Emerging Technologies in the Post-IaaS Age — The Computing Conference 2018

By Wei Tong

At the Cloud Native Technology Summit of The Computing Conference 2018, experts from various industries shared their thoughts on emerging trends such as Internet of Things (IoT), containers, and serverless architecture. According to the speakers, the real challenge does not lie within the technology itself — it’s the challenge of unifying all technologies for a sustainable ecosystem. Despite their differences, all the experts agreed on and emphasized the importance of bridging developer communities, roles, and technologies for maintaining a cloud native software ecosystem.

How Good Is Our Code? The Cloud Native Ecosystem and Continuous Integration

The answer to this problem is Continuous Integration (CI). Normally, software bugs are fixed with patches, but a software patch does not help until we have deployed it into production. In CI, you need to test your apps every time you make a change. By adopting CI, you can have the confidence that a deployment will not break your software. Furthermore, with the power of open source, we have the ability to leverage thousands of other developers that are finding bugs and making fixes to the software that we depend on.

For companies that don’t know where to start, Dan provided a simple yet useful piece of advice,

“What kind of test should you run? All of it.”

How Flexibility & Open Source Enable Businesses to Shape the Cloud-Native Future

Chip also discussed about the need for bridging different roles for enterprises to successfully adopt a cloud native ecosystem. Despite many enterprises already adopting DevOps and containers, a large majority are yet to adopt CI/CD practices, especially CD (Continuous Deployment). This is because enterprises tend to overlook innovation in favor of relevance. For enterprises, relevant technologies of today such as VMs and big data are more profitable compared with innovative technologies of tomorrow like artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT).

Picturing the Tech Future with Serverless and Container

Tao then talked about building building a simple Kubernetes cluster on Alibaba Cloud ECS. Even though the initial set up is straightforward, upgrading and maintaining it according to business needs can be challenging. For customers, there should be a way for them to quickly deploy apps without caring about these problems. Alibaba Cloud’s answer to this problem — Elastic Container Instances (ECI).

Wei Zhang, Staff Engineer of Alibaba Cloud, described the features of the newly launched ECI. With ECI, Alibaba Cloud can deliver serverless computing resources to users via the concept of “container groups”, unlike previously monolithic containers. Alibaba Cloud ECI lets you run containers without server management, flexibly consume resources based on demand, and secure applications with sandboxed container runtime.

Alibaba Cloud Serverless Platform and Case Studies

Use Case 1: Web Application Backend

Building backend of a web app normally involves buying VMs and designing a load balancer. But with serverless, you just need to use HTTP triggers on API Gateway. Each demand will trigger a function, and within each function you can define the logic to which can point you towards accessing OSS, RDS, or other services. There is no longer the need to manage VMs and dynamic scaling is automated. You don’t have to worry about scaling and traffic control, scaling is performed by function.

Use Case 2: Logging Data Lifecycle

Data logging is very important for enterprises not only for finding bugs but also to analyze your business. For example, if you want to analyze the click rate for your website, you can use Log Service. As a serverless service, it collects your logs automatically as well as helps you analyze, archive, and send data logs to other services.

Use Case 3: Content Transform, Indexing, and Search

Have you ever uploaded and edited a file through your mobile phone? If you have, chances are, your files went through a process called content transform. When you send a file on a messaging app, such as sending a PowerPoint presentation through DingTalk, the content is first uploaded to OSS. Then, if you edit the file, an event is triggered to perform the change. This is all done through Alibaba Cloud’s Intelligent Media Management (IMM) service. From a user perspective, you only need to access the file from your app. You don’t have to think about the storage service, platform, and conversion processes separately.

Building a Trusted and Efficient Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)

That is why for IIoT, cooperation between all stakeholders is the key. That is why Siemens and Alibaba Cloud officially announced a partnership at The Computing Conference 2018 that defines the technological roadmap and implementation plan for MindSphere’s launch in Chinese mainland. MindSphere connects real things to the digital world, and provides powerful industry applications and digital services to help drive business success. Combining Siemens’ PaaS capabilities with Alibaba Cloud’s IaaS services, MindSphere on Alibaba Cloud will provide a comprehensive platform that offers connectivity, data analytics and industrial knowhow. This in turn will enable enterprises in China to realize novel and data-driven business models.

Reference:https://www.alibabacloud.com/blog/emerging-technologies-in-the-post-iaas-age-%E2%80%93-the-computing-conference-2018_594037?spm=a2c41.12103360.0.0

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