Attacking cloud native, providing more possibilities for developers


Introduction to Cloud native is a technology born from the cloud. It is rooted in developers and provides the greatest cloud value.

Author: Yi Li


Cloud native is an inevitable product of the development of cloud computing, and the continuous growth of cloud native is by no means accidental.

In 2021, what will cloud native look like and what new changes will it bring? Alibaba Cloud Container Service R&D Director Yi Li recently delivered a speech on "New Boundary of Cloud Native Applications" at the Cloud Developer Conference, and said that cloud native provides developers with three aspects of convenience: 16108aa300170c application infrastructure "zero" maintenance, Application architecture modernization "zero" resistance, digital and physical world "zero" boundary.

Cloud native: born from the cloud

Cloud native is a technology born from the cloud. It is rooted in developers and provides the greatest cloud value.

In the CNCF 2020 Developer Status Report, there are now more than 4.7 million developers worldwide using cloud native technology, accounting for 36% of all back-end developers. Developers have become the main driving force for cloud-native change.


"Zero" maintenance of application infrastructure

Cloud-native technologies such as containers and serverless continue to promote the upward shift of computing interfaces and the sinking of complexity, allowing developers to focus on business innovation rather than infrastructure, which can greatly improve R&D efficiency.

Alibaba Cloud provides developers with the richest cloud-native products in the country, helping companies focus on business innovation rather than infrastructure construction. Enterprises can realize the Internetization of application architecture through container services, functional computing, and service grids. On top of this, products such as cloud-native databases, cloud-native AI, and cloud-native big data can help enterprises accelerate the digitization and intelligence of business processes. change.

"Zero" resistance to application architecture modernization

More and more companies hope to bring new benefits through application modernization, such as microservices and mesh, to better meet the needs of business development. However, the new technology will also have a great impact on the existing application architecture. Using cloud native technology, the existing application architecture can be smoothly upgraded step by step.


When modernizing existing applications, developers need to split a single application into a distributed microservice architecture. Microservice architectures such as Spring Cloud / Dubbo are all built in the form of SDK code bases for service governance logic. In the application. But there are several problems with this architecture:

  • Intrusive : In the microservice framework, the realization and life cycle of service governance capabilities are coupled with business logic. The change and enhancement of service governance capabilities require the re-building and deployment of applications, leading to higher upgrade and maintenance costs.
  • Realization of binding : Since the microservice framework code base is usually implemented in a specific language, it is difficult to support the integration of multi-language (polyglot) heterogeneous systems as a challenge.

Therefore, the community proposed Service Mesh (service mesh) architecture -decoupling application business logic and service governance capabilities. The service governance capability runs in an independent Sidecar process and is deployed independently. Through network interception, the ability to realize service discovery, traffic management, observability, and security that is transparent to the application is realized.

The above-mentioned intrusive and binding problems are solved, and the specific advantages are as follows:

  • Complexity sinking : Service governance sinks to the infrastructure and can evolve independently. Allows developers to focus more on the business application itself.
  • Zero Intrusion : High-level capabilities such as zero-trust security and observability can be achieved without code modification.
  • Multi-language support : It can transparently support multiple programming languages and programming frameworks.

So, are microservices and service grids either one or the other? While carrying out the service grid transformation, how to be compatible with the existing microservice architecture?

With the efforts of the community, service grids and microservices can be well integrated to support the smooth evolution of enterprise microservice architecture.


Take Dongfeng Nissan Motor as an example to introduce the company's service grid migration road. First, its data services are developed in different languages such as Python/Java, Java applications use the Dubbo microservice framework, and Python uses REST/HTTP for service invocation, which lacks unified service management capabilities; secondly, virtual machines, containerized deployments, etc. Ways coexist and hope to fully migrate to the container architecture.

Through the ASM service grid, whether Python/Java applications, virtual machines or containerized deployments, can be added to the service grid to achieve service governance in a unified and declarative manner. Among them, the existing Dubbo microservice applications and applications in the grid can use the Nacos registry to realize service registration and discovery, and maintain the compatibility of the existing application architecture.

Digital and physical world "zero" boundary

Digital innovation needs to go deep into the industry and integrate the physical and digital worlds to realize the business value of innovation. Cloud-side computing integration has become a trend. Yesterday's Cloud Summit described the direction of future cloud development. 16108aa3001a4b One cloud with multiple cores, one cloud with multiple forms, and the combination of cloud and AIoT. Only in this way can it support ubiquitous computing . The cloud native technology represented by containers, because of its agile, lightweight, and portable advantages, will become the most important carrier for the next generation of distributed cloud applications.

Logistics is a typical scenario of digital innovation, centering on the four dimensions of people, goods, machines, and vehicles, involving a large number of complex business scenarios such as data processing and intelligent scheduling. Taking Shentong Express as an example, it involves the transfer, transportation and delivery of hundreds of millions of packages every day. Digital technology plays an important role in optimizing the logistics supply chain. Shentong Express has built a logistics cloud PaaS platform with an integrated cloud side-end architecture based on Alibaba Cloud edge container products.

  • The PaaS platform is responsible for distributed resource scheduling and application management, big data processing and intelligent analysis in the central cloud.
  • Edge cloud nodes located in storage centers in various regions combine with IoT devices to support the core process of express delivery services. Operations such as scanning and verification can be completed locally, reducing delays and reducing strong reliance on the cloud.

This architecture can help companies reduce costs by 30% and increase their stability from 99.9% to 99.95%. It not only supports daily business development, but also calmly copes with business peaks such as Double Eleven.


Cainiao Logistics Cloud PaaS is using Alibaba Cloud's edge container service ACK@Edge to solve the challenges of distributed resource scheduling, application management, and autonomous operation and maintenance after computing sinks. The core technology behind it is Alibaba Cloud's open source OpenYurt project, which has become a CNCF sandbox project.

Edge computing faces technical challenges such as decentralized computing power, heterogeneous resources, and weak network connections. OpenYurt is a cloud-side collaborative computing framework based on Kubernetes. It has core capabilities such as edge application management, edge autonomy and self-healing, and edge computing power management.

In addition, OpenYurt insists on non-intrusive implementation of native K8s, focusing on standardization and openness. In the past two years, OpenYurt has been implemented in industries such as CDN, Youku, Cainiao, Industrial Brain, and Urban Brain, and has also supported customers such as Shengwang and Kuaishou.


If the cloud is the intelligent brain of the enterprise, and the IoT device is the eye and hand, which realizes the interaction with the physical world. Using K8s to reduce the management complexity of a large number of distributed devices can achieve unified management and better coordination of distributed applications and IoT devices. Combining cloud native with IoT, there will be huge opportunities for innovation.

Work with VMware to build a cloud-native IoT ecosystem and gather open source communities to create field standards

Yi Li, head of Alibaba Cloud Container Service, and Lu Guang, R&D Director of VMware China R&D Center, jointly announced that the two parties have reached a technical strategic cooperation in the field of "cloud native edge computing", hoping to rely on the power of the open source community to accelerate the construction of the edge cloud native ecosystem. Jointly promote the cloud-side integration process and help more companies fully embrace the transformation and upgrading of digital intelligence.


Based on the common ideals and visions, the OpenYurt community and the EdgeX Foundry community under the Linux Foundation will cooperate in-depth in the fields of edge computing, IoT, and cloud native: On the one hand, they will redefine the device management model in the IoT field through cloud native methods to achieve device twin capabilities ; On the one hand, it also uses the mature technology ecology of EdgeX Foundry to enable cloud-native applications to support various IoT protocols and devices.

Alibaba Cloud open source project OpenYurt and the Chinese community open source project EdgeX Foundry co-sponsored by VMware and maintained in-depth cooperation will help enterprises and edge business developers to easily build a cloud-side-end integration without any modification of K8s. Collaborative IT architecture. As a "plug and play" open source IoT Edge platform, EdgeX Foundry (EdgeX) supports devices from different manufacturers and using different protocols. At the same time, OpenYurt can extend Kubernetes to edge scenarios through native plug-ins, and supports all upstream Kubernetes features.


Reader benefits

After Alibaba released the cloud native architecture white paper to the community, Alibaba Cloud released the book "Alibaba Cloud Cloud Native Architecture Practice", which provides more detailed technical details and landing scenarios. Highly recommended by Zhang Jianfeng, Dean of Moroccan Academy, and Cheng Li, CTO of Alibaba.

Now launch a book-sending activity for readers, topic: If you use an image or a word instead of cloud native, what do you think it is and why?

The three readers with the most comments and likes. Everyone can get a copy of "Alibaba Cloud Cloud Native Architecture Practice".


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