2020 Double 11 Highlights: Large Deployment of Cloud-Native Technology for Higher Efficiency and Lower Costs

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By Alibaba Developer

Tmall has broken two records during the 2020 Double 11 Global Shopping Festival for consumption in GMV (US$74.1 billion) and peak orders per second (583,000). Alibaba Cloud has once again handled the world’s largest traffic peaks without any major issues. How did our technology support the entire event, providing a smooth experience for nearly one billion shoppers around the world?

Recently, Alibaba held the Technical Communication Meeting for Double 11. During the meeting, Ding Yu, Researcher of Alibaba Cloud and the Head of the Cloud-Native Application Platform of Alibaba Cloud, said, “This year, Alibaba Cloud has achieved major technical breakthroughs in the comprehensive cloud-native of the core system to implement major improvements in resource efficiency, R&D efficiency, and delivery efficiency. The resource cost of every 10,000 transactions has been reduced by 80% in four years. The R&D and O&M efficiency have been increased by more than 10% on average, and the delivery efficiency of scale applications has been improved by 100%. This means that Alibaba has successfully completed a comprehensive deployment of cloud-native technology during the 2020 Double 11 Global Shopping Festival.”

Ding Yu, Researcher of Alibaba Cloud and the Head of the Cloud-Native Application Platform of Alibaba Cloud

Compared with the comprehensive cloud migration in 2019, the comprehensive cloud-native in 2020 has revolutionarily reconstructed the “technology engine” for the Double 11 Global Shopping Festival. On the product side, there are dozens of cloud-native products, such as Alibaba Cloud Container Service for Kubernetes (ACK), ApsaraDB for PolarDB, ApsaraDB for Redis, RocketMQ, Enterprise Distributed Application Service (EDAS), Microservice Engine (MSE), and Application Real-Time Monitoring Service (ARMS).

By utilizing these products, Alibaba Cloud could fully support the Double 11 Global Shopping Festival. On the technical side, the four core technologies of cloud-native have made breakthroughs in the aspect of scale and innovation. They are demonstrating the way of transforming from technical capabilities to business values:

  1. Cloud-native technology enables Alibaba to support large container clusters and Mesh clusters. Built on the combination of the X-Dragon architecture and ACK containers, Alibaba could scale out one million containers within one hour, improve the rate of hybrid deployment by 50%, and lower the costs of every 10,000 transactions by 80% in four years.

Cloud-native technologies have not only been extensively used in Alibaba, but they have also provided services for the Double 11 Global Shopping Festival through Alibaba Cloud. During the festival, cloud-native supported many customers, such as China Post, STO Express, Perfect Diary, and Century Mart, to help them handle the traffic stably and efficiently. We can use the logistics industry as an example. STO Express moved its core system onto the cloud and used Alibaba Cloud Container Service to obtain a stable system for millions of parcels in transit with 30% less IT costs. The large shopping malls and supermarkets have also gained benefits from cloud-native. For example, based on the elastic scaling of Alibaba Cloud’s Function Computing (FC), the QPS of Century Mart was 230% higher than that of the 2019 Double 11 Global Shopping Festival during its peak hours, the R&D efficiency and delivery efficiency increased by more than 30%, and the elastic resources cost reduced by more than 40%, respectively.

After Alibaba announced the establishment of the Cloud-Native Technical Committee at the Apsara Conference in September, cloud-native was upgraded to a new strategy for Alibaba technologies. The comprehensive cloud-native of the core system for 2020’s Double 11 Global Shopping Festival was an important milestone for the Cloud-Native Technical Committee to promote the comprehensive cloud-native development of Alibaba’s economy. Cheng Li, Chief Technology Officer of Alibaba Group, said, “The most significant difference brought by cloud-native is that Alibaba has truly realized achievements on proprietary research, open source, and commercial use, which can be directly used by customers. Doing this will eliminate the process of precipitation and output on the cloud and reduce the threshold and costs for customers to obtain “the same technology engine for Double 11.” As a result, customers can quickly enter the era of digital-native.

Cheng Li, Chief Technology Officer of Alibaba Group

Cloud-native is the quickest way to access the benefits of cloud computing and will become a new base for all-round cloud migration. Ding Yu pointed out that cloud-native is the true revolution of cloud technology that re-upgrade cloud computing. It has promoted the evolution of Cloud Hosting to cloud-native. It means Alibaba Cloud has walked from an old and closed technology system to an open and standard cloud technology system. Along with supporting the Double 11 Global Shopping Festival, these technologies will become the infrastructure of the new digital construction to support the whole society through Alibaba Cloud.

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