Cloud native technology platform CNStack2.0 officially released

On November 5, at the 2022 Hangzhou Yunqi Conference, the cloud native technology Zhongtai CNStack2.0 was officially released.

Xie Jibao, a senior technical expert of Alibaba, introduced CNStack2.0

In the process of digital transformation, some problems have been solved, but with the continuous improvement of IT level, new problems are also gradually emerging. As business systems become more complex, the required computing, storage and network facilities become increasingly difficult to manage.

Gone are the days when one virtual machine and one database can deploy applications. The complex system architecture needs the support of more basic software to run well. The vigorous development of the open source community provides more possibilities for decision makers to choose, but the problem comes one after another from the beginning of model selection. Delivery, operation and maintenance, fault handling and maintenance after model selection, all of which have nothing to do with the business value, but are also essential. Problems in the basic software will be fatal to the upper business system, and this is even worse for the operation and maintenance personnel who lack rich production experience.

With the in-depth development of cloud native technology and the continuous implementation of industry solutions, enterprises increasingly hope to see such a platform. Relying on cloud native technology capabilities, not only can support the release and operation of large-scale business systems, but also can centrally manage all kinds of complex, scattered, non-uniform and non-standard software and hardware systems inside, in a centralized manner, The mature technical capabilities and standard systems that have been tested in practice are continuously exported to the internal of the enterprise to promote the development of enterprise digitalization towards a more efficient direction. Against the background of such a trend, the cloud native technology Zhongtai CNStack has grandly released its innovative new generation 2.0 version.

Next, we will introduce the breakthrough capabilities of CNStack 2.0 and the core values that CNStack 2.0 can bring to enterprises, starting from several common difficulties encountered in the digital transformation of enterprises.

Difficulty in managing heterogeneous resources

Most enterprises have transitioned from the stage of "building the cloud" to "making good use of the cloud". Whether it is public cloud or private cloud, the concept of using the cloud and using the cloud has been deeply rooted. However, the types and number of cloud platforms are increasing, especially the infrastructure part. This is just like the host hardware in the PC era, which needs to be shielded and improved by a more general operating system. Otherwise, in the face of various IaaS infrastructures, management, operation and maintenance and adaptation will be repetitive and inefficient.

Cross-cloud, hybrid cloud and distributed cloud have already entered production from theory, and the management ability of heterogeneous resources also needs to be improved. In the practice of some offices, we found that there are multiple cloud vendors' platforms on the customer site, and they are all distributed in different computer rooms. The operation of opening resources alone requires a cumbersome application process, let alone the maintenance of the entire environment system.

CNStack 2.0 provides cloud-based management tools for infrastructure, which can manage resources of different manufacturers, different architectures (x86/ARM), different computing types (CPU/GPU) and different regions (public cloud/local cloud/edge cloud). Multi-cluster hosting can uniformly manage distributed infrastructure under the platform, and can conduct cross-cluster resource allocation, unified scheduling and centralized operation and maintenance, greatly reducing the difficulty of heterogeneous infrastructure management.

Not only that, CNStack can control cluster resources of thousands of nodes or tens of thousands of cores in project practice, especially applicable to the requirements of large-scale, high-concurrency and low-cost control in retail and internet industries. In addition, with the support of super fusion and mixing capabilities, the system resource utilization rate can be increased from 6% to 12% of the normal level to 45%.

Difficulty in system software selection and maintenance

If a platform can only solve the resource problem, it can not provide a usable environment for the business, because there are various system software on top of the resources. It is also necessary for the platform to select the technology of these system software and solve the continuous maintenance problems after the selection.

At present, open source technology plays an important role in the software field, with more than 140 projects registered under CNCF alone. Whether to use open source technology has become one of the necessary conditions for evaluating software standardization and openness. But the question is, how to select technology for so many open source projects? What projects can meet the needs? Which versions can be used for production? Which technologies have experienced large-scale actual combat? These are all issues to be considered in technology selection.

At the same time, the continuous maintenance of technology selection is also important. Version iteration and technical innovation require new human, material and financial resources to keep up with the rapid development of the open source community each time. Otherwise, it will face problems such as the end of the version life cycle, backward functionality and poor performance, and even serious security risks, which are issues that digital decision makers have to consider.

CNStack 2.0 can solve the problems encountered in technology selection from two aspects. First of all, the platform provides a lot of built-in, out-of-the-box product components and middleware. It is the capabilities provided by these built-in components that make the "enterprise digital innovation only needs to focus on the business itself" we advocate possible.

These built-in components permeate all aspects of the platform and business system from resource management to application management, from service management to traffic management, from observable to operational maintenance, from platform stability to digital safety production. If you want to build a technological platform with the same capabilities through open source products, the investment will be enormous.

CNStack is backed by Alibaba Cloud's native team. The middleware products it provides are obvious to all in terms of function, performance, scale and reliability, and have experienced a lot of production practice tests, and can quietly escort the business system. In addition, in the capability center, CNStack also selected products and components provided by various manufacturers and partners. When the built-in functions are not enough to meet the business needs, it can expand infinitely here and enjoy the consistent product experience provided by the platform.

Difficulty in delivery in multiple environments

PaaS platform based on cloud native technology is the preferred solution to manage IaaS in recent years. From open source to commercialization, enterprises can always find solutions to meet business needs, but it is not entirely without problems.

For example, the previous work mode and management specifications are based on non-cloud native infrastructure. In short, resource management is based on physical or virtual machines. At that time, the application of the environment was almost equal to the preparation of the host node, but that did not mean that an environment was available. The end user also needed to deploy a lot of system software and basic components on it. The repeated deployment of these software systems not only wasted manpower and time, but also a continuous cost for subsequent maintenance, which was not conducive to the reuse of the environment, the saving of expenses and the establishment of standards. The overall cost was very high. When the development and testing work involves multiple systems and integrators, the cost of environment acquisition will increase exponentially, even out of control.

The environment delivery of CNStack 2.0 is based on containers. At the beginning of the system construction, the delivery personnel integrated the infrastructure resources into a resource pool (i.e. container cluster), and then the application of resources is equivalent to the allocation of quotas in the cluster. These allocated quotas are only used to deploy the actual business system, and the delivery of system software is completed through the capability center. The products and components distributed in the capability center are out-of-the-box, and the platform administrator can realize fully automatic installation and deployment with just a click of the mouse, which is available upon delivery. Competency centers distribute component capabilities rather than resources themselves. It is entirely possible to reuse these capabilities within the enterprise and establish a complete standard for the use of basic software.

In practice, resource allocation and capacity supply are strictly separated from each other, and are fully applicable to the enterprise-level management mode of multi-region, multi-organization and multi-project. The environment construction cycle has changed from month to day or hour, and the components delivered by the capability center will naturally have platform-level operation and maintenance capabilities, which can not only improve the efficiency of environment construction, but also reduce the cost of long-term operation and maintenance.

Difficulties in production, operation and maintenance

The environment delivery and application deployment are one-time investments, while the operation and maintenance of the environment itself and its business systems need continuous investment. For most O&M personnel, due to the lack of production O&M experience under large-scale access, it is very difficult to achieve stable operation of the system in case of emergencies. This often requires not only rare practical experience, but also the support of professional tools or product capabilities.

Even under normal circumstances, it is a seemingly simple but difficult goal to ensure system stability. Without the support of the platform, the operation and maintenance personnel will not be able to predict the occurrence of the problem, and will not be able to stop bleeding or quickly locate the problem when it occurs. Finally, the system can return to the normal state of the past only after the rapid recovery and stable upgrade. All these are far from what "an experienced operation and maintenance personnel" can easily do.

However, relying on the product capability of CNStack 2.0, only one ordinary operation and maintenance personnel is needed to ensure the stable operation of the online system, which all depends on the one-stop application management capability provided by the platform. Complex business systems have led to the diversification of application forms, such as micro-service applications, multilingual applications, batch or scheduled task applications, AI applications and big data applications, all of which require targeted operation, maintenance and management capabilities after the completion of online.

CNStack provides a complete graphical operation and maintenance console, which can complete 80% of the operation and maintenance work without leaving the platform. At the same time, the stability of the application system in the released state and the running state is also automatically guaranteed by the platform. The operation and maintenance personnel only need to configure the rules. The many features of CNStack can make the release as smooth as silk, so that the system can also pass smoothly and give an alarm in case of emergencies.

Finally, after applying the control ability of the fault escape platform, the various auxiliary tools and product capabilities provided by the system can also help the operation and maintenance team to accurately locate the fault, quickly recover the system, and win valuable time for the R&D department to intervene in the repair.


Indeed, driven by the cloud native movement, more and more enterprises will try to embrace this technology and inject new vitality into the business with new concepts, new architectures and new capabilities. During this period, the previous platform has solved some problems and created some problems. In the process of continuous updating and iteration, it will accelerate the release of the power of innovation.

CNStack 2.0 allows enterprises to enjoy the development dividend from technological innovation at the lowest cost and threshold, and can also provide powerful support means when encountering all kinds of inevitable difficulties and obstacles. It can ultimately create more competitive cloud native technology mid-stage products for customers in a more open, comprehensive and lightweight form, and then serve enterprises to enter the next stage of digital transformation.

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