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On September 18, Zhang Xiantao, Alibaba Researcher and the Director of Intelligent Elastic Computing at Alibaba Cloud, shared the latest development of Alibaba Cloud’s elastic computing services at the Apsara Conference 2020.
According to Zhang Xiantao, Alibaba Cloud’s elastic computing services have covered all computing capabilities, industries, and computing locations, satisfying costumers’ requirements for cloud migration in all scenarios. “If Alibaba Cloud had done only one thing in the past decade, it must be the continuous improvements in products and technologies, which helps customers migrate businesses to the cloud in a simpler and more efficient manner and finally makes the business All-in-Cloud,” Zhang Xiantao said.
Comprehensive Coverage of Computing Capabilities Including General Computing, Heterogeneous Computing, and High Performance Computing
After ten years of development, Alibaba Cloud’s elastic computing services have expanded globally. It now provides cloud services to more than one million enterprise users in 22 regions and 63 zones around the world. In China, more than 80% of sci-tech innovation enterprises are using Alibaba Cloud’s elastic computing services.
As the technology evolves, X-Dragon architecture has become the infrastructure of Alibaba Cloud’s elastic computing services. X-Dragon architecture covers multiple computing scenarios, such as general computing, heterogeneous computing, and high performance computing. The X-Dragon architecture allows users to create various instances including Elastic Compute Service (ECS) instances, ECS bare metal instances, dedicated hosts, and elastic container instances (ECIs.)
To ensure that customers’ businesses can run on the Alibaba Cloud platform smoothly, the Alibaba Cloud ECS team has also optimized the capabilities of these services in typical vertical application scenarios:
- In computing-intensive scenarios, the Alibaba Cloud ECS team has worked with Intel to customize and optimize the CPU and built hfg7 instances with high clock speeds based on Intel’s third-generation Xeon Scalable processor. As a result, the maximum frequency is as high as 3.8 GHz, the overall computing power increased by 160%, and the memory frequency is as high as 3,200 MHz.
- In cache and other memory-intensive scenarios, the Alibaba Cloud ECS team released re6, the memory-optimized instances, and re6p, the non-volatile memory-optimized instances. The re6p instances use Intel’s latest Optane persistent memory, which improves performance and reduces costs. In Redis business scenarios, the re6p instances perform well, with the performance improved by 20% and the overall cost reduced by 30%.
- In terms of network enhancement, the Alibaba Cloud ECS team has launched the seventh generation network enhanced g7ne instances, with an internal network bandwidth of 64 Gb, network concurrent connections of 16 million, and the network forwarding capacity of 24 million PPS.
- In high-performance data processing scenarios, the Alibaba Cloud ECS team launched i3 instances with local SSDs and D2S and D2C instances with local HDDs, which can be flexibly matched in data processing scenarios to meet the demands of customers for different business architecture solutions.
In addition to covering all computing capabilities, Alibaba Cloud provides more flexible product sales forms and excellent service tools. The Alibaba Cloud ECS team has developed a wide range of solutions for industries, such as new retail, interactive entertainment, and finance, and has provided end-to-end services for customers.
- Targeting the new retail industry, the Alibaba Cloud ECS team has launched a preemptible low-cost optimization solution for the new retail industry based on preemptible instances. This solution helps users take full use of the advantages of preemptible instances in prices to cope with the traffic during peak hours, which can save up to 90% of the cost compared to pay-as-you-go instances.
- For the entertainment industry, the Alibaba Cloud ECS team has launched operation orchestration solutions for industries, such as interactive entertainment, by using Operation Orchestration Service (OOS), which can greatly improve the operation efficiency of applications in the interactive entertainment industries.
- For banks, securities companies, insurance companies, and other financial institutions, the Alibaba Cloud ECS team has launched security-enhanced c6t instances, which ensures end-to-end security from physical servers to ECS instances, and provides a complete set of monitoring and risk response solutions. These features help financial institutions take advantage of advanced security features to improve business security and compliance.
The goal of the Alibaba Cloud ECS team is to continuously go deeper into the industry, deeply understand the needs of users, and constantly launch industry-specific products and solutions to help users migrate their business to the cloud more efficiently.
Computing Power Available on the Cloud, Edge, and Device to Support Multiple Deployment Modes
Migration to the cloud has become a trend in various industries. In particular, with the rapid development of big data, artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), and 5G technologies, the demand for edge computing is also increasing. Some industries require computing power to be closer to the end users, some require computing power to be closer to the data, and some require computing power to be in specific locations. Users’ demand for computing has extended from “full coverage of scenarios” to “full coverage of locations.” To this end, the Alibaba Cloud ECS team has released full-scenario coverage of computing locations on the cloud, edge, and device, and has also launched a series of new product deployment and operation modes to respond to new demands from customers and partners on computing locations and operation models. The team has extended public cloud services to a broader space and prepared for edge computing and the 5G era with customers.
To satisfy the changing requirements for computing locations, the Alibaba Cloud ECS team has launched a variety of new deployment modes, including Edge Zone, Hosting Zone, Partner Zone, and Cloud Station. These new deployment modes have three common features:
- They all belong to Alibaba Cloud’s public cloud.
- They all adopt the same technology stack as Alibaba Cloud’s public cloud does. They are all based on Alibaba Cloud’s Apsara system.
- They all provide the same experience as Alibaba Cloud’s public cloud does and have the same product capabilities, APIs, and management tool system as Alibaba Cloud’s public cloud.
The Alibaba Cloud ECS team always thinks from the perspective of costumers. It takes the advantage of the technical benefits of cloud computing, continues to innovate and pursue ultimate performance to better meet user requirements and computing, and helps enterprises focus more on their business innovation to deliver lower cost and higher efficiency.