12 Open Source Projects by Alibaba — Part 1

1. Dubbo — Major Upgrade of the Distributed RPC Framework

Dubbo is a high performance RPC framework in Java. It has been open source since as early as 2012 and has been in favor among Chinese open source enthusiasts and the industry for years. Though it has been maintained constantly, the daily maintenance cannot fulfill the demands of this enormous community. As Alibaba grows — while still making sure the service to the company and our customers is priority number one — we can allocate more resources to these open source projects that services the whole of society.

2. RocketMQ — The Distributed Message Middleware

The Apache Software Foundation announced on Sept 9 that the open-source project RocketMQ — donated by Alibaba Cloud to the Apache Incubator — has graduated from the Apache Incubator to become a Top-Level Project (TLP), signifying that Apache RocketMQ henceforth becomes the first non-Hadoop Apache TLP among all Internet middleware in China. This year, RocketMQ has won the 12th China Japan Korea OSS award and was on OSChina’s 2017 Top 20 most popular Chinese open source software list.

  • Low latency and high concurrency. More than 99.6% response latency within 1 millisecond.
  • Finance-oriented. High availability with tracking and auditing features.
  • Industry-sustainable. Trillion-level message capacity guaranteed.
  • Vendor-neutral. Support multiple messaging protocols like JMS and OpenMessaging.
  • Reliable performance. Accumulate messages without performance loss given sufficient disk space.

3. Fastjson — Database Connection Pool Druid and JSON Parsing Library

Druid is the only database connection pool used by Alibaba. it supports some of the most critical scenarios such as the ones faced on Single’s Day. Druid has a slogan: “monitoring the connection pool for the sake of monitoring.” After six years of open source development, Druid has been increasingly mature and is gaining reputation. It is becoming the key technology among many teams.

4. ApsaraCache for Redis

ApsaraCache is a fork of Redis (the cloud database). It is a branch that started to be maintained on the basis of Redis version 2.8 and backported some features found in 3.0 branches. This version mainly solves the problems of users in the cloud who are concerned about stability, performance, recovery and smooth upgrade experience.

  • The userbase and usage pattern of Redis in China has changed profoundly. Redis follows a minimalist philosophy of design and stability. In some scenarios, the stability and performance of Redis are subject to new challenges. In addition, many customers on the cloud using Redis have encountered a variety of problems. Based on these problems and challenges, ApsaraCache reconstructed and transformed Redis. In order to empower Redis users, and also for Redis development enthusiasts to better participate, we decided Open ApsaraCache.
  • Redis is BSD licensed, featuring a certain degree of freedom. Its latest version Redis 4.0 supports Redis Module which is AGPL licensed. ApsaraCache will support Redis Module later and open source the module code. In this sense, ApsaraCache going open source is also a manifestation of its respect and compliance with the open source protocol.
  • ApsaraCache has been waiting for the release of Redis 4.0. After the release, it will actively promote feature fusion of the two sides and strive to merge the features to the major version of the community.

5. Pouch and Dragonfly — The Rich Container Technology and File Distribution System

Pouch is an internal container tool developed by Alibaba. Currently there are hundreds of thousands of Pouch containers running in the data center, supporting internal online/offline tasks.

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