Brief introduction:On May 26, 2021, the standard file of “Cloud Computing Open Application Architecture” jointly initiated by more than 10 units including Ali Cloud Computing Co., Ltd., China Academy of Information and Communications Technology was released at the “Cloud Primary Industry Conference”. This architecture is based on the Open Application Model (OAM), an Open source project jointly initiated by Alibaba Cloud and Microsoft Cloud. It aims to provide a unified Application description specification and Open Application capability management framework for cloud Application managers. It is expected to promote simple, efficient and controllable cloud native application management and delivery in more industries and enterprises on a large scale.

Source | alibaba cloud native public on May 26, 2021, cloud computing by ali co., LTD., China academy of information communication and so on more than 10 units jointly launched the open cloud computing application architecture standard files released at the scene of the “cloud native industry conference”. This architecture is based on the Open Application Model (OAM), an Open source project jointly initiated by Alibaba Cloud and Microsoft Cloud. It aims to provide a unified Application description specification and Open Application capability management framework for cloud Application managers. It is expected to promote simple, efficient and controllable cloud native application management and delivery in more industries and enterprises on a large scale.

Today, cloud native has become an important driving force for enterprises to quickly respond to market demand and help business sustainable development. With the deepening of the global digital process, the construction of efficient, agile and automated technical support platform has become a rigid demand for enterprises to shape their core competitiveness. In this context, the trend of transformation from traditional application research and development mode to cloud native applications has gradually become a consensus, enabling enterprises to maximize the use of cloud native dividends, obtain lower research and development costs, and improve the efficiency of business innovation. Cloud native has become the shortest path of enterprise digital innovation.

While progress has been made in some key areas, the search for cloud-native scale applications is still in its early stages for most industries and enterprises. This is because, in essence, cloud native is a set of guiding principles for software and infrastructure architecture design, which cannot be referred to by a specific technology and has a high threshold. Therefore, concerns about the security, reliability, performance, continuity and other aspects of cloud native technology in large-scale application are prevalent in enterprises. CNCF released the “2020 China Cloud Native Survey Report” shows that more and more units are looking for the best solution to use cloud native technology, 42% of the users based on hybrid cloud to achieve cloud native landing, predicted that the proportion will continue to grow in the future.

The Open Application Architecture for Cloud Computing standard points out that, unlike traditional application development, applications based on cloud computing are no longer simple executable files, which need to deal with a large number of external dependencies before they can be used by end users. In the traditional mode, developers of cloud computing applications need to spend a lot of energy to design the overall deployment architecture of the application and to define the various cloud services that cloud computing applications need to rely on. In this process, there will also be some problems, such as the allocation of cloud resources is not timely, the configuration of cloud services is not reasonable, and the application needs to switch between various cloud products during the on-line process. There are two main reasons for the above problem. One is that the application cannot define the relationship between the application and the cloud resources in a unified and self-describing way. Second, there is no uniform, standard, and efficient way to deliver cloud infrastructure to applications.

In the future of cloud native technology, large-scale popularization is inevitable. Only by being application-centric can cloud native technology systems “deliver” infrastructure capabilities to applications in a more efficient manner. The important value of open application architecture is that it can provide a set of unified application description specifications for cloud application managers, realize the decoupling between cloud computing applications and the underlying platform, and solve the problem of difficult application deployment and migration. At the same time, the separation of concerns between developers, operations and platform operators allows different roles to focus on domain knowledge and capabilities, making application delivery more efficient, reliable and automated.

Figure: Open Application Model (OAM)

The essence of the Cloud Open Application Architecture is a highly extensible application definition and capability management model that provides users with a unified, standardized application programming interface (API) and framework, regardless of any particular container runtime, orchestration software, cloud provider, or hardware configuration. All platforms that adhere to this interface and framework can provide services for applications that conform to the development application architecture, providing users with a completely consistent application management experience. The architecture has the following characteristics:

  • Separation of concerns between development and operations: developers focus on business logic, and operations personnel focus on operations capabilities, allowing different roles to focus more on domain knowledge and capabilities.
  • Platform agnostic and highly scalable: Application definition is decoupled from platform implementation, and application description supports cross-platform implementation and extensibility.
  • Modular application deployment and operation characteristics: application deployment and operation capabilities can be described as high-level abstract modules, development and operation can be freely combined and support modular implementation.

Figure: Complete workflow based on Kubevela

In November 2020, the CNCF Application Delivery Field Group and the OAM community jointly announced that the Kubevela project, OAM’s standard implementation on Kubernetes, was officially open source. In April 2021, Kubevela V1.0 was released, marking the maximum validation of the OAM model in the cloud native application delivery scenario. Kubevela V1.0 represents not only a stable API, but also a mature usage paradigm that demonstrates that OAM-based open application architectures are an effective way to unlock the full potential of cloud native technologies and enable end users and software deliverers to take full advantage of cloud native technologies from day one.

Li Xiaoping, head of original product research and development of Ali Yunyun

As the representative of the core initiator, Li Xiaoping, the person in charge of product R&D of Ali Yunyun, delivered a speech on the topic of “Cloud native, the shortest path of enterprise digital innovation” at the conference, and said after the meeting: “Openness, standards and agility are the keys to the rapid development of cloud native technology. Cloud native is helping enterprises to get through the “last kilometer” of digital landing. Under such a critical node, the common definition and construction of the whole industry is needed. As a pioneer and practitioner in the field of cloud primitives, Alibaba always adheres to giving back to the society based on its own best practices accumulated over the years, including building universal cloud primitives products and services for enterprises and building cloud primitives with developers. In 2019, we jointly open source the Open Application Model (OAM) with Microsoft Cloud, and in 2020, based on the practical experience of Alibaba, Microsoft, Oracle and other well-known domestic and foreign companies in OAM, together with the community to create a complete implementation of Kubevela OAM on Kubernetes. Today, we are pleased to work with ICT to release the Open Application Architecture for Cloud Computing standard based on this project. Together with the industry, we will promote the evolution of cloud native, and help more enterprises and developers collaborate more effectively to embrace the new opportunities of the digital economy.”

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