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CNCF: Approach to Cloud Native

What is cloud-native and what are cloud-native applications?

Cloud-native is an approach to building and running applications that exploits the advantages of the cloud computing delivery model. When companies build and operate applications using a cloud-native architecture, they bring new ideas to market faster and respond sooner to customer demands.

While public cloud has affected the thinking about infrastructure investment in virtually every industry, cloud-like delivery isn’t exclusive to public environments. Cloud-native development is appropriate for both public and private clouds; it’s about how applications are created and deployed, not where.

More important is the ability to offer on-demand access to computing power along with modern data and application services for developers. Cloud-native development incorporates the concepts of DevOps, continuous delivery, microservices, and containers.

What is CNCF ?

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) is a Linux Foundation project that was founded in 2015 to help advance container technology and align the tech industry around its evolution.

It was announced alongside Kubernetes 1.0, an open source container cluster manager, which was contributed to the Linux Foundation by Google as a seed technology. Founding members include Google, CoreOS, Mesosphere, Red Hat, Twitter, Huawei, Intel, Cisco, IBM, Docker, Univa, and VMware. Today, CNCF is supported by over 450 members. In order to establish qualified representatives of the technologies governed by the CNCF, a program was announced at the inaugural CloudNativeDay in Toronto in August, 2016.

The approach…

CNCF created a trail map to better understand the concept of Cloud native approach. In this article, we will be discussed based on this landscape. The newer version is available at https://landscape.cncf.io/

The Cloud Native Trail Map is CNCF’s recommended path through the cloud-native landscape. This doesn’t define a specific path with which we can approach digital transformation rather there are many possible paths you can follow to align with this concept based on your business scenario. This is just a trail to simplify the journey to cloud-native.

Lets start discussing the trail map

1.CONTAINERIZATION

You can’t do cloud-native without containerizing your application. It doesn’t matter what size the application is any type of application will do. A container is a standard unit of software that packages up the code and all its dependencies so the application runs quickly and reliably from one computing environment to another. Docker is the most preferred platform for containerization. A Docker container image is a lightweight, standalone, executable package of software that includes everything needed to run an application.

2.CI/CD

Setup Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) so that changes to your source code automatically result in a new container being built, tested, and deployed to staging and eventually, perhaps, to production. Next thing we need to setup is automated rollouts, rollbacks as well as testing. There are a lot of platforms for CI/CD: Jenkins, VSTS, Azure DevOps, TeamCity, JFRog, Spinnaker, etc.

3. ORCHESTRATION

In system administration, orchestration is the automated configuration, coordination, and management of computer systems and software. A number of tools exist for automation of server configuration and management, including Ansible, Puppet, Salt, Terraform, and AWS CloudFormation.Container orchestration is all about managing the lifecycles of containers, especially in large, dynamic environments. Software teams use container orchestration to control and automate many tasks. Kubernetes is the market-leading orchestration solution. There are other orchestrators like Docker swarm, Mesos, etc.. Helm Charts help you define, install, and upgrade even the most complex Kubernetes application.

4. OBSERVABILITY & ANALYSIS

Kubernetes provides no native storage solution for log data, but you can integrate many existing logging solutions into your Kubernetes cluster. Kubernetes provides detailed information about an application’s resource usage at each of these levels. This information allows you to evaluate your application’s performance and where bottlenecks can be removed to improve overall performance.

Pick solutions for monitoring, logging, and tracing. Consider CNCF projects Prometheus for monitoring, Fluentd for logging and Jaeger for TracingFor tracing, look for an OpenTracing-compatible implementation like Jaeger.

5. SERVICE MESH

As its name says it’s all about connecting services, the discovery of services, health checking, routing and it is used to monitoring ingress from the internet. A service mesh also often has more complex operational requirements, like A/B testing, canary rollouts, rate limiting, access control, and end-to-end authentication.

Istio provides behavioral insights and operational control over the service mesh as a whole, offering a complete solution to satisfy the diverse requirements of microservice applications. CoreDNS is a fast and flexible tool that is useful for service discovery. Envoy and Linkerd each enable service mesh architectures.

6. NETWORKING AND POLICY

It is really important to enable more flexible networking layers. To enable more flexible networking, use a CNI compliant network project like Calico, Flannel, or Weave Net. Open Policy Agent (OPA) is a general purpose policy engine with uses ranging from authorization and admission control to data filtering

7. DISTRIBUTED DATABASE

A distributed database is a database in which not all storage devices are attached to a common processor. It may be stored in multiple computers, located in the same physical location; or may be dispersed over a network of interconnected computers.

When you need more resiliency and scalability than you can get from a single database, Vitess is a good option for running MySQL at scale through sharding. Rook is a storage orchestrator that integrates a diverse set of storage solutions into Kubernetes. Serving as the “brain” of Kubernetes, etcd provides a reliable way to store data across a cluster of machine

8. MESSAGING

When you need higher performance than JSON-REST, consider using gRPC or NATS. gRPC is a universal RPC framework. NATS is a multi-modal messaging system that includes request/reply, pub/sub and load balanced queues. It is also applicable and take care of much newer and use cases like IoT.

9. CONTAINER REGISTRY & RUNTIMES

Container Registry is a single place for your team to manage Docker images, perform vulnerability analysis, and decide who can access what with fine-grained access control. There are many container registries available in market docker hub, Azure Container registry, Harbor, Nexus registry, Amazon Elastic Container Registry and way more…

Container runtime containerd is available as a daemon for Linux and Windows. It manages the complete container lifecycle of its host system, from image transfer and storage to container execution and supervision to low-level storage to network attachments and beyond.

10. SOFTWARE DISTRIBUTION

If you need to do secure software distribution, evaluate Notary, implementation of The Update Framework (TUF).

TUF provide a framework (a set of libraries, file formats, and utilities) that can be used to secure new and existing software update systems. The framework should enable applications to be secure from all known attacks on the software update process. It is not concerned with exposing information about what software is being updated (and thus what software the client may be running) or the contents of updates.

CONCLUSION

Cloud-native architecture fully takes advantage of the distributed, scalable, flexible nature of the public cloud to maximise your focus on writing code, creating business value and keeping customers happy. Going cloud-native means abstracting away many layers of infrastructure — networks, servers, operating systems etc.The Cloud Native Computing Foundation builds sustainable ecosystems and fosters a community around a constellation of high quality projects that orchestrate containers as part of a microservices architecture. CNCF serves as the vendor-neutral home for many of the fastest-growing projects on GitHub, including Kubernetes, Prometheus and Envoy, fostering collaboration between the industry’s top developers, end users, and vendors.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE IN READING THE ARTICLE.

NEXT TIME I WILL COME UP WITH MORE EXCITING ARTICLES.

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Good Luck 😎 and happy cloud computing👨‍💻

Written By : ARNAB DAN

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