Get to know Zhilong Wang

Kubestrounaut in Orbit - Zhilong Wang

Zhilong Wang is one of the first Kubestronauts in China. As a cloud-native technology expert, he has over 10 years of frontline experience in internet development and architecture, specializing in Service Mesh, Serverless, and cloud platforms. He is proficient in microservices architecture and performance optimization. He also contributes to the development of several open-source projects listed at, including Kubernetes, Istio, Envoy, Mosn, and Layotto.

When did you start using Kubernetes, and what was your first project?

I started using Kubernetes in 2016. My first project involved migrating traditional monolithic applications to a microservices architecture and deploying them from Mesos and Marathon to Kubernetes. This significantly improved parallel development efficiency, user experience, and automated management capabilities while enhancing the flexibility and scalability of the applications.

What are the main CNCF projects you currently work on or use? Which projects have you found most valuable in your career?

The CNCF projects I am currently working on and using include Kubernetes, Istio, Envoy, Mosn, Dapr, Layotto, and Containerd. Throughout my career, my favorite project is Kubernetes because it has fundamentally changed how we manage and deploy applications, acting as the “operating system” of the cloud era.

In addition to Kubernetes, I frequently use the Service Mesh control plane Istio, Service Mesh data plane Envoy and Mosn, and distributed runtime framework Dapr and Layotto. The combination of Service Mesh and distributed runtime helps provide flexible communication and flow control in multilingual, multi-protocol distributed systems and simplifies the integration of third-party components. This has proven to be very useful in business applications.

I must also mention the Containerd project. It is an industrial-grade container runtime that offers a more open and stable container runtime infrastructure. Particularly, containerd-shim-v2 allows Containerd to achieve better modular design, providing higher reliability and flexibility. It also makes it easier to integrate and support different custom container runtimes, leading to innovations such as secure containers, accelerated containers, and specific serverless containers, thus enabling Kubernetes to support a wider variety of scenarios.

What motivated you to obtain all the Kubernetes certifications?

This is an interesting story. The first time I obtained the CKA certification was in 2018 when I was working at Tencent. My mentor gave me a ticket to LinuxCon + ContainerCon + CloudOpen China that year, and at the CNCF booth, I got a free certification exam opportunity. I took the certification exam as a learning experience and later shared my certification journey to Tencent’s internal network. Additionally, my CKA certification also helped Tencent Cloud to apply for the KCSP.

The certification and learning process made me realize the importance of combining theory with practice. Some concepts are not frequently used and hard to understand, so studying them systematically helps me grasp the knowledge better. Thus, I pursued the CKAD certification to improve my skills in designing, building, and deploying cloud-native applications. Later, I pursued with the CKS certification to prove my skill in ensuring the security of containerized applications and the Kubernetes platform during development, deployment, and operation. Certifications really help me to strengthen my knowledge and skills, avoiding pitfalls in work and validating my proficiency.

Finally, the KCNA certification provides a comprehensive knowledge of Kubernetes and cloud-native concepts, equipping individuals with the ability to analyze and solve problems effectively. The KCSA certification ensures that the holder has the capability to baseline secure configuration of Kubernetes clusters and meet compliance requirements. These certifications are essential supplements to the Kubernetes technology stack and enterprise-level secure production environments. To ensure a systematic and comprehensive understanding, I pursued and completed these two certifications as well.

How have these certifications helped your career?

These certifications have significantly boosted my career to the next level. They have not only enhanced my professional skills but also broadened my perspective and confidence. When facing challenges and problems at work, I can tackle them innovatively and effectively.

For example, in my previous work at Alibaba, I leveraged my cloud-native expertise to design a decentralized gateway solution based on Service Mesh to address issues like the performance, resource utilization, scalability, and stability of the central gateway for Amap. Moreover, combining Alibaba Group’s cloud-native technology ecosystem and R&D department, I proposed the “Unified Control Plane, Diverse Data Planes” Service Mesh architecture and collaborated with Alibaba Cloud and Ant Group to implement a data plane solution using Mosn on Envoy, balancing development efficiency and runtime performance.

Similarly, at my current role in, I faced numerous challenges related to Kubernetes multi-cluster management and high availability in compute-intensive and data-intensive applications such as search, recommendation, and advertising, while using Service Mesh and Serverless. Thanks to the comprehensive cloud-native knowledge from certifications, I designed and implemented multi-mode data planes (sidecar mode, in-process mode within business containers, node mode) and a multi-primary control plane Service Mesh architecture. For Serverless, I developed a solution consisting of high-availability Kubernetes master clusters outside business clusters and lightweight nodes similar to edge computing (Docker (Containerd) in Docker and Kubernetes Node in Container).

What other books/websites/courses would you recommend for those wanting to learn more about Kubernetes?




What do you do in your spare time (hobbies/interests)?

I enjoy reading technical books, participating in open-source community activities, and exploring and practicing new technologies. Additionally, I love traveling and photography, and sharing interesting photos and videos on my social networks. Sometimes, I also challenge myself with extreme sports like skiing, surfing, and rock climbing to stay physically fit.

Kubernetes is now 10 years old. What are your expectations for Kubernetes in the next 10 years?

I hope Kubernetes will achieve more breakthroughs in automation and usability, making it more user-friendly for a broader user base and driving the adoption of cloud-native technologies across various industries and fields. Additionally, I look forward to its application and development in areas like serverless, edge computing, and IoT. Specifically, serverless—considered the third major cloud-native innovation after Kubernetes and Service Mesh—further refines and standardizes the scalability, flexibility, and elasticity of microservices and distributed systems. However, many aspects of serverless, such as standardization and performance, still need improvement. Therefore, I eagerly anticipate Kubernetes enhancing its support for serverless and witnessing significant breakthroughs in this area.

What would you like to tell people just starting their Kubernetes certification journey? Any tips or tricks?

Theoretical knowledge from books is ultimately shallow; you must practice it to understand it thoroughly. Therefore, I recommend beginners engage in hands-on practice, combining theory with real projects.

Utilize community resources, participate in technical exchanges and discussions, and contribute to open-source projects. Reviewing knowledge from a source code perspective can deepen your understanding.

“Pursue excellence, and success will follow.” Certification is the result; Systematic learning is the process. This learning process is far more important than the result for us to grow. 

Nowadays, the cloud-native ecosystem extends beyond Kubernetes. Do you plan to obtain other CNCF cloud-native certifications?

Yes, I plan to take more CNCF certifications, such as PCA and ICA to further enhance my capabilities in cloud-native monitoring and Service Mesh. This will help me better utilize and leverage Kubernetes and cloud-native technologies. I hope to see more certifications from CNCF such as for serverless. If needed, I am willing to participate in the course design and teaching these courses to help the community members who need this knowledge and experience.

How do you participate in and use cloud-native and Kubernetes technologies?

Other than my work, I actively contribute to open-source projects. I’m currently involved in the development of Kubernetes, Istio, Envoy, Mosn, Layotto, and other projects. I am a Kubernetes Member, Layotto Wasm Maintainer, and a contributor to Mosn and Envoy (see GitHub page for more details).

Additionally, I participate in industry conferences to speak and share my experience. Recently, I delivered a session with a deep dive into Service Mesh at the Global Architecture Summit and shared innovative cloud-native serverless topics at the Global Software Development Conference.

In my work, I manage multiple Kubernetes clusters hosted on both private and public clouds, innovatively developing and using Service Mesh and Serverless technologies. I also actively promote these technologies and encourage teams to adopt cloud-native development and operations practices.

Is there anything else you would like to share here?

I want to emphasize that cloud-native technology is not just a tool; it represents a new way of thinking. The cloud-native field is rapidly evolving, so it is essential to maintain continuous learning and an open mindset. I encourage everyone to actively participate in community activities and open-source projects, engage with other practitioners, and stay updated on the latest industry trends and best practices.

As a CNCF Kubestronaut, I will continue to be a role model by contributing to open-source projects and sharing my knowledge. I will also further deepen my study and application of cloud-native technologies. I hope more people will join us and continue to drive the development of technology collectively.

I hope all of my sharing above will be helpful and thank you to CNCF for offering me this opportunity to share! If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact me at Let’s learn and better ourselves together.