Knowbox is on the Cloud: Lower Migration Costs with Dedicated Instance Clusters

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By Baili

Our client Knowbox is a well-known AI-powered education company in China. The company provides on-campus teaching, family counseling services, and is dedicated to creating an AI-powered education service ecosystem. Up to now, Knowbox products have been used in 100,000 schools in nearly 400 cities in 31 provinces, municipalities, and autonomous regions in China. More than 50 million primary school teachers, students, and parents are using the tools, courses, school curriculum, and tutoring services provided by Knowbox.

With the development of online education, the databases of core businesses have been under increasing pressure. This means there need to be more measurements for performance optimization and support. The online education industry has clear peak and off-peak times. On-premises databases are unable to effectively scale up for the high peaks. This setback will infringe businesses. In addition, the maintenance workload for on-premises databases is large and the labor cost is high. User-created databases have large-scale hardware, a low resource utilization rate, and increasingly high costs.

To solve the preceding pain points, Knowbox has adopted the dedicated instances provided by ApsaraDB for RDS, which can be deployed in cluster mode. In a month and a half, the databases were successfully migrated to the cloud. On a dedicated instance, you can create multiple databases with different specifications. Additionally, resources can be rationally allocated through the over-provisioning capability of dedicated instances, helping you reduce costs. This dedicated instance family also allows you to quickly build different database schemas, such as read/write splitting and proxy-based, short-lived connections to meet the needs of complex business scenarios. Clients can be granted database and operating system permissions to independently maintain their databases. Knowbox stated that they need to maintain the DNS servers before going to the cloud to achieve capacity expansion without modifying the configuration. After they go to the cloud, the read/write splitting feature of ApsaraDB for RDS makes the maintenance and management easier and efficient.

Dedicated instances in comparison to on-premises databases have a big advantage. First, a dedicated instance is a virtualization of a physical host and is physically isolated from other tenants. Second, the CPU is virtualized from the physical host, which means it can allocate resources by itself. Businesses that do not require high CPU requirements can be assigned with fewer compute units, while businesses that require high CPU requirements can be assigned with more compute units. Therefore, the CPU does not become a bottleneck on the database. Dedicated instances use local NVMe SSDs, which ensures stable data storage at high concurrency.

In routine maintenance, you can quickly locate online faults through the MySQL dashboards of Database Autonomy Service (DAS) Basic Edition and the instance-specific performance insights of CloudDBA. This feature can be used for many different specific instances and lets you compare the inspection scores and rankings of database instances. With this information, you can find hidden instance risks and timely process appropriate SQL anomalies. This greatly reduces the fault locating time. Moreover, database administrators do not need to manually capture abnormal SQL statements for common issues and submit them to developers. Instead, they can directly send links to developers. Developers can directly log-on to the Alibaba Cloud console and view any instance monitoring information quickly.

Alibaba Cloud provides core services to support the explosive growth of online education demands. Alibaba has set a new benchmark for a faster, more efficient, and superior experience for online database use. According to Gartner, cloud databases will be the future. By 2021, it is estimated that cloud databases will account for 50% of the total database market. By 2023, it is estimated that 75% of databases will run on cloud platforms.

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