Apsara Conference 2020: Creating Enterprise-Level Acceleration Experience in Content Delivery

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By CDN Team

On September 18, the Apsara Conference 2020, the world’s most influential technology conference, came to a successful conclusion. It was the first time the Apsara Conference was held solely on the cloud. This year’s event included three main forums and exhibition halls, 100 sub-forums and sessions, 100 city sites for interaction between online and offline conferees, and the release of 100 new products. At the content delivery network (CDN) session featuring the next-generation CDN and the application of product technology, conferees focused on the trend of enterprise digitalization, discussed next-generation CDN’s features, and explored the application of CDN technology.

Enterprise-Level CDN: Low Latency, Programmable, Highly Secure, and Data-Based

Under this background, enterprise applications’ response speed has become one of the key indicators concerning decision-makers. It is also the decisive factor for the strength of enterprise service capability. At the Apsara Conference, Hao Chong announced the release of the global real-time transmission network (GRTN). GRTN is built on Alibaba Cloud’s core capabilities in live streaming systems and dynamic path optimization. Based on its ultra-low latency, GRTN provides enterprises with communication-grade and real-time transmission capability and high-quality assurance. Compared with traditional live streaming, GRTN supports two-way transmission. With GRTN, enterprises can easily implement various business scenarios, such as multi-person meetings and large-scale and interactive live streaming. In addition, Hao Chong explained the direction of Alibaba Cloud’s next-generation of CDN technology in detail.

  1. Full Acceleration — With its self-developed protocol stack, new dynamic path optimization, and powerful network infrastructure, Alibaba Cloud CDN provides comprehensive protocol-independent acceleration capabilities. For the latest protocols, such as QUIC and HTTP3, layer-4 and layer-3 connections support the acceleration of WebSocket and IP applications.
  2. Programmable — With the popularization of cloud-native technologies, Alibaba Cloud CDN’s capabilities in programming are increasing. It can now be implemented near users, enabling users to offload stateless business logic at the edge by using functions or containers to provide interactive responses with the shortest latency. Based on the powerful basic resource capabilities and high-performance architecture of the Alibaba Cloud CDN platform, Alibaba Cloud can easily meet enterprises’ massive flexible demand.
  3. Security — Integrated with Alibaba Cloud’s world-leading security capabilities, such as WAF, anti-DDoS, and anti-CC, and based on global CDN nodes and the accumulation of attack and defense data, Alibaba Cloud CDN provides enterprises with multi-dimensional protection capabilities, including the network layer and application layer. At the same time, to meet the government and enterprise industry’s requirements for acceleration and security, Alibaba Cloud has launched a security acceleration solution to help customers from finance, TV broadcasting and media, and traditional fields obtain stable and smooth online business and security compliance.
  4. Data-Based Decision-Making — Online enterprises need a precise and efficient data system to support business operations. Alibaba Cloud CDN provides a world-leading data delivery system to help enterprises build scientific decision-making capabilities superior to competitors. In terms of delivery validity, based on CDN’s detection and routing capabilities and the distributed log channel, the delivery can be completed in seconds. In terms of delivery methods, Alibaba Cloud CDN combines SLS, HTTP-POST, Kafka, and other common methods, allowing enterprises to obtain data content and directly deliver the data to cloud products easily. Enterprises can customize processing and storage through different products, such as ODPS, OSS, and DTplus. In terms of data comprehensiveness, CDN provides data from different dimensions, such as access, back-to-origin, exceptions, and orchestration and processing results. With this data, enterprises can have strong support in decision-making.

Global Layout Helps Chinese Enterprises Go Overseas

Yang Yaoxin, a Senior Product Operation Expert from Alibaba Cloud, said in his speech, “Alibaba Cloud CDN has covered more than 80 countries and over 100 operators around the world.” Dedicated to providing customers with business on the cloud, Alibaba Cloud CDN has built data centers and media centers in many regions and set up a global acceleration network and scheduling system to help localize content from overseas live streaming and VOD. Besides, Alibaba Cloud CDN has completed data compliance in many regions, helping enterprises accelerate global content distribution on one platform.

To support the overseas expansion of Chinese enterprises, Alibaba Cloud has completed the network optimization of CDN and cloud storage (OSS) in 13 data centers around the world and have officially launched the overseas CDN + OSS, a free back-to-origin solution, enabling enterprises to obtain high-quality services and reduce costs on one platform easily.

The Application of Enterprise-Level CDN in Industries

At the beginning of this year, the online education industry experienced explosive growth. When the traffic surged, the user request volume and the downstream traffic bandwidth also increased. The server pressure was high and the site response was slow, especially for the video service. Di Jie, a Senior Technical Expert from VIPKID, an online education company, said, “Based on Alibaba Cloud CDN and RTS ultra-low latency live broadcasting services, VIPKID supports over 2800 CDN nodes and 130 Tbit/s bandwidth reserve for flexible scaling.” Combining RTS to optimize the original Live Broadcast Architecture, VIPKID achieved high concurrency scenarios with millisecond-level delay live broadcast, ensuring low stalling, smooth application opening in seconds, and real-time interaction.

The Chinese video website Bilibili is a cultural community with a high concentration of gen-Z users. Li Ning, a Senior Operation and Maintenance Engineer from Bilibili, said, “Bilibili users’ dynamic and static requests are all forwarded by CDN, which can hide the origin and provide protection against DDoS attacks. Presently, Bilibili uses Alibaba Cloud’s DCDN to distribute business. Compared with business distributed with traditional static CDN, the improvement is substantial, with average response time reduced by 32% and the time consuming of the first packet reduced by 18.6%.” Besides, CDN provides multiple alerting features, allowing users to quickly troubleshoot and locate faults when exceptions occur.

The government and enterprise industry focuses more on all-in-one secure and fast Internet access. CCTV network uses Alibaba Cloud’s government-enterprise security acceleration solution. In terms of content distribution, the CCTV network uses multiple CDN transmission encryption modes to protect contents from being tampered and hijacked throughout the transmission process. By using the content security and encryption technology of CDN and ApsaraVideo, the CCTV network has made copyrighted video programs more secure in transmission and playback. Fei Youwen, the Deputy General Manager of the Technology Department of CCTV International Network Co., Ltd., said, “Alibaba Cloud CDN, which secures edge security, helps CCTV build an authoritative and trusted Internet access. It is hoped that the two sides can jointly create a benchmark product that empowers the media industry in the future.”

With the development of 5G, IoT, and digital transformation, CDN will evolve from content delivery to value delivery, making it a powerful driving force for enterprises to improve efficiency, optimize operations, and implement intelligent applications. You can log on to the Apsara Conference’s official website to review the guest’s excellent speech delivered at the CDN session.

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