Today, thousands of industries are embracing cloud computing and cloud-native for digital innovation and upgrade, which enriches cloud-native and allows us to redefine it today. Cloud-native technologies help developers build loosely coupled systems that are scalable, easy to manage, observable with good fault tolerance. Technologies, such as Kubernetes, Container, DevOps, Microservice, Service Mesh, and Serverless, are a collection of application-layer technologies. The traditional advantage of cloud computing is the pooling of resources, and it will bring about elastic distribution and API-based automatic management capabilities. Some say only the combination of cloud-native and cloud computing can truly be powerful.
Cloud-Native: Born for the Cloud
The combination of cloud-native technologies and cloud computing are the cloud-native products. Today’s cloud platforms provide a large number of cloud-native products, including big data, databases, container service, middleware, application PaaS, cloud-native security, developer tools, audio/video services, and ECS Bare Metal instances. Products, software, hardware, technology, and architecture deriving from the cloud are the true cloud-native.
Cloud-Native Ushers in the Full Cloud Development Era
Today, we believe cloud-native is another upgrade to cloud computing. For the cloud platform, the technologies represented by containers have become a new service community in cloud computing. It is developer-oriented and can encapsulate infrastructure downwards and shield differentiation from heterogeneous environments.
Let’s use Alibaba Cloud Container Service for Kubernetes (ACK) as an example. It can encapsulate 30 cloud products downwards for easy-to-use interfaces. It can also encapsulate over 30 cloud products upwards, supporting heterogeneous loads and architectures. For enterprises, cloud-native is accelerating their digital innovation in the direction of cloud-based infrastructure, Internet-based core technologies, modernization of application architectures, and data-driven and intelligent business to help enterprises innovate their business.
Today, cloud-native has become the shortest path and cornerstone for enterprises’ digital innovation. For developers, cloud-native is reshaping the software lifecycle. On the one hand, it implements optimization downwards to achieve software-hardware collaborative optimization, which reduces technical costs and improves technical efficiency. On the other hand, it supports multiple workloads upwards to enable more fine features to architectures. If you are concerned about cloud-native, CNCF already has hundreds of projects covering a range of things, including application development to specific development frameworks, IDE, CI/CD, entire project releases and launching, changes to O&M capacity management, and the upgrade of the overall monitoring. Cloud-native provides a new open standard solution for the entire lifecycle. We believe cloud-native has enabled the cloud development era.
Cloud-Native Pushes Forward the Innovation in Development Mode
Cloud-Native propels development mode innovation, providing developers with some advantages in the following terms.
1) Architecture: The cloud-native development model is a modular architecture that communicates through standardized interfaces and protocols.
2) Application Delivery and Update: Continuous and automated iteration, integration, and delivery are supported.
3) O&M: Its O&M mode is standardized and automated.
4) Extensibility: Auto-scaling is supported as needed.
5) Dependency: Its fine portability means manufacturer locking won’t be a problem, as it has no dependency on the system environment and hardware.
6) Enterprise Organization and Culture: It has smooth cross-functional communication and cooperation and a strong ability to cope with changes.
We believe cloud-native is driving a new development era, an era for developers.
Cloud-Native Drives a New Development Era
Current industry research reports show that the use of containers is increasing continuously and rapidly. According to a CNCF survey, 68% of organizations and enterprises will use containers in their production environment in 2021, which is a 240% increase from two years ago. It’s fair to say that containers are ubiquitous. Market research shows that for frontend/backend development, web page/mobile/applets, logic/component/framework, the proportion of developers willing to develop on the cloud in 2021 also reached 68%. The use of Serverless also increased significantly. By the end of 2021, 25% of developers will begin to use Serverless technologies and products.
Alibaba Cloud Continues to Build Open-Source Ecosystem
Alibaba Cloud has created a large number of products, technologies, and open-source projects to keep with the times and empower developers. Oriented to the entire technical community, Alibaba Cloud feeds back to the world’s top foundations with its technical achievements in cloud computing research and development, such as the OpenAtom Foundation and the Apache Foundation. All the efforts are made by Alibaba Cloud in hopes of creating an open, standard, healthy, and benign technology development ecology.
For microservice-oriented standards in China, Alibaba Cloud has incubated more than eight projects for the Cloud Native Foundation, such as the edge container-based platform OpenYurt, the chaos engineering tool in the field of distributed high availability ChaosBlade, the service registration and discovery tool Nacos, and other open-source projects. Any developer that wants to build an open-source architecture based on cloud-native and open-source technologies can find a solution.
Alibaba Cloud has served a large number of leading enterprise users, such as iQIYI, Huya Live and Ping An Technology. Alibaba Cloud also hopes to build an open and standard technology system to serve global developers. Alibaba Cloud ranks first in the contribution ranking of the open-source community GitHub, with over 2,600 open-source projects, over 30,000 contributors, and millions of followers.
Alibaba Cloud Builds an All-in-One Application Management and Delivery Platform for Cloud-Native Applications
The emergence of cloud-native technologies was first centered on resource management, not friendly enough to applications. Therefore, Alibaba Cloud and Microsoft jointly proposed the OAM open application model, a collaborative solution that makes the interfaces for developers, O&M personnel, and testers clear and standard. OAM provides a unified interface for application description and application delivery, a PaaS platform with various functions and strong integration capabilities, and the ability to manage and deliver applications in multiple environments and versions. Image downloads have surpassed 100,000, including over 20 enterprise users, such as Bytedance, 4Paradigm, and Youzan. Meanwhile, Alibaba Cloud also impels the standardization of OAM application management to become an industry standard. The OAM project was released by the CAICT as an industry standard in March 2021.
Cloud-Native DevOps Toolchain Brings Higher Efficiency to R&D and O&M
For application R&D and O&M, Alibaba Cloud provides the cloud-native all-in-one DevOps to make development and operation more efficient. The all-in-one tool platform covers the requirement management and the entire CI/CD change. It breaks the barriers of on-premises and cloud scenarios, enabling full cloud-based development to make the entire development more efficient. As shown in the figure above, the project management, requirement management, code repository, code management, image management, the release and testing of CI/CD testing, and the entire Developer Suite, including an external IDE, are all cloud-based development tool platforms.
An integrated platform with data and intelligence connects all the data in a link for full measurement to find the efficiency bottleneck in the entire production process for enterprises and developers to achieve valid optimization. Enterprise-level security assurance, seamless integration of cloud services, the integration of application management for Apsara DevOps products and ECS, ACK container service, and Function Compute are certified with the highest level of R&D capability by CAICT. Currently, DevOps has served 1,000,000 service developers and more than 100,000 enterprise customers.
Container Service Helps Enterprises Improve Resource Elasticity to Reduce Computing Costs
Today, containers are a necessity for developers. Alibaba Cloud container services provide a wide range of infrastructure, including ACK, ASK, multi and hybrid cloud management, heterogeneous computing power scheduling, intelligent O&M systems, ASM, and container application market. It supports a wide range of architectures, such as microservices, stateful applications, big data intelligence applications, and innovative applications (blockchain IoT).
Based on this, Alibaba Cloud has formed technical product solutions for the industry, including microservice technology architecture solutions, cloud-native big data solutions, genetic computing solutions, DevOps solutions, X-Dragon container solutions combined with integration and optimization, together with hybrid cloud container management solutions. According to the Gartner report on public cloud container services, Alibaba Cloud has been the only Chinese enterprise selected for three consecutive years and has been rated as the world’s most complete cloud service provider for container products. Alibaba Cloud has served tens of thousands of enterprise customers and hundreds of thousands of enterprise developers.
The Most Popular Serverless Product among Chinese Users
With the development of cloud-native, the user interface of cloud computing is moving upwards, which leads to higher development efficiency. DevOps provides features, such as fully-hosted, O&M-free ultimate elasticity, and quick launch, which allows developers to focus more on the business logic. Today, Serverless has gradually become the mainstream technology in cloud computing and will become a major trend in the future.
The Serverless products provided by Alibaba Cloud formed a Serverless runtime pool based on Alibaba Cloud Serverless container 2.0, the third-generation X-Dragon architecture, Pangu storage, and the Luoshen network. It provides four features: function compute-oriented FC, application-oriented SAE, container orchestration-oriented ASK, and container instance-oriented ECI, in support of a wide range of application scenarios, including full-site and full-end development, applet development, audio/video development in online education, application packaging, data intelligence development, and mainstream microservice architectures.
Alibaba Cloud provides a complete set of development capabilities featuring the unification of development tools for developers, components, and the cloud. It also creates an application center and provides many experience optimizations, application templates, and classic case libraries, enabling more efficient development and better secondary development and innovation. At the same time, we also put Serverless into a white box, so we can understand what is going on in the technology stack and have better control over it. In the 2021 Forrester FaaS report, the Alibaba Cloud Serverless product capability ranked first in the world. According to a 2020 survey conducted by the CAICT for developers across China, Alibaba Cloud’s Serverless market share was 66%.
Make Application-Oriented and All-in-One Observability Available for Developers
Alibaba Cloud built ARMS, an all-in-one application-oriented observable product, to make observability available for developers. It works at the infrastructure layer, container orchestration and scheduling layer, application architecture layer, application layer, and end-to-end testing experience layer to provide complete link metric analysis of log events, app monitoring capabilities, frontend monitoring capabilities, application monitoring, tracing analysis performance diagnosis, Prometheus monitoring, and cloud alert services. We hope productization can be output through the unified O&M and observability to realize automatic O&M. Alibaba Cloud has entered the 2021 Gartner’s APM Magic Quadrant as the only cloud vendor in China, serving tens of thousands of enterprise customers and hundreds of thousands of developers.
Alibaba Cloud Takes Lead in Cloud-Native Practices
Alibaba Cloud has the most extensive cloud-native product families in China. It has nearly 300 cloud-native products and nearly 1,000 technical solutions, including the container layer, modern application architecture layer, aPaaS event-driven microservices, Serverless, cloud-native big data AI, and other product systems. Enterprises in the cloud-native era can build IT technology systems fully based on cloud products. Developers that want to enhance their values and create greater productivity can find a complete set of tools and product systems on Alibaba Cloud. Alibaba Cloud provides enterprises with five major technical values: resource elasticity, security and reliability, business intelligence, application agility, and system stability. It has become the technical backup for thousands of industries, including transportation, manufacturing, government affairs, media, Internet, finance, retail, and communications. It has also served over 80% of China’s technology companies, over 60% of A-share listed companies, more than 3,000,000 customers, and more than 5,000,000 developers from 200 countries and regions.
Cloud-native technologies are now calling for the cloud development era, making every developer a better developer. As a result of using cloud-native technologies, developers will create greater technical and commercial value to accelerate the digital economy development.