In the era of cloud native database 2.0, how does Alibaba Cloud carry out cloud native to the end?

Reported on November 3 (Text / Sun Yuan)

“PolarDB takes cloud native to the end!”

At the 2021 Yunqi Conference, Li Feifei, Vice President of Alibaba Group and General Manager of Alibaba Cloud Intelligent Database Division, announced the major upgrade of PolarDB to achieve three-layer decoupling and its attitude to lead the continuous innovation of cloud-native database technology.

Feifei Li has said more than once that cloud native is the standard way to use the cloud in the future. And “cloud database is the future” is not just the saying of cloud database vendors.

Previously, Gartner clearly stated in its research report that the traditional way of deploying databases by itself is outdated. The cloud is the future, and all organizations, big and small, will increasingly use cloud databases.

Gartner predicts that 75% of databases will be deployed or migrated to the cloud by 2022.

From informatization to digitization, the business world is changing rapidly under the changing times. How to use the database under the cloud-native architecture has become a pain point for enterprises and an opportunity for cloud vendors. It has also become a huge opportunity and challenge for Alibaba Cloud in the “final battle of cloud computing” database.

In the digital intelligence era of cloud native database 2.0, what trend does cloud native represent in the industry? How does Alibaba Cloud PolarDB implement cloud native to the end? How does the government and enterprise market test the competitiveness of Alibaba Cloud databases? Based on these issues, Li Shengtao, senior solution expert of Alibaba Cloud Database Business Unit, and Wang Weimin, General Manager of Product and Solutions Department of Alibaba Cloud Database Business Unit, had a dialogue on “future cloud database”.

Alibaba Cloud’s cloud native database 2.0

The current cloud computing cannot avoid cloud native. However, what is cloud native is rarely explained thoroughly.

Li Shengtao believes that cloud native has two meanings, one is the essence of cloud, resource pooling; the other is cloud native architecture, the architecture that can give full play to cloud resource pooling is the real cloud native architecture. The combination of the two is cloud native.

For global enterprises, the emergence of cloud-native databases has broken the market monopoly of traditional commercial database giants such as Oracle, and high licensing fees have become a thing of the past, replaced by cloud databases that are more open, easy to use, and secure.

In 2009, Alibaba Cloud Feitian operating system wrote the first line of code, and Alibaba Group launched the “IOE” campaign, which opened the prelude to the new database era, and quietly changed the rules of the game. The new chapter of China’s cloud computing industry is also This is turned on.

However, for Alibaba Cloud’s real self-developed database acceleration, we have to start with the launch of the self-developed cloud-native relational database PolarDB in 2017.

Wang Weimin said that database, as a basic platform software system that is highly abstract, manages and schedules basic resources, is a basic subject integrating science, technology, engineering, mathematics and algorithms. The previous software actually only faced limited computing, network, and storage; in the cloud-native era, all underlying resources have been pooled and serviced. The database at this time can be understood as a DataOS, which is completely different from before and must be redesigned. Only in this way can the underlying pooled resources be fully utilized and scheduled, which is why Alibaba Cloud chose to develop it in-house.

For Alibaba Cloud, the product concept of the entire database team is to launch a series of products and product portfolios to meet the diverse business demands of thousands of industries under digital transformation. Because even the same customer has diverse and complex businesses, it is difficult to best satisfy a single product and a single architecture, so a single product is not the optimal solution.

Under the premise that the database is fully integrated into the cloud, the enterprise database still faces a series of challenges waiting to be resolved, such as data security, data silos, high concurrency, and how to realize the integration of data processing, storage and analysis.

In Wang Weimin’s view, the best way is to use and develop a distributed database just like a traditional stand-alone database and a centralized database without feeling the difference. In this way: one is that the traditional one is easier, and the other is that it is easier for developers to develop As a manager, the entire learning curve and threshold will be much smaller.

This provides Alibaba Cloud with the impetus to evolve towards cloud-native database 2.0.

Li Feifei said that cloud-native database 2.0 is to evolve to enterprise-level one-stop full-link data management and services, which is truly accessible, easy to use, safe and reliable.

“The main upgrade of cloud native database 2.0 to 1.0 is to provide one-stop full-link data management and services, and through the autonomous driving capabilities provided by intelligent and secure RDS, enterprise-level database services are within reach; The world’s leading PolarDB’s three-layer decoupling technology makes cloud native to the end; through AnalyticDB cloud native + MPP database to achieve off-line integration, data analysis is real-time, online, and one-stop online data management through warehouse integration The platform DMS allows data to flow freely; it provides full data link and full life cycle management and services for enterprise data production and integration, real-time processing and storage, analysis and discovery, development and management.”

It is worth noting that, in addition to the full encryption capability of data during data transmission and data placement, Alibaba Cloud’s cloud native database 2.0 is also the first in the industry to propose the encryption function during the data in use process. Ensure full encryption of data during processing and analysis. After Microsoft, Alibaba Cloud became the second vendor in the world to launch a commercial full-link encrypted database.

Three-layer decoupling + memory pooling, PolarDB will carry cloud native to the end

Whether it is the Beijing Cloud Summit held by Alibaba Cloud in May or the Yunqi Conference just held, “doing a deep foundation” has become one of the key words of Alibaba Cloud’s strategy, and corresponding to the database business department, it means that at the core level, firm commitment Off-site research and innovation.

At the 2021 Yunqi Conference, “three-layer decoupling” has become a breakthrough for PolarDB in the past four years. It is not only the industry’s first to achieve three-layer decoupling and memory pooling of storage, memory and computing, but also leads the industry to launch multi-master schema and become a true HTAP database system.

In announcing the major upgrade of PolarDB, Li Feifei shouted that “PolarDB will carry cloud native to the end”. So how to understand the meaning of this sentence?

From a technical point of view, the three-layer decoupling of storage, computing and memory is a major innovation of PolarDB, but for Alibaba Cloud, it may only be the first step in the implementation of cloud native. Only by thoroughly implementing cloud native can we further promote the decoupling between various resources and bring greater value to customers.

Li Shengtao believes that technically, whether the three-layer decoupling is the end, not necessarily. The CPU and memory can be decoupled, and may be decoupled from other resources such as the network in the future. And this further decoupling between resources will definitely bring value to customers again.

“Today we have seen that the separation of storage and computing has brought huge advantages to the entire architecture. A few years ago, everyone was discussing whether computing and storage should be separated. Today, no one doubts this judgment. The future cloud-native database must be We must pay attention to the value brought by further decoupling in the architecture, and based on the judgment of the Alibaba Cloud database team on the future direction of technological development, we believe that we can definitely do more.” Li Shengtao said.

In Wang Weimin’s view, the implementation of cloud native to the end represents the product development direction firmly recognized by Alibaba Cloud, and will also become the correct way to open up the digitalization of all walks of life in the future.

“In life, the concept of cloud services has already existed, similar to water, electricity and coal, and users do not need to pay attention to where the resources are and who provides them. This is essentially a social professional division of labor and collaboration. By handing cloud computing to the cloud Service manufacturers can do it, government and enterprise customers can better focus on business and business innovation. Similarly, the social division of labor will also bring resource intensification and scale effects, bringing a series of advantages such as low cost and high cost performance, and then Promote business agility and business innovation in thousands of industries.”

Leading the Chinese database market and fully serving the government and enterprise market

In August 2021, IDC released the 2020 China Relational Database Market Research Report. Alibaba Cloud overtook traditional database vendors with a market share of more than 28%, ranking first in the industry for the first time. Among them, in the public cloud relational database market, Alibaba Cloud leads the market with an absolute advantage, and its market share exceeds the sum of the second to seventh places.

Those who are engaged in databases know that the major revenue customers in the domestic database market all come from the offline market. The data shows that the top five industries that contribute to the domestic database market revenue are finance, telecommunications, government affairs, manufacturing, and transportation. These five major industries alone contribute more than 80% of the revenue of China’s database market. Because of business characteristics, these customers have not yet used public clouds on a large scale. After years of development, these customers already have their own IT infrastructure, and the corresponding information architecture, product system, and operation and maintenance architecture are relatively complete.

In order to fully serve these government and enterprise customers, at the Yunqi Conference, Alibaba Cloud announced the open source cloud-native distributed database PolarDB-X, and launched the Alibaba hybrid cloud database platform DBStack, which can be deployed in a lightweight and small size. Powerful database capabilities are brought to government and enterprise customers’ own IDC or IaaS.

Li Shengtao said that government and enterprise customers, like Alibaba’s own business, will also face database difficulties in various aspects in the process of business development, and many customers need cloud database capabilities. “Whether it is PolarDB-X’s distributed capability, PolarDB’s cloud-native elastic capability, or ADB’s cloud-native analytical database capability, we hope to bring it to the customer site through DBStack and integrate it into the customer’s business.”

In Li Shengtao’s view, with the maturity of cloud vendors’ technology, the rapid development of customer business database requirements and the combined effect of policies, the database is ushering in the best thrust for rapid development. However, it still faces great challenges to quickly realize large-scale replacement of traditional commercial databases in the short term.

Database is also an application technology, which requires years of accumulation. The cloud database has a history of only more than 10 years. Compared with the traditional commercial database of more than 40 years, there is still a lot of room for development in terms of ecological maturity.

Li Shengtao said frankly that Alibaba Cloud’s entry into the Leaders Quadrant of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Global Database in 2020 is a sign that China’s database technology is internationally recognized. Although Alibaba Cloud has achieved phased results, it is still far from a full replacement.

Regarding this topic, Wang Weimin also admitted that there is still a long way to go in terms of enterprise usage habits, system adaptation and customer concepts. For Alibaba Cloud, it is about finding a new path for cloud vendors and migrating based on customers’ business scenarios and business demands.

The biggest advantage of Alibaba Cloud lies in the value-added business that Alibaba’s business center, data center, and various database technologies can bring to enterprises, as well as its rich business scenarios and cases. Once customers see the value these bring to the business and satisfy the demands of business transformation, they will have a strong driving force for enterprises to adopt new technology systems.

At present, many government and enterprise customers, operator customers, and financial customers are carrying out a series of technologically independent and controllable upgrade actions. It is true that there are policies behind this, but more consideration is to upgrade, transform and update the business system to the cloud architecture. , introducing a series of cloud-native technologies such as microservices, multi-active architecture, and resource pooling.

“Today, the biggest difference between cloud database vendors and traditional commercial database vendors is that they bring their own scenarios. Many services and technologies provided by Alibaba Cloud are incubated by Alibaba’s own businesses. In the past ten years, our business Constantly promoting the development of technology has brought the technology to the level it is today, so that Alibaba Cloud can stand in a relatively favorable position to realize the replacement of traditional commercial databases by cloud databases.” Wang Weimin said.

It is understood that Alibaba Cloud, as the earliest Chinese cloud manufacturer to serve government and enterprises, has nearly 10,000 enterprises that have served for more than ten years. Up to now, Alibaba Cloud database products and technical services have served customers such as Natural Person Tax Management System, China Post, China Pacific Insurance, and AIA, and have been fully applied in the core system.

Insist on self-research and lead the new database era

Looking at the pattern of the global database market, open source and cloud databases have become two major trends identified in this industry. 2020 is a critical moment worth looking back on in the future: In this year, Oracle was robbed of the leading database position by Microsoft, and cloud database vendors such as Alibaba Cloud and AWS entered the global database leader quadrant.

These phenomena are not accidental, and they indicate that industrial changes have occurred quietly: with the popularization of cloud computing, the database market has undergone fundamental changes. Become a new force in the database field.

Looking back on the development path of Alibaba Cloud database, we have taken steady steps step by step: from commercial databases to open source databases, to self-developed databases. Today, with the rise of distributed and cloud-native databases, it is quickly at the forefront of the industry, creating a rich portfolio of enterprise-level database products.

The Yunqi Conference in 2021, whether it is the major upgrade of PolarDB, the open source of PolarDB-X, the upgrade of AnalyticDB’s technical architecture, or the launch of DBStack, all demonstrate Alibaba Cloud’s “deep foundation” and adherence to the belief and direction of self-research and innovation. Provide database capabilities for government and enterprise customers more comprehensively and thoroughly to help them transform and upgrade their digital intelligence.

In the new database era dominated by open source, distributed and cloud computing, China’s database power has grown quietly, and Alibaba Cloud must be at the forefront.

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