Building Highly Scalable Marketing Campaigns with Alibaba Cloud
By Alberto Roura, Alibaba Cloud MVP.
As far as I see it, Alibaba Cloud is increasingly becoming the place where growing organizations choose to migrate their websites and campaigns to the cloud. By choosing Alibaba Cloud for building scalable marketing campaigns, companies and business alike can witness an unending flow of rewards to their business operations. Specifically, thanks to the distributed architecture of Apsara Stack, including its operating System, hardware and other unique services, you can expect anything less than everything running completely smoothly.
Today, I’m going to go over the questions: Why Alibaba Cloud? Why is Alibaba Cloud the cloud provider that many popular businesses these days opt for it? And how can you run your next big campaign with them?
Why Alibaba Cloud?
Alibaba Cloud now powers about 2/3 of Chinese cloud-based applications. Just think about that for a minute, this is in a mega country with 1.3b residents and a smartphone penetration of more than 63%. Now imagine when something goes viral in that country. We’re talking it’s really viral. Sort of makes me feel sorry for, but also impressed by Chinese Ops Teams! But, to be fair, Alibaba Cloud supports most of that in the background — and they do it very well, might I add.
TMALL 11 11 (Singles Day)
The Double 11 Global Shopping Festival, heard of it? No? Well, let me tell you that it’s the best example of good performance in busy situations when it comes to the cloud. The day in China used to be known as Single’s Day, basically a spin-off of Valentine’s Day. Now, every 11 of November Alibaba holds the biggest and most-busy online ecommerce festival in the world. And it always runs super smoothly — without a hiccup!
To give you an idea of how big the event is, think about Amazon Prime Day, which, by the way, crashed during the first minutes last time! Ouch! And then, multiply it by 30. Engineers at Alibaba Cloud have the experience of how to do these kind of things right! Like no other cloud provider does.
Now Let’s Know Your Situation
Either you work for your company or for clients, you will often encounter the classic problem of creating a one-off marketing campaign where you have no idea how much actual traffic you’ll get for the campaign. It can be 80 people per day or 800k per day! You just don’t know. This is just how marketing works most of the times.
Developing a one-off app for a campaign can be, consequently, a very frustrating and mindboggling experiment. That frustration comes most of the times from trying to figure out how you supposed to architect the infrastructure solution for the campaign. Should you create a scaling group of 10 instances? 100 perhaps? Or 1000? Who knows, right?
Scalability. That thing.
Also, there are plenty of disaster examples, even from large companies like BestBuy, Netflix, ClickFrenzy, just to name three! Yes, it happens even in the best families, or companies I mean. But that is not an excuse for you, isn’t now? I guess you could say that the good thing about the Internet is that, when something bad happens to a big company, everyone instantly learns the lesson.
SaaS to the Rescue
With newer SaaS offerings out there from cloud providers, it becomes very tempting to have a look and give them a try. Amazing solutions exists like Function Compute, where you can just upload a function made in your favorite programming language, and run it without even caring about setting up a server.
Doesn’t sound that familiar? I’m talking about serverless, my friend.
Serverless is a new computing paradigm in which you can build applications composed of microservices running as a response to events. Under this model the services automatically scale according to usage. This means that you only get charged when they are executed down to 100ms blocks, becoming the most “Pay-As-You-Go” model ever to land on this planet. Of course, this reduces the overall cost of maintenance for your apps, enabling you to more on the logic, deploying faster.
Read more about serverless and Alibaba Cloud in this special article I wrote.
Ideal Campaign Architecture
Let’s get to the core of this article. The following diagram exposes an ideal and virtually infinitely scalable campaign:
Ideal Campaign Architecture
The campaign lives on an Object Storage Service (OSS) bucket with CDN in front of it. All the requests will go using AJAX to API Gateway, which validates the request for you. The API uses Function Compute as a backend and processes the submitted data from the campaign. This, then, safely stores the customer information on Table Store.
So, in other words, it doesn’t matter if your campaign is becoming crazy viral on the wild, wild Internet, it’s going to keep accepting visits like a pro.
So, guys, what I mean is, Alibaba Cloud has your back.