Alibaba Cloud Function Compute Enters the Forrester Leader Quadrant for the First Time
On March 25, 2021, Forrester, a global research and thought leadership firm, released The Forrester New WaveTM: Function-As-A-Service Platforms, Q1 2021. In this report, Forrester evaluated and identified key providers for function-as-a-service (FaaS) platforms. Alibaba Cloud was named a Leader, placing it among international cloud providers including Amazon and Microsoft. Through its Function Compute product, Alibaba Cloud stood out with its best-in-class product capabilities and received full scores in eight criteria. This also marks the first time a Chinese cloud vendor entered the FaaS Leader category.
As noted in Forrester’s report, in 2021, Alibaba Cloud Function Compute offers an improved container ecosystem, open-source capabilities, and vendor-independence features. It supports popular Web frameworks, provides content-oriented workloads, achieves 1-millisecond billing granularity, and invests in runtime. Function Compute has made several breakthroughs and became the leader of the global FaaS platforms.
The Rise of Serverless Computing in China
Serverless has shown great potential for the cloud computing trajectory over the next decade. Forrester believes the rise of Serverless computing will make FaaS a new solution that supports cloud computing after IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS. Forrester expects mainstream enterprises to migrate a large number of core applications from the original host architectures to Serverless architectures in 2021.
Although Serverless was first proposed by AWS, Chinese cloud computing enterprises quickly became frontrunners during the development of Serverless. Alibaba Cloud was one of the first cloud vendor in China to provide Serverless computing services. In 2017, Alibaba Cloud released Function Compute, the first FaaS product in China with millisecond-level elastic scalability. After the release of Function Compute, Alibaba Cloud improved the features continuously and offered a prepaid model for the first time in the industry. The new payment model reduced the resource price by 70% and the total cost during stable workloads.
Alibaba Cloud’s Flagship FaaS Product: Function Compute
Alibaba Cloud Function Compute has integrated 30 cloud services that support reserved instances and multiple-concurrency single instances. Function Compute also provides features, such as container images, performance instances, tracing analysis, and asynchronous configuration. It offers the most complete Serverless product matrix among similar products from all cloud vendors and has passed the trusted cloud FaaS certification with full marks. Alibaba Cloud Function Compute can help developers build stable auto-scaling online applications and mini programs quickly.
Applying Serverless Technology to the Alibaba Ecosystem
Alibaba has applied Serverless technology to Taobao, Alipay, and DingTalk. Alibaba Cloud Serverless products have also helped tens of thousands of enterprise customers successfully implement Serverless in various fields, such as for frontend full-stack, mini programs, new retail, games, and online education.
For example, Century Mart migrated its business to Function Compute 2.0 in an all-around way and achieved a 230% higher business peak compared to the previous year. The R&D and delivery efficiencies increased by more than 30%, and the elastic resource costs were reduced by more than 40%. Alibaba Cloud Function Compute and its multi-concurrency single instance and optimized reserved instance features helped Top War improve resource utilization and reduce IT investment by 40%.
In September 2020, Alibaba established the Cloud-Native Technology Committee to fully-embrace cloud-native. Alibaba aims to build applications and services more suitable for the cloud architecture using technologies, such as container, Serverless, and service mesh. During the 2020 Double 11 Global Shopping Festival, the cloud-native transformation was comprehensively implemented in Alibaba’s core e-commerce system. Upgrading the underlying technologies brought significant performance improvements. The IT cost for every 10,000 peak transaction decreased by 80%, compared to four years ago. The efficiency of large-scale application delivery doubled, making it one of the largest cloud-native practice in the world.
Based on over ten years of technical practices, Alibaba Cloud has developed one of the most comprehensive cloud-native product family and open-source ecosystem in China. Alibaba Cloud provides more than 100 innovative products, such as cloud-native bare metal instances, cloud-native databases, container services, and microservices. Alibaba Cloud is a leading public cloud container service provider, and was highlighted in Gartner’s 2020 Competitive Landscape: Public Cloud Container Services