Build service-centered applications

Discover, configure, and manage your microservices with Alibaba’s new project, Nacos

© Shutterstock /Artur Szczybylo  

Alibaba is back with yet another project. Nacos is a dynamic naming and configuration service that provides a service-centered modern application architecture with a microservices or cloud-native approach. Let’s take a look.

The Alibaba team never rests!

Today we take a look at a new Alibaba project named Nacos.

Nacos is a dynamic naming and configuration service and it provides a set of features that aim to help you to realize dynamic service discovery, service configuration, service metadata, and traffic management.

According to its GitHub repo, “service is a first-class citizen in Nacos!” So, as you can imagine, support for multiple types of services is central to this tool.

With no further ado, let’s have a look at Nacos’ main characteristics and functions.

What can you do with Nacos?

As mentioned earlier, service support is a central concept in Nacos and it supports almost any type of service including:

  • Kubernetes Service
  • gRPC & Dubbo RPC Service
  • Spring Cloud RESTful Service

To make it a bit more clear, the following figure represents Nacos’ basic architecture and concepts.

Nacos’ basic architecture and concepts. Source: Nacos documentation

But what exactly can you do with Nacos?

Among others, Nacos offers four key features.

  • Service discovery and service health check: Offers support for DNS-based as wells as RPC-based (Dubbo/gRPC) service discovery.
  • Dynamic configuration management: Enables you to manage the configuration of all applications and services in a centralized, externalized as well as dynamic manner across multiple environments.
  • Dynamic DNS service: By supporting weighted routing, this function makes it easier for you to implement mid-tier load balancing, flexible routing policies, traffic control, and simple DNS resolution services in your production environment within your data center.
  • Service governance and metadata management: You can manage all of your services and metadata as a microservices platform builder.

Head over to the official documentation or Nacos’ GitHub repo to find out more about these features.

SEE ALSO: Testing microservices: From development to production

Getting started

If you are eager to give Nacos a try, make sure you have what you need to get started:

  • 64bit OS: Linux/Unix/Mac/Windows supported, Linux/Unix/Mac recommended
  • 64bit JDK 1.8+
  • Maven 3.2.x+

Check out the ‘quick start‘ guide for all the relevant info.

Eirini-Eleni Papadopoulou
Eirini-Eleni Papadopoulou was the editor for Coming from an academic background in East Asian Studies, she decided that it was time to go back to her high-school hobby that was computer science and she dived into the development world. Other hobbies include esports and League of Legends, although she never managed to escape elo hell (yet), and she is a guest writer/analyst for competitive LoL at TGH.

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