On Singles Day, China’s largest shopping
holiday, the engineers at Alibaba
Cloud suit up for battle. Dressed in identical red t-shirts, they gather in the same room and watch as millions of users test their system in 24-hour frenzy of online shopping.
Singles Day, originally a kind of anti-Valentine’s day celebrated by single people, happens every year on November 11th. Its Chinese consumerism on full and terrifying display, where sales – which totaled $17.5 billion this year – eclipse that of Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.
Started in 2009 by Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba, Singles Day
has since evolved well beyond a day of discounts and price-cuts. The shopping
event is preceded by weeks of marketing and advertising campaigns, all culminating in Alibaba’s celebratory gala, a show that counts down to midnight when the numbers start pouring in.
Cloud also services other clients with large volumes of traffic, such as 12360, the train ticket booking website created by the Chinese Rail Ministry. Every year during national holidays, 12360 get swarmed by tens of millions of users.
Build it yourself
The main reason why Alibaba
Cloud is able to pull off Singles Day
is because, like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, its proprietary.
According to the company, a single Apsara cluster can be scaled up to 10,000 servers with a total of 1 billion gigabytes worth of data storage and analysis capacity.
Once traffic has been directed to the closest data center, Alibaba
Cloud’s server load balancer will distribute requests to different servers.
Cloud’s various custom components – both hardware and software – is ultimately what powers the company’s processing prowess.
This is an excerpt from Tech in Asia. You can read the full article here