Overcoming Challenges of Cloud Native
Alibaba Cloud has implemented cloud native technologies on a large scale. At the KubeCon + CloudNativeCon + Open Source Summit held on June 26, 2019, Xiang Li, a CNCF TOC representative and the senior staff engineer at Alibaba Cloud, delivered a keynote speech. Mr. Li shared Alibaba's experience in scalability, reliability, development efficiency, and migration strategy, and discussed how to implement cloud native technologies and address technical challenges.
In the process of implementing cloud native technologies, Alibaba has transformed from using self-developed containers and scheduling systems, to embracing open-source standardized technologies. Alibaba recommends that developers use Kubernetes to directly build cloud native architectures. There are two reasons. The first of which is that Kubernetes is developed for platform builders and has become the mainstay in the cloud native ecosystem. In this way, Kubernetes not only shields the underlying details in the downstream direction, but also supports various peripheral business ecosystems in the upstream direction. The second of which is that increasing numbers of open-source projects developed by the community are built around Kubernetes, such as Service Mesh and Kubeflow.
One Question to Ask is What are Alibaba's Suggestions to Help Developers Avoid Pitfalls.
The toughest challenge in the evolution to cloud native-based technical architecture lies in the management of Kubernetes. Kubernetes is still a relatively young system, and does not have a mature ecosystem for O&M and management. Managing tens of thousands of clusters is crucial for Alibaba to succeed. Through great determination, Alibaba decided on the following:
- Use Kubernetes's self-management capabilities
- Adopt a node release rollback policy, and perform phased release according to rules
- Perform image splitting to divide environments into simulated and production environments
- Focus on the monitoring side to make Kubernetes more transparent and to discover, prevent, and solve problems quickly.
Multi-tenant management of Kubernetes is another key technical issue for Alibaba Cloud. Considering the limits of Namespaces such as poor scalability and naming conflicts, you can use Kubernetes to set up virtual clusters. In addition to high scalability, Kubernetes can implement strong API-layer isolation. Syncer is used to link virtual clusters and real clusters, and agents are added to nodes to improve multi-tenant management and resource utilization.
At the KubeCon + CloudNativeCon + Open Source Summit, Alibaba Cloud announced two major projects: App Hub and OpenKruise. App Hub is a Kubernetes application management center open to all developers. OpenKruise is a set of open source Kubernetes automation projects developed based on Internet scenarios worldwide.
For more information, read the full article from Alibaba here.