Brief introduction:The author is from the R&D center of China Life Insurance Co., Ltd., and has relatively senior experience in enterprise digital transformation and cloud native practice. The following contents are summarized from the author’s feelings after reading the newly published “Ali Yunyun Native Architecture Practice”.

The author is | Xiao Sheng

The author is from the R&D center of China Life Insurance Co., Ltd., and has relatively senior experience in enterprise digital transformation and cloud native practice. The following contents are summarized from the author’s feelings after reading the newly published “Ali Yunyun Native Architecture Practice”.

Beginner’s mind

As IT practitioners in the financial industry, participating in the digital transformation process of traditional enterprises, we have been thinking about two questions: First, what is digitization and why should we digitize? Second, how to promote digital transformation, and how to plan and adjust the path, tools, organization and other aspects?

We often confuse the concept of informationization and digitalization, thinking that some business systems or put into a number of digital market, IT completed the IT construction target. But in reality, it may just change the way some information and data flow to the leadership, not the way the business works. The original need for manual operation still needs manual operation, the process to go still have to go (even the newly built system has some new processes), the efficiency does not change significantly; Whether the performance of the enterprise has been improved, if IT has been improved, IT is positively related to the IT construction, whether the cost performance is cost-effective, and so on. These are often lack of effective evaluation methods, and IT is easy to fall into the pit of pseudo digitalization.

“Any architecture must serve the enterprise strategy, and cloud native architecture is no exception!

“Companies must be clear about the relationship between their business strategy and their cloud IT strategy, whether the cloud IT strategy is just a necessary technical support to the business strategy or whether the cloud IT strategy is itself part of the business strategy.”

I strongly agree with the view mentioned in the book “Ali Yunyun Native Architecture Practice” that technology ultimately serves the value of the enterprise. Therefore, we believe that digitization is based on the ability of information to improve the business model, to aggregate all aspects and data of the whole value chain, and to focus on guiding business operations and decision-making; The final form of expression is the intelligent form of “all-factor data + automation + real-time”.

“The main demands of technology architecture for digital business are to ensure business continuity, fast launch of business, business cost control, and technology-enabled business innovation.”

“Small front end, big middle end/big back end” is the way of choice in order to enable business development teams to deliver high quality faster and more steadily to meet increasingly fast business needs. Because by making the front end lighter, the business development team can be more focused on the business and delivery can be more agile; When the middle and back end are heavier, high quality design and specifications are deposited, and the best practices are more reusable.

The core idea can be summed up in one word – “sink”.

When we put the public technical ability and method of sinking into the development framework, sinking to the base platform, sinking to the automation process, based on the ability to build applications can be very agile, and was born in a high quality the architecture of the system (so-called win on the starting line), the cloud native architecture is the ability to best practice methodology of subsidence ground.

Set out

“Cloud native architecture is a collection of architectural principles and design patterns based on cloud native technologies, designed to help enterprises and developers take full advantage of the platform capabilities and flexible resource capabilities provided by cloud platforms.

Cloud native includes cloud native technology, cloud native products, cloud native architecture and the development philosophy of building modern applications.”

Modern applications and cloud-native applications are built or implemented based on cloud-native architecture and development concepts, such as 7 architectural principles such as service-oriented principle and elastic principle, 10 architectural patterns such as computing storage separation mode and event-driven mode, as well as R&D concepts such as DevOps and GitOps.

Cloud native architecture and the concept of cloud native development are built or realized based on cloud native technology and products, including container technology, DevOps technology, micro Service, Service Mesh, Serverless, cloud native big data, cloud native AI, cloud native security and more than ten technologies and products. Among them, the concept of Open Application Model (OAM) is refreshing. It extends the standardized declaration of resources in PaaS to the standardized declaration of applications and configurations, “making simple applications simpler and complex applications easier to manage”.

Finally, cloud native products and cloud-native technologies in turn require cloud infrastructure based on public, private, or hybrid clouds. The composition of the cloud native is such a progressive relationship.

The road

“The upgrade of cloud native architecture is a thorough upgrade of the entire IT architecture of the enterprise. Each organization must adapt to its own situation when upgrading cloud native architecture, in which the organizational capability and technology stack are equally important.” On the road of digital transformation, the historical burden of traditional enterprises is quite large. To transform the architecture without stopping the business is like changing the engine, the operation process and even the crew of an aircraft in flight.

The author comes from China Life Insurance Co., Ltd., and has personally experienced a case of servitization technology upgrading. It is the unavoidable situation that the cloud native technology gives us a new answer.

At the initial stage of IT construction, chimney-type systems were numerous; With the increasing number of systems and the increasing demand for interaction between systems, the demand for servitization has been put on the agenda. More than a decade ago, the concept of SOA represented by bus architecture was popular, and all systems were connected with the service bus one after another. However, with the rise of mobile Internet, the service pressure is doubled year by year, and the bottleneck of bus architecture gradually appears. A jitter of the bus is easy to cause the blocking of all kinds of services, and the introduction of micro-service architecture aggravates this phenomenon.

At this time, the service registration discovery mode has already matured. The new systems are implemented by Spring Cloud and similar products, but the existing systems cannot be reformed in such an intrusive way, with high costs and high risks. Moreover, with the emergence of multiple programming languages, it is difficult to implement the same service governance across different languages. We struggled to maintain the service bus and make it as robust as possible on an architectural level. It wasn’t until a few years ago that we heard about the concept of a service grid, a non-intrusive Sidecar model to be precise, that we realized we had the answer. At present, we are in the process of comprehensive grid.

The Sidecar model itself is not new, but why has it become so popular in recent years? In the final analysis, it is the maturity of container technology, DevOps and other cloud native technologies that solve the problem of massive Sidecar operation and maintenance cost and efficiency. Therefore, the cloud native technology itself is also pay attention to the timing, complementary, and we as the application of the trend, “break the original steady state and build a new steady state”.

“In addition, the design of the cloud native architecture also needs to consider organizational changes. Mentioned a very important cloud native architectural principles of service is (including micro, small services, etc.), the field is a typical principles of conway’s law, for enterprise’s technical architecture and communication architecture must be consistent, otherwise it will lead to deformity of architecture of service, and even lead to organizational communication costs and increased “evasive” phenomenon.” People are the first element of any scheme. Conway’s Law is often mentioned when giving a technical lecture to a new colleague or giving an architecture presentation. The structure of a product is a microcosm of the structure of an organization. The implementation of some technical framework or management process, organizational structure is unavoidable; Without making major adjustments to the organizational structure, the solution we choose is not necessarily the most ideal, but the most appropriate under the current organizational structure.

As for ourselves, we need to remind ourselves to step out of the circle defined by the organizational structure and look at problems and solutions from a higher level of the whole process, the whole scenario.

His own way

“However, it is important to note that cloud computing service companies, including AWS, Aliyun, Microsoft and others, have not fully built their cloud service software architecture in accordance with these software architecture standards. This is no accident, because these companies are well aware that a cloud-based software architecture should be one that works for a decentralized organization rather than a traditional software architecture that works for a centralized organization. Therefore, traditional software architecture standards need to be further customized and tailored for cloud native architectures to make better use of their value. Software architecture design patterns will have the same interest concerns as traditional software architecture design approaches, but will be different in terms of the specific design approach.”

Of course, just because you have a map doesn’t mean you won’t get lost. From the enterprise to the team, each organization has its own pain points and demands, as well as its own culture and strengths. After choosing the right direction, the specific landing also has to explore the path in line with the characteristics of the enterprise itself, which requires continuous practice and trial and error. Alibaba’s ACNA architecture design method and its maturity model evaluation system can be used as a reference for the evolution degree and effect of technology architecture in digital transformation.

“The technology strategy of the enterprise is gradually shifting to the direction of business architecture and its governance”. As DevOps becomes more prevalent, the application delivery process will become more standardized. The proliferation of cloud service types will lead to new development models and frameworks.” Finally, I would like to emphasize returning to the original aspiration. Technology serves the value of the enterprise, comprehensively evaluates the return on investment, and finally achieves the effect of helping the enterprise to reduce cost and increase efficiency, reduce risks, and improve experience.


Nowadays, it has become an inevitable trend for enterprises to go to the cloud. As a new technology concept born in the cloud computing era, cloud native enables enterprises to realize the transformation from “going to the cloud” to “going to the cloud” by cloud method. “Ali cloud cloud native architecture practice” by Ali cloud official production, Ali cloud intelligence president Zhang Jianfeng, Alibaba chief technology officer Cheng Li recommended; From design principles, patterns/anti-patterns, technical options, design methods, industry cases and other dimensions, the methodology and practical experience of Ali Yunyun’s original architecture are comprehensively summarized.

Copyright Notice:The content of this article is contributed by Aliyun real-name registered users, and the copyright belongs to the original author. Aliyun developer community does not own the copyright and does not bear the corresponding legal liability. For specific rules, please refer to User Service Agreement of Alibaba Cloud Developer Community and Guidance on Intellectual Property Protection of Alibaba Cloud Developer Community. If you find any suspected plagiarism in the community, fill in the infringement complaint form to report, once verified, the community will immediately delete the suspected infringing content.