Hyperconnectivity and Openness in the Digital Age — The Computing Conference 2018

By Wei Tong

“Software dies, but ideas won’t die if they are shared”

At the Database Developer Ecosystem Summit of The Computing Conference 2018, Alibaba Cloud shared its vision and ambition towards the development of a fully open source database ecosystem. Titled “Hyperconnectivity and Openness in the Digital Age”, this session featured many well-known speakers including Michael Widenius, Founder of MySQL and MariaDB, as well as Bruce Momjian, Co-Founder of PostgreSQL Global Development Group.

MariaDB-Alibaba Cloud Database Strategic Cooperation Launch

PolarDB: A Database System Made for the Future

Li credits PolarDB’s success to the vast ecosystem of Alibaba Group. PolarDB successfully supported the 2017 Alibaba Singles’ Day Online Shopping Festival, handling over:

  1. 325,000 sales transactions per second
  2. 4.37 million OLTP transactions per second
  3. 15 million queries per second
  4. <0.8 ms average latency

As a key element in Alibaba’s database platform-as-a-service (PaaS), PolarDB helps Alibaba support enterprise-level applications and solutions including Alibaba Cloud’s very own ET Brain solution. Li also predicts that by 2020, 85% of database instances within Alibaba group will be self-driven.

To learn more about Alibaba Cloud PolarDB, check out PolarDB: Deep Dive on Alibaba Cloud’s Next-Generation Database.

Open Source vs. Closed Source Software

  1. Innovation: A new and innovative proprietary software is introduced to the market.
  2. Market growth: The public starts noticing and adopting the proprietary software.
  3. Market saturation: At this stage, the software is so widely adopted that there is no longer room for growth.
  4. Maximize profit, minimize costs: For the software to be sustainable, development and support resources are reduced.
  5. Maintenance mode: Due to the reduction of investment, there is limited innovation for the proprietary software.
  6. End-of-life

Unlike proprietary software, open source software goes through a more sustainable lifecycle. Open source software has also a lower barrier to entry for enterprises due to its low cost. Although cost is the first thing most enterprises consider when adopting open source, oftentimes they continue using open source by discovering other advantages of open source. Because open source development is not limited to profitability, innovation is continual. Additionally, open source innovation comes from multiple directions simultaneously; it is not limited by enterprises or geographical location. Bruce summarized the importance of open source with a meaningful quote, “Software dies, but ideas won’t die if they are shared.

However, there is one limitation to open source software — enterprise-level support. The reason why enterprises still use proprietary software is because of the amount of resources and support available for enterprises. For open source software such as PostgreSQL, cooperation with other enterprises is vital for producing a reliable last-mile service.

Ed Boyajian, President and CEO of EnterpriseDB, talked about the importance of such cooperation and announced the Alibaba and EnterpriseDB Postgres partnership. Founded in 2004, EnterpriseDB is a world leader in open source based PostgreSQL software and services. Ed stated that although proprietary software can provide enterprises with a plethora of features, most enterprises only use 20% of these features. Because of this, and because of the flexibility provided by open source, he predicted that by 2019, the popularity of open source licenses will exceed commercial licenses.

Multi-Model Databases for Emerging Technologies

For Shen Chunhui, Senior Staff Engineer of Alibaba Cloud, the real challenge for big data lies in the data collection, storage, and analysis for distributed systems. Due to the dynamics brought about by different applications, there needs to be a system that is capable of combining data from all types of sources for convenient access. Alibaba Cloud ApsaraDB HBase is capable of doing this by introducing independent modules, making it easy to upscale the database.

In IoT systems, data transactions happen at an astronomical rate. To cope with this issue, traditional database standard operating environment (SOE) introduces many layers for caching. However, this approach is complex, hard to deploy, expensive, and most importantly — not scalable. Dr. Srini V. Srinivasan, Founder of Aerospike, introduced a different approach to designing high performance databases for real-time applications. He introduced the hybrid memory database, an effective approach that merges the cache and database layers into a single layer.

For the latest news and video replays of The Computing Conference 2018, visit www.alibabacloud.com/the-computing-conference-2018.


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