Apsara Conference 2022|Cloud-Native Trends

Date: Oct 1, 2022

At this year's Alibaba Yunqi Conference, in addition to the eye-catching cloud computer "Wuying" and the robot "Little Man Donkey", another thing worthy of attention is that Alibaba has established a cloud native technology committee to comprehensively promote the Ali economy. cloud native. Wang Jian, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said the move will "allow Alibaba Cloud to sit on the same plane as its customers." Why does Wang Jian say this? What impact will this move have on the future of cloud computing? Which trending information should we pay attention to?

Cloud native to the first year of the outbreak?
On September 18, on the morning of the second day of the Yunqi Conference, Alibaba announced the establishment of a cloud native technology committee, headed by Jiang Jiangwei, a senior researcher at Alibaba, as well as Li Feifei, the chief database scientist of the DAMO Academy, and a senior member of the Alibaba Cloud Computing Platform. Researcher Jia Yangqing, head of Alibaba Cloud's native application platform Ding Yu and other Alibaba technical leaders, the purpose of forming this committee is to promote the comprehensive cloud-native nature of Alibaba's economy, and at the same time, Alibaba's cloud-native practices accumulated for more than 10 years will be empowered by Alibaba Cloud. It can help millions of enterprises to help industries enter the digital native era.

In the past two or three years, the word cloud native has been mentioned more and more frequently in the industry. Experts say that 2020 will be the first year of cloud native in China. According to Gartner, by 2022, 75% of global enterprises will use cloud-native containerized applications in production.

What exactly is cloud native? In an interview with a reporter from China Electronics News, Zhang Huan, head of the cluster management team of Alibaba Cloud Container Platform, said that cloud native is not a product, but a set of technical systems and a set of methodology. According to this set of methodology and technical system, users can Better let the business grow in the cloud or migrate the business to the cloud platform, so as to better enjoy the efficient and continuous service capabilities of the cloud.

"In other words, if you follow this set of frameworks and ideas, enterprises can truly take advantage of the elasticity, dynamic scheduling, and free scaling of the cloud, and at the same time, they don't have to worry about being bound by cloud providers, because they follow open standards. ." Zhang Ouzhen said.

The "Cloud Native Development White Paper (2020)" recently released by the Cloud Native Industry Alliance pointed out that cloud native is an ideological concept for cloud application design. Loosely coupled, easy-to-manage and observable application systems improve delivery efficiency and reduce O&M complexity. Representative technologies include container technology, immutable infrastructure, service mesh, declarative API, and serverless.

The concept of cloud native was proposed in 2013, and it has been continuously improved in the open source community. In 2015, Google led the establishment of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation CNCF to promote incubation and standardization of cloud native related technologies. At present, CNCF has more than 300 members, covering well-known IT companies at home and abroad, including Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, Alibaba,Qualcomm, etc., and the development is very rapid.

At present, cloud native technology has formed a collection of a series of cloud computing technology systems and enterprise management methods recognized by the industry, including not only the methodology for realizing cloud native application, but also the key technologies and operational tools for implementation. Alibaba Cloud has also recently published the industry's first "Cloud Native Architecture White Paper", which elaborates the definition of cloud native architecture and can guide the implementation of cloud native methodology for enterprises.

For large enterprises, cloud native can make full use of the advantages of cloud, so that enterprises can get the most benefit from their investment in cloud. For smaller enterprises, cloud native can obtain computing resources that only large enterprises have in the past.

Embracing cloud native is becoming the consensus of digital transformation of global enterprises. The "Cloud Native Development White Paper" shows that the size of China's cloud native market has reached 35.02 billion yuan in 2019, and large and medium-sized Internet companies dominate the development of cloud native industry.

Alibaba Group has been promoting cloud native since 2011, and this year established a cloud native technical committee to promote cloud native in the entire Alibaba economy. This releases an important signal that cloud native has developed into a key point in terms of technology, ecology, demand and other aspects, and is a must-choice direction for future cloud computing development.

Why fly on the same plane as the user?
Despite the enormous benefits of cloud native, the journey from traditional IT to cloud native is not an easy one. Especially in the upgrade and migration of large-scale systems, how to control the complexity, control the stability of the large-scale system architecture, and control the risks of technology, from the technical system to the personnel skills, all face the upgrade and reconstruction of the entire line.

As Academician Wang Jian said, from in-house infrastructure, customized platform capabilities, to general cloud platforms, from Cloud Hosting to Cloud Native, this process faces huge challenges. Before Double 11 in 2019, Alibaba realized 100% of its core trading system on the cloud and completed the world's largest cloud-native practice, allowing Alibaba and its customers to really get on the same plane.

Cloud native is the best way to make good use of cloud. It is an upgrade on cloud computing and the next decade of cloud. Jiang Jiangwei, a senior researcher at Alibaba, said there are three reasons:

Cloud native has beautiful features such as openness, standards, vendor no lock-in, etc., which makes cloud computing more standard, easier to obtain, and releases greater dividends. revolution;
Cloud native makes the cloud easier to use, strengthens users' trust in cloud vendors, and enhances the acceptance of new technologies and cloud adoption. It is the window of trust between the cloud and customers;
The main task of Cloud 1.0 is to cloudize infrastructure to achieve further optimization at the cost level. The evolution direction of Cloud 2.0 will be cloud-native architecture to help enterprises enhance or create new business value.
Cloud native is a further upgrade of cloud computing. At present, the world's cloud computing giants, including Microsoft and Amazon, are accelerating their efforts to promote cloud native. Just as any technology and tool have advantages and disadvantages, how to provide better cloud-native technologies and tools, and how to provide better methodology, has become the focus of cloud computing vendors' competition.

Cloud computing is actually a practical engineering technology, and its mature technology requires the integration of best practices, which is why Alibaba will first start with supporting its own business, and then commercialize it after achieving success through practice.

How to stand out in the next step of cloud computing and the next ten years of competition, at present, Alibaba is advancing from several dimensions.

According to Zhao Lin, senior product expert of Alibaba Cloud, on the one hand, Alibaba Cloud has increased the research and development and open source of cloud native product family, and further enriched its product family. According to public information, Amazon ranks first in the world in terms of the richness of cloud native products, and ranks first in China's Alibaba Cloud. Currently, Alibaba Cloud provides more than 100 products including cloud-native bare metal servers, cloud-native databases, data warehouses, data lakes, containers, middleware, microservices, DevOps, and Serverless. In Gartner's 2020 Public Cloud Container Report, Alibaba Cloud container products ranked first in the world in 9 product selections. At this Yunqi Conference, Alibaba Cloud announced several major cloud-native product upgrades.

On the other hand, Alibaba has increased its investment in cloud native ecology. In terms of partners, Alibaba Cloud previously announced that it will invest 2 billion in the next year to select 10,000 partners to jointly serve millions of customers and accelerate the digital transformation of hundreds of industries. Plan”, it is planned to integrate production and education into 300 colleges and universities within three years, and train an additional 1 million cloud native developers.

On the other hand, Alibaba is promoting the cloud nativeization of Alibaba economy at full speed, exporting these best practices through Alibaba Cloud, so that more enterprises can obtain the dividends of cloud native. "It's a mule or a horse, and it has to run for others to see." Alibaba, a huge economy, has the complexity of its IT system, the peak value of Double 11 transactions, and the stability of its requirements for all to see. Its comprehensive cloud-native nature , is undoubtedly the best "model room" presented to the society. To allow more and more enterprise customers to migrate their core business systems to the cloud is like letting customers take an airplane. If Ali does not put all of his "home" on the cloud, how can he convince customers to go to the cloud? This is the true meaning of what Wang Jian said to let Ali and customers really get on the same plane.

According to Jiang Jiangwei, the goal of such a multi-party promotion is like the birth of a large-scale power grid that has spawned the use of a large number of electrical appliances, turning electricity from a luxury item into a daily necessities. Cloud native is equivalent to the role of the power grid, making the cloud a daily necessities. , let the enterprise business grow in the cloud and be better than the cloud, and help enterprises achieve comprehensive digitalization. Now Alibaba is moving at full speed towards cloud native.

What are the implications of Alibaba Cloud's nativeization?
The establishment of the Cloud Native Technology Committee represents the determination of Alibaba's economy to be all in cloud native. We can also get some inspiration from this.

One, cloud native is a journey that requires continuous advancement. In fact, Alibaba Cloud was established in 2009, and started to promote Alibaba Cloud Native in 2011. By 2019, Alibaba's entire core system will be on the cloud, and today a special technical committee has been established to continue to promote the cloud nativeization of Alibaba's economy. Cloud native is a journey of "faster, higher, stronger" constantly striving for the ultimate, which requires continuous advancement in organizational form, technology, and personnel skills.

Second, the maturity of cloud-native products, practical experience of cloud-native, technological advancement, and ecological richness will become important indicators for users to choose cloud computing vendors. The digital transformation of enterprises and the promotion of cloud native by enterprises involve all aspects. It is a huge system engineering. Although there are many tools based on open standards and open source to choose from, there are differences in capabilities such as tools, methodologies, and delivery. Risk, complexity and many other challenges, users need a full range of comprehensive capabilities to better solve these problems, which is why many cloud computing manufacturers are emphasizing the richness and maturity of their products and the ability to build an ecosystem. reason. Alibaba Cloud has the most abundant cloud-native product family in China, the most comprehensive cloud-native open source contribution, the largest cloud-native application practice, and the most extensive cloud-native customer base. It is committed to bringing the whole society into the digital-native era.

Third, from the perspective of the evolution of cloud-native technologies, there are some important trends worthy of attention. "One theme is that the promotion of comprehensive containerization will continue; Serveless (no service) is another theme, so that the architecture of R&D and operation and maintenance applications will be more and more decoupled from basic capabilities, infrastructure, and servers to achieve the ultimate goal. Elasticity and rapid iteration capabilities; another theme is service gridization, allowing users to use underlying resources more easily; another theme is that in the future, enterprises will be more and more capable of using data, algorithms, and AI, and more and more The new workload of the cloud has spawned the development of cloud-native technology to adapt to this system." Zhao Lin, senior product expert of Alibaba Cloud, said that from the hardware perspective, heterogeneous hardware such as CPU, FPGA, and NPU will lead to new changes in the application architecture. These changes will also bring some new technologies and products.

Cloud native is considered to be the shortest path to enterprise digital transformation:

First, cloud native makes digital technology readily available. Cost reduction, efficiency improvement, security and stability, and high availability are the most basic. Helping enterprises to use data information to change or greatly expand the business track is the key for enterprises to win in the future;
Second, cloud native can reshape the entire software life cycle and improve architectural flexibility. The typical Alibaba Double 11 can withstand both traffic-based and latency-based services. It is precisely because cloud native can reduce the R&D cost and technical threshold of similar services, make the architecture more available, and quickly generate value on the business side;
Third, cloud native can provide a set of open standard technology systems, so that talents can flow fully without platform restrictions, professional skills are accumulated positively, and the talent pool is large enough, which is more conducive to enterprise recruitment.
The new inflection point of cloud computing development has arrived, and cloud native will greatly release the dividends of the cloud. When this new wave of new technology arrives, only embracing is the best choice. Alibaba Cloud is ready to become the leader and definer in this wave of technology.

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