Cloud Native Activates a New Paradigm for Application Construction

On November 5, at the 2022 Hangzhou Yunqi Conference, Alibaba researcher and general manager of Alibaba Cloud Intelligent Cloud Native Application Platform Ding Yu delivered a keynote speech at the Cloud Native Summit, proposed a new paradigm for cloud native activation application construction, and said that Serverless would lead the next generation of application architecture. Alibaba Cloud will firmly promote the comprehensive serverless core products, help customers minimize the operation and maintenance work, and better realize agile innovation.

In the era of cloud computing, after enterprises go to the cloud, application construction still faces many challenges, such as how to ensure the flexibility of system resources, reduce costs and increase efficiency; How to apply agile development and realize rapid business iteration; How to ensure the stability of the system and business continuity has not been completely solved.

We can see that cloud native has become a very popular technology trend. From cloud to cloud, cloud native can help enterprises solve a series of problems in application construction from the PaaS level. Three major paradigms are becoming reality:

The first paradigm is comprehensive containerization. Because the container forms the standard of operation and maintenance, and becomes a new interface for enterprises to use the cloud, and also a new interface for developers to interact with the application system, which is conducive to building a highly flexible and scalable system, so as to achieve cost reduction and efficiency increase. At present, all workloads are being containerized, including familiar micro-services, online applications to the entire database, big data, AI, middleware, etc. All workloads are being containerized.

Through the container, we can enjoy the benefits of standardized operation and maintenance and flexible architecture, as well as the ubiquitous deployment and delivery of software and standardized management of operation and maintenance.

The second paradigm is the Internet-based core technology applied in the whole industry. We are using the Internet technology and the Internet architecture to reconstruct the application system, which has brought many benefits: distributed scalability, support business agile iteration, build an elastic architecture, and calmly cope with traffic peaks.

For example, preparing a promotional activity or a New Year's Eve party may have unpredictable traffic peaks. The digital system needs to cope with uncertain traffic, and must use the Internet architecture to achieve it; In addition, ensuring the high availability and reliability of the system and the continuity of business is also the dividend that Internet technology can bring to enterprises.

The third paradigm is serverless application. From a technical point of view, it can realize the hierarchical decoupling of technical components, so that the application can achieve full custody and free operation and maintenance, improve the system's operability and reduce costs. Through extreme flexibility, all components can be covered, and it is very easy to build applications on the cloud.

In the past, to build applications, you need to buy ECS instances, build open source software systems, and then maintain them. The whole process is very complicated and cumbersome, because the traffic volume increases and decreases. After using the Serverless service, these problems have been simplified. From half custody to full custody, all services are API based, unlimited capacity is fully flexible, can be assembled and used, and can feel the dramatic changes in productivity. It will also optimize the whole life cycle of software development, upgrade the R&D model, let developers focus more on the business and accelerate the iteration.

The above three paradigms represent the very mainstream evolution direction of cloud native.

Comprehensive containerization: container services enter an intelligent era

Gartner predicts that by 2022, more than 75% of global organizations will run containerized applications in their production environments, while this figure will be less than 30% in 2020. We can see that container technology has crossed the gap, from the early Internet industry to the current thousands of industries, are used in the production system.

Although ACK has greatly lowered the threshold of K8s, the management and operation and maintenance of a large-scale and distributed cluster are still full of challenges. For example, how to schedule applications to improve resource utilization while ensuring stability; How to plan, analyze and optimize the cost of the application; How to locate and repair the cluster in time when there is a problem.

Intelligentization can solve these problems. Intelligentization is the inevitable trend of container platform development. Based on the experience of large-scale container combat in the past 10 years, Alibaba Cloud has promoted the container service ACK to be intelligent through data means and intelligent algorithms. There are three upgrades:

The first upgrade is the intelligent hybrid scheduling. The new generation of scheduling system Koordinator helps users improve the overall resource utilization rate. The intelligent hybrid scheduling helps the discerning app save 20% of the resource cost.

The second upgrade, intelligent cost management, container service FinOps suite, helps users achieve visible, controllable and optimized cloud costs, and China Insurance reduces the idle rate of resources from 30% to 10% based on the container FinOps suite.

The third upgrade, intelligent operation and maintenance experience, container service AIOps suite, helps users achieve data-driven diagnosis decisions, assists in fault prevention and positioning, and automatic diagnosis can cover more than 90% of the problems. The time for getting things App to locate problems based on container AIOps suite is reduced from week to hour.

These capability upgrades will further lower the threshold for the use of container technology, make ACK more inclusive and serve a broader customer base.

Internet-based core technology

Internet middleware products have three characteristics:

The first is that open source is fully compatible, and there is no vendor lock. For example, microservices, messages, service registration discovery, gateways, etc. are fully compatible with open source.

The second feature is a large number of enterprise-level features, including performance, stability, scalability, etc. The progressiveness of Internet distributed technology needs to be tempered in a very good scenario. Alibaba Cloud's advantage lies in the polishing of the complex scenarios of the Double 11 for many years. Based on the blessing of the Double 11 and the application of a large number of customers, Alibaba Cloud Internet technology has a very strong advantage in enterprise level features.

The third feature is a rich range of technical solutions, including multiple activities in different places, application disaster recovery solutions, technical and business mid-station solutions, as well as hybrid, chaotic engineering and full-link pressure testing solutions. The cloud native middleware realizes the trinity of open source, self-research and commercialization, and can help more enterprises to realize digital transformation using standard and open technologies.

Heavily released a micro-service re-upgrade: new cloud native gateway open source

In the cloud native era, micro-services are facing new demands and technical challenges, especially in terms of performance, high availability and security. Today, Alibaba Cloud has officially opened its cloud native gateway, Higress, which is the industry's first standardized, highly integrated, scalable, and hot-updated cloud native gateway.

Standardization: With the popularity of K8s, K8s Ingress has gradually become the API de facto standard in the cloud native era. It fully supports this standard, and has made significant improvements in service governance (including grayscale, current limitation, preheating, timeout, and retry), leading the evolution direction of the standard.

High-integration: For the first time, Higress integrates traffic gateway, micro-service gateway and security gateway to create a high-integration gateway. It establishes a high-performance and security defense line at the entrance. The back-end supports K8s/Nacos/ECS/Serverless multiple runtime routes, and creates the most powerful gateway implementation.

Easy to extend: Higress provides the richest plug-in extension mechanism to meet customers' flexible routing and security customization requirements, and supports the most comprehensive language extension mechanism; Of course, in order to reduce the threshold for customers to use, we integrate dozens of plug-ins by default, and facilitate developers to contribute common capabilities through the plug-in market, resulting in benign interaction.

Hot update: Because the traditional Nginx update rules require reload, which will lead to link jitter and traffic loss, and cannot tolerate real-time communication, video, and IoT, so the hot update mechanism is used for all the certificates, routes, security rules, and plug-ins of Progress, which takes effect in milliseconds and has no business awareness.

In addition to the open source cloud native gateway, Alibaba Cloud comprehensively upgraded the microservice engine MSE3.0, including three core capabilities:

The first major capability is the registration and configuration center. Compared with the mainstream open source solutions such as Nacos, the performance is improved by 40%, providing 70+monitoring indicators, providing health detection, and helping customers achieve exceptional autonomy in services. For example, the SaaS enterprise in the medical industry, Helian Health, registered and configured the center through MSE, improving the performance of the open source registration and configuration center by 50%, solving the scalability problem in the rapid development of business, and protecting more than 200 cities across the country The stability of more than 2000 hospitals' experience business exceeded 99.99%.

The second major capability is micro-service governance, which has precipitated Alibaba's 10+practical experience, helped customers shorten the implementation period of micro-service governance by 30%, improved the efficiency of development and testing by 50%, and eliminated 80% of online risks. For example, Zhijing Technology, an Internet enterprise in the textile industry, has access to all MSE micro-service governance capabilities without modifying any code. The implementation cycle of microservices was reduced by 30%, and the construction of development and test environment was reduced from days to minutes.

The third major capability is the cloud native gateway. Alibaba Cloud integrates the traffic gateway, micro-service gateway and security gateway, and has also upgraded the architecture, upgrading the instance-level protection to route-level protection, and improving the overall performance by 90% compared with the traditional gateway. For example, the mobile payment enterprise Ferry Interactive has built a zero-trust architecture using MSE, greatly improving the security of the business entry, and has achieved TLS offloading through the integration of software and hardware, with a performance improvement of 90%, and has adopted the integration of software and hardware, with a response time reduction of 50%.

Heavyweight release II Observable re-upgrade: maximize the value of observable data

In the era of cloud origin, the system architecture is becoming increasingly complex, and improving the observability becomes the only way to reduce complexity. Today, observability has become the standard to measure the level of enterprise IT. Cost governance, business continuity and business growth all require observability technology. Therefore, Alibaba Cloud launched the cloud native observable suite ACOS, from application monitoring to link tracking, to help enterprises achieve cost management, risk management, intelligent operation and maintenance, and ensure the efficient and stable operation of digital businesses.

The three components of Alibaba Cloud's native observable suite, ACOS, also received important upgrades at the cloud habitat conference.

First of all, Prometheus has become the first choice of observation for many enterprises. Prometheus monitoring, as the container observation fact standard, has become the default observation infrastructure for more than 50 cloud products of Alibaba Cloud, and is connected with the APM indicators, eBPF indicators and OpenTelemetry indicators of the application real-time monitoring service ARMS, extending the observation range from specialized containers to the whole stack.

Secondly, as an observation interface, Alibaba Cloud's Grafana service will also usher in a new upgrade of 9.0. The new Prometheus and Loki query statement generators and the enhanced search explore function enable users to obtain stronger data query and analysis capabilities. At the same time, in order to cope with the increasingly rich heterogeneous observable data sources, the Grafana service is integrated with more than 20 observable storage services, such as the log service SLS and Elasticsearch, to help enterprises build a unified observation interface more easily. One-click import/export of self-built instances, automatic data export reports, one-click data backup, recovery, user operation audit and other enterprise features have been further enhanced.

Finally, in order to help enterprises' cloud applications open a multi-dimensional observation perspective. In terms of data collection, the application real-time monitoring service ARMS integrates the OpenTelemetry and Prometheus ecosystem in a comprehensive way. Through the OpenTelemetry supplementary services and customized component burying points, while improving the observation dimension, the manufacturer can be locked. And realize the unified query of multi-source Trace with the help of TraceExplorer.

Heavily released RocketMQ5.0 comprehensive upgrade: from message service to cloud native event flow platform

Message queue has always been the core component of enterprise Internet architecture. Alibaba built the popular message middleware RocketMQ based on e-commerce scenarios in 2012 and contributed to the Apache community. After more than ten years of polishing, RocketMQ has made many achievements.

The Apache RocketMQ community is very active, with more than 700 contributors worldwide. More than 75% of the head enterprises choose to use RocketMQ, and more than 80% of the mainstream cloud vendors provide RocketMQ's commercial hosting services; Alibaba Cloud, as the initiator and core contributor of RocketMQ, has served more than 10 million enterprise customers from more than 20 industries, including the Internet, retail and automobile, for more than 10 years; It carries tens of millions of TPSs and trillions of messages.

At present, Alibaba Cloud RocketMQ 5.0 is officially commercialized, expanding from the core to the ecosystem, upgrading to the cloud native event flow platform, and exploring the two core scenarios of event drive and event flow processing. In the future, enterprise developers can easily drive microservices and serverless applications based on RocketMQ event flow platform; You can also reconstruct the current stream processing tasks based on RocketMQ to efficiently complete the stream processing requirements such as CDC and ETL in a more lightweight and low-code form.

Serverless singularity has come: leading the next generation of application architecture

With the deepening of enterprises' use of cloud, the ability of cloud is also upgrading. In the past, enterprises used cloud to buy resources, instances, specifications and applications. We've been saying "Cloud computing is an infrastructure like water, electricity and coal, but this has not yet been fully realized. Alibaba Cloud has been promoting the upgrading of product form and research and development methods, and hopes that from providing resources to providing services, this service is the ability to plug and play. Enterprises do not need management and maintenance, and can realize automatic scaling, free operation and maintenance, fully managed platform, and billing by consumption, which really realizes service and modularization, which is also cloud production The direction of product upgrading and evolution.

It can be said that the Serverless Singularity has come. The so-called Singularity is the turning point from stable development to high-speed development, which indicates the beginning of the industry's landing. At present, Alibaba Cloud has more than 20 types of Serverless products, and will promote the comprehensive Serverless core products. Serverless is the best way to realize the cloud's ability to provide services, and also the best paradigm to enable cloud computing infrastructure to be implemented in thousands of industries.

Review the evolution of Alibaba Cloud in the field of serverless:

The function computing launched in 2017 is a FaaS product, which is an event-driven fully managed computing service. Users only need to write and upload the code, and the function computing will automatically prepare the computing resources, run the code in an elastic and reliable manner, and provide complete observable capabilities, greatly simplifying the development, operation and maintenance process.

The Serverless application engine SAE launched in 2018 is the industry's first application-oriented Serverless PaaS platform, shielding the complexity of the underlying IaaS and Kubernetes, providing an application hosting solution with zero-code transformation, better cost and higher efficiency, and helping users achieve Serverless for individual Web applications, microservice applications and scheduled tasks.

In the same year, the leading industry launched the Serverless container service ASK. Based on the elastic container instance ECI (Elastic Container Instance), it can expand the capacity of 2000 pods in one minute, reducing the threshold of Kubernetes use, and allowing users to focus more on applications rather than managing the underlying infrastructure.

In 2020, Alibaba Cloud will open source Serverless Devs, becoming the industry's first cloud native lifecycle management platform that supports mainstream serverless services/frameworks. In September 2022, the project officially entered CNCF Sandbox and became the first selected Serverless tool project in the industry.

In addition to the change of product form, Serverless also brings about the change of software R&D paradigm. With Alibaba Cloud providing more and more comprehensive Serverless products, many cloud products have become modular, API, and service-oriented. It can be assembled, and applications can be built by dragging and dropping. Therefore, under the Serverless architecture, the R&D method is upgraded to assembly-type R&D, which can achieve process arrangement, event-driven, and even visualization, which completely subverts the original software R&D method, greatly improves the R&D efficiency, and flexibly responds to business challenges. According to the survey and statistics of authoritative institutions, assembly-type R&D can improve the efficiency of R&D by more than 50% compared with the traditional model.

Take pumpkin movie as an example. Because of a hot movie, pumpkin movie users increased by one million an hour. The traffic surge caused the website service to be interrupted for a time. The temporary cloud expansion could not meet the huge traffic in time. The traditional architecture has not changed the efficiency on the cloud. Pumpkin Film began to shift to the Serverless architecture. It completed the launch of the core application in three days, 100% switching on the fifth day, and switching more than 30 core applications to Serverless on the sixth to seventh days. This ultimately led to a 10-fold increase in the expansion efficiency, a reduction in cost of more than 40%, and a 70% increase in the R&D efficiency. This is the value of Serverless: truly let developers return to the business itself, Let enterprises do less and reap more.

In the future, Alibaba Cloud will continue to lead the standard in the cloud native field, continue to make breakthroughs, and promote the rapid development of the field and industry.

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