Introducing Apsara Stack Agility Elastic Compute Service (Alibaba Cloud ZStack): A Better Way to Hybrid Cloud

Alibaba Cloud ZStack is an all-new platform that was designed as a simple, strong, scalable and smart solution for hybrid cloud. Being built from the ground up, Alibaba Cloud ZStack offers a system for the flexible and unified management of public and private cloud services and better integration with Alibaba Cloud’s value-added services.

Designed to represent the next generation in open-source infrastructure-as-a-service platforms, Alibaba Cloud ZStack has several notable features including a more unified system of management for your services on and off the cloud, a more cost-effective system for disaster recovery, and the implementation of interconnection networks in both the control and data plane.

This article provides a quick outline of some of the major features and advantages of Alibaba Cloud ZStack and describes some of the scenarios in which Alibaba Cloud ZStack has a key advantage over traditional systems. Last, the end of this article provides a short tutorial on how you can get started with Alibaba Cloud ZStack.

What Is Alibaba Cloud ZStack and What Can It Do

Alibaba Cloud ZStack provides a comprehensive set of features to make managing your systems on and off the cloud easier. For one, Alibaba Cloud ZStack provides multi-tenant quota and billing capabilities and heterogeneous resource management and a variety of monitoring tools. Second, the platform also boasts such features as resource overcomitment and load balancing to improve the overall performance and stability of your services, along with the ImageStore, startup sequence adjustment, and resource bandwidth limits, so that you can easily create, allocate, recover and delete images and VM instances as needed. Last, Alibaba Cloud ZStack also provides a comprehensive set of API actions, specifically SQL-style query APIs, along with resource tagging, to make for an easier and more flexible means for managing your computing, storage and networking resources.

There are several advantages to implementing Alibaba Cloud ZStack into your hybrid cloud systems. First, Alibaba Cloud ZStack offers excellent performance thanks to several of its features. To put things into more concrete terms, more than ten thousand hosts and one hundred thousand BM instances can be managed on a single node in Alibaba Cloud ZStack. While at the same time, more than ten thousand concurrent API requests can be processed every second, and more than one hundred VM instanced can be created in a matter of minutes.

Alibaba Cloud ZStack also has outstanding marks in stability, reliability and security. The computing, networking, and storage services of each VM instance all have a high level of ensured availability. In fact, even in the case that a corresponding management node is disconnected, these services will remain online. And, in terms of security, Alibaba Cloud ZStack supports L2 VLAN/VXLAN isolation. Security groups are also provided to protect from malicious attacks, along with vulnerability scanning, virus protection, and there are three levels of permission management and resource isolation.

How Alibaba Cloud ZStack Can Change Hybrid Cloud

Alibaba Cloud ZStack provides a seamless connection between your private and public cloud services. With Alibaba Cloud ZStack, you can deploy your services to a public or private cloud environment as needed, and it will connect your services through interconnection networks, linking isolated and fragmented IT resources in the public cloud. As such, you can manage both your public and private cloud services at the same time by integrating your services hosted on Alibaba Cloud and those services hosted elsewhere into Alibaba Cloud ZStack on a unified management platform, and you can use API actions to manage all of your services in a central and unified manner.

Traditionally, in hybrid systems, public and private cloud environments are secured separately, which can lead to overlapping investments and construction costs. However, these problems are eliminated with Alibaba Cloud ZStack. You can secure your public and private cloud environments through a single management platform. A closed loop is ensured between your public and private cloud services by detecting and solving security issues with one-click vulnerability repair and virus isolation. And, on a similar note, disaster recovery is made simpler and more cost effective with Alibaba Cloud ZStack. With it, you can easily encrypt and back up data to Alibaba Cloud, and you only pay for what services you need.

Another problem with traditional hybrid systems is that the private cloud systems involved typically do not have access to the value-added services that are available with public cloud services. However, with the interconnection networks provided by Alibaba Cloud ZStack, you can directly migrate Alibaba’s value-added services to your private systems. Or, alternatively, you can migrate your services to Alibaba Cloud to obtain Alibaba’s value-added services, such as DataV, RDS, and Anti-DDoS Premium. Whatever you choose, either way you can mitigate the need for developing custom solutions to add value your private cloud system.

How Can I Get Started with Alibaba Cloud ZStack

Getting started with Alibaba Cloud ZStack is a quick and easy process. Before you start, you’ll need to register for an account on Alibaba Cloud. Once you have an account, you can download ZStack directly from the Alibaba Cloud console. From there, deployment can be completed within a half an hour. Likewise, updates are also only one click away and typically only take about five minutes.

After deploying Alibaba Cloud ZStack to your private cloud system, your private cloud network will be connected to an Alibaba Cloud VPC through an IPsec, leased line, or SD-WAN connection. For this system, the management node will manage both your private cloud and Alibaba Cloud resources through the interconnected networks in the ZStack control plane. You can operate ZStack directly through the Alibaba Cloud ZStack platform interface.

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