items, covering more than 80 scenarios (such as nodes, containers, and networks) to help enterprises deal with online problems in time. Meanwhile, it inspects stability risks in clusters to prevent problems before they occur and realizes autonomous O&M.

Based on cloud-native technologies (such as containers and Kubernetes), the Cloud-Native Application Management solution provides a data-based and intelligent O&M system to help reduce the O&M complexity and allow enterprises to focus on business innovations. Alibaba Cloud will also continue to provide services based on its capabilities accumulated in ultra-large-scale cloud-native practices and exploration and work with more enterprises and developers to fully embrace the cloud-native O&M technology system.

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