Deep analysis of the joint solution of PingCAP and Alibaba Cloud Computing Nest

It has always been Alibaba Cloud's product philosophy to leave complexity to itself and simplicity to users. Liu Qi, the founder and CEO of PingCAP, an enterprise-class open source distributed database vendor, also said: "PingCAP will continue to do one simple thing in the future, that is, let the database return to its original state, leave the complexity to TiDB, and leave the simplicity to users."

Engineers hope to solve problems for users in the simplest and elegant way. Recently, Alibaba Cloud Computing Nest and PingCAP cooperated to officially launch Alibaba Cloud's cloud database TiDB, which integrates the technical advantages of both sides, which is a solid step in the vision of "cutting down complexity and simplifying" for users. This article will deeply analyze the joint solution of PingCAP and Alibaba Cloud Computing Nest, and explore the new form of software privatization deployment in the cloud.

Deployment architecture of TiDB cluster on Alibaba Cloud

PingCAP has achieved the growth of "from scratch, from small to large" in just seven years, and its distributed database TiDB has also become the top open source distributed database project led by Chinese people. This year, PingCAP was selected as the 2022 Gartner Cloud Database "Voice of Customers", with the highest score of "Outstanding Performer", and is the only selected distributed cloud database service provider in China. In the list of China database of Mexico Tianlun, TiDB ranked first in the list for 28 consecutive months (January 2020 - April 2022).

The user's expectation for cloud database is to make full use of cloud native capabilities: out-of-the-box, extreme flexibility and operation and maintenance hosting, while taking into account data security, high performance and low latency. At present, most domestic enterprise users tend to choose the deployment mode of privatization. However, with the increasing acceptance of public cloud by enterprises, more and more enterprise users are turning to the form of private deployment on the cloud.

However, there are many challenges in the traditional large-scale privatization deployment method, such as: the cluster service deployment architecture is complex and there are many components; There are many specifications of ECS, and the optimal specification combination cannot be found; The deployment efficiency is low due to errors and checks caused by manual operation; Automatic expansion and elastic guarantee of database cluster.

Let's go back to the first mentioned "simplifying". The joint solution of PingCAP and Alibaba Cloud Computing Nest is to solve the "complexity" in the use of database software in traditional mode: deploy database clusters on the cloud with one click; Ensure the automatic expansion and contraction of the database cluster through the extreme flexibility of the cloud; At the same time, provide security audit to improve the transparency of system operation and maintenance; In addition, the resource bill has been optimized to help users achieve better cost management.

01 One-click automatic deployment of software and hardware to complete the creation of TiDB cluster in minutes

How can you simplify the complexity of cluster deployment? The answer given by Alibaba Cloud Computing Nest is to realize the automatic deployment of database clusters through ROS (resource orchestration). ROS (resource orchestration) is Alibaba Cloud's IaC (Infrastructure as Code) product. With the popularity of Terraform, IaC is no longer a new concept, but for the vast majority of users, if they deploy database software and learn how to use IaC, it is absolutely impossible to "simplify".

TiDB High Availability Deployment Template

The computing nest not only supports the deployment of ROS syntax, Terraform syntax scripts and containers, but also further realizes the serviceability on the basis of IaC. What users see is a completely white-screen service creation page. They do not need to learn what IaC is, let alone sense the existence of IaC scripts, which greatly reduces the threshold of database deployment.

Click to quickly create a TiDB cluster on the Alibaba Cloud console

By integrating with the TiUP cluster operation and maintenance platform, after the cloud server cluster is created, the software deployment will also be automatically triggered and completed. The whole process only takes a few minutes.

After accessing the Alibaba Cloud computing nest, the privatization deployment process of the TiDB cluster has been greatly simplified. Users can realize one-click deployment of the database cluster and software on the computing nest. At the same time, in order to further optimize the experience, PingCAP recommended the cloud server specifications with the highest cost performance for different versions of TiDB clusters based on its own best practices and test results. With the special optimization of Alibaba Cloud Linux for database scenarios, users will be able to obtain higher performance.

PingCAP provides users with best practices for cloud server specifications

In addition, for the highly available versions across 3AZ, the computing nest will automatically filter out the available zones with sufficient inventory of relevant specifications. At the same time, when users select the available zones, it will realize the automatic proofreading of the available zone options, avoid human misoperation, ensure the strict dispersion of the three clusters across the available zones, and save the trouble of users checking the inventory and selecting the available zones.

Therefore, by calculating the nest deployment, users only need to configure the business-related parameters such as the number of nodes, which simplifies the deployment of the cluster to the greatest extent. Under normal circumstances, TiDB will enter the deployment state after the user configuration is completed, and it only takes a few minutes to complete the deployment. Compared with the traditional privatization deployment cycle based on days or even weeks, it has greatly improved.

Automated delivery can improve efficiency by tens of times

Most software manufacturers are pursuing product standardization, and TiDB has done very well in product standardization. The computing nest further realizes the standardization of service delivery. The initialization of the cluster almost no longer requires the participation of the original factory, and also avoids the error introduced by human to the greatest extent. From the perspective of actual effect, a 10-node TiDB cluster basically takes only 5 to 10 minutes from the creation of the trigger to the final availability.

It takes 7 minutes and 42 seconds to create a 10-node TiDB cluster

Since the installation of TiDB database software and Grafana monitoring software is in a fully integrated computing nest service, you can directly click the output IP address after the creation to access the management background of TiDB database and the console of Grafana. For many enterprise users, the complexity of the cloud has been completely shielded, and only the use of software needs to be concerned.

TiDB Console

Grafana Console

02 Extreme flexibility, supporting the expansion and contraction of service nodes

After the database cluster deployment, with the growth of business requirements, there is often a need for database cluster expansion. In the face of cluster expansion and scaling scenarios, it is usually difficult to easily obtain the global deployment of the cluster, which also increases the difficulty and complexity of global expansion and scaling. Therefore, it is particularly necessary to expand and shrink the capacity of service nodes.

The computing nest naturally supports the expansion and contraction of the service nodes, and fully utilizes the flexibility of the cloud to ensure the scalability of the database cluster. In the joint solution released this time, two scaling groups are naturally integrated: one for TiDB cluster and the other for TiKV cluster. When facing the explosive growth of data volume, users can select a specific scaling group to adjust the number of instances. As shown in the figure below, after the user expansion adjustment, the TiDB Dashboard will achieve successful expansion.

03 Safety audit, providing the experience of "DASH CAM"

The reason why enterprise users choose privatization deployment is largely due to data security considerations. Therefore, for all the agent operation and maintenance operations of the service provider, whether for the operation of the resource cluster or the operation inside the Guest OS, the computing nest will provide a comprehensive operation log and screen recording for users to conduct security audits, thus improving the transparency of the system operation and maintenance. We call this function "DASH CAM", so that the whole process of service provider operation can be completely presented to users.

At the same time, Compute Nest and PingCAP will ensure that the launch and update of software components and deployment architecture will be subject to strict security review, and the open internal and external network ports will be strictly controlled to ensure the safe use of users.

04 Comprehensive bill, clear and transparent resource consumption

In terms of cost transparency, the computing nest has also made special experience optimization. Before the cluster is created, the user can see the complete cost estimate. At the same time, after the cluster is created, the user can directly see the cost information of the cluster resources through the bill analysis function. The bill related to the current service will be filtered out, making the resource consumption between different businesses clear and transparent, helping the user to carry out cost management and streamlining the financial process.

Cost estimate before creation

Calculation nest bill query interface

05 Conclusion: Build an ecosystem together and accelerate the business growth of software manufacturers

As a cloud-integrated PaaS platform for ISVs, SIs and MSPs (collectively referred to as service providers), Compute Nest facilitates service providers to better integrate products, services and Alibaba Cloud, and improves the efficiency and user experience of software services in delivery, deployment and subsequent management with the help of cloud-based capabilities. End users can manage all kinds of software services they subscribe to on Alibaba Cloud through the computing nest. Computing Nest provides a cloud-based service delivery platform and connector for service providers and end users, providing more efficient, convenient and safe software services and use experience.

This joint solution with PingCAP is the result of Alibaba Cloud's open cloud platform capabilities and deep integration with database software vendors. Through the computing nest, Alibaba Cloud will open the underlying capabilities of the Apsara operating system to software manufacturers to the maximum extent, solve various pain points encountered by software manufacturers in business scenarios, and make software better integrated with the cloud. At the same time, it provides fast access to Alibaba Cloud ecosystem and market channels to accelerate the business growth of software manufacturers.

At present, hundreds of ISV partners have settled in the computing nest. In the future, Alibaba Cloud will continue to explore with ISV partners in various fields to provide users with simpler, safer and more stable cloud native applications, provide users with greater value, and accelerate the digital transformation and upgrading of enterprises.

Related Articles

Explore More Special Offers

  1. Short Message Service(SMS) & Mail Service

    50,000 email package starts as low as USD 1.99, 120 short messages start at only USD 1.00

phone Contact Us