Alibaba Cloud Contributing to the Fourth Industrial Revolution with its RDBMS, PolarDB

by | Apr 27, 2020 | Technology Featured

The First Industrial Revolution brought with itself mechanization and helped the world realize the importance of steam and water power. The Second Industrial Revolution started with electricity entering the picture and paving the way for mass production. The Third Industrial Revolution was all about electronic and IT systems, opening the doors to automation. Today, the world is in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which is set to be dominated by robotics, automation, and cloud computing.

After every industrial revolution, the world experienced a higher degree of convenience than the last one. The same is the case with the fourth industrial revolution. The world has now stepped into the digitalized era, and it is now rapidly moving towards transformational disruption across every sector. Technological advancements have opened doors for the digital economy. At present, the world’s economy is being driven by digital computing technologies, with eCommerce as its major part. As these businesses are based on the internet and the World Wide Web, they make considerable contributions to the digital economy of the country.

One of the most effective tools that are helping eCommerce businesses thrive in this highly digitalized era is the relational databases. It allows businesses to easily join different data sets within a database to create meaningful information. The features such as flexibility, reduction in redundancy, easy backup, and reliable disaster recovery make these databases a top choice for large eCommerce businesses. However, management of these databases can be daunting, which is where the Relational Database Management Systems – RDMS such as Alibaba Cloud’s PolarDB comes in to play.

The World’s Largest eCommerce Platform Makes Data Management Easy

Alibaba is the largest eCommerce platform in the world, and it serves more than 600,000 million customers. Being such a huge eCommerce platform, the company had to deal with a continuous stream of data. Alibaba Cloud created PolarDB to handle the continuous stream of data. It was first released in September 2017 for beta testing and commercially launched in the year 2018 PolarDB is making database management simple, easy, and convenient for large eCommerce businesses. Big data development is easy with PolarDB as it can hold up to 100TB in storage. Moreover, its 88 vCPUs and 710GB of memory, let’s, business owners minimize the costs while managing a massive chunk of data.

It is a new generation of cloud-native database combines the element of performance with traditional enterprise database and compatibility. Not only this, but PolarDB is also helping businesses manage excessive loads of data with ease while reducing the costs to a minimum.

Benefits of Using Relational Database Management Systems for Large eCommerce Businesses

There is a plethora of top-quality RDBMSs available in the market. From MySQL to Oracle DB, and from SQLite to PostgreSQL. While all these RDBMSs make database management easy, PolarDB takes it to a higher level of convenience. It is an innovative cloud-hosted database that improves the existing DBaaS model. Use of PolarDB in the Singles’ Day Global Shopping Festival in 2018 helped Alibaba test the potential of their RDMS. It helped them process 491,000 sales transactions per second and 70 million database transactions per second. It uses a distributed shared-storage architecture.

Large eCommerce businesses have to deal with innumerable data handling problems. Some of these include a drastic increase of transactions per second, a massive amount of hot records, and many others. The company has introduced smart features in PolarDB to address these problems.

The two most dominant add-ons include X-Engine and PolarFS. The X-engine can assist PolarDB leverage hardware acceleration, such as FPGA-accelerated compactions. It also supports a suite of optimizations such as asynchronous writes in transactions along with multi-staged pipelines and incremental cache replacement during compactions. PolarFS, on the other hand, is a distributed file system. It features ultra-low latency and high availability, which makes a shared storage cloud database easy for business owners. In 2018, a paper about POLARDB’s file system PolarFS was published in VLDB conference and a paper about POLARDB storage engine X-Engine was published in SIGMOD in 2019.

Relational Database Management Systems have long been helping large-scale eCommerce businesses perform well in peak times. Easy management of data and simple extraction goes a long way in helping businesses streamline their workflow. The distributed and shared storage feature of PolarDB addresses the difficulties in handling large data. It cuts the actual data into smaller portions that assist the database of a company in handling concurrent requests from multiple servers efficiently. Other benefits of PolarDB include high availability of data service, high efficiency of the database, low latency, efficient point-in-time data restoration, and high-speed data transmission.

eCommerce contributes a major chunk into the world’s economy. The global eCommerce sales have crossed $29 trillion and have a total share of 13% in the eCommerce. Data scientists, developers, and programmers are playing a major role in increasing the growth of online businesses. With eCommerce platforms such as Magento, Shopify, and WooCommerce, and RDBMSs such as PolarDB by Alibaba, MySQL, and many others, are encouraging businesses to transition to the digital world easily. Given the degree of digitalization in the world today, these tools are working wonders for the sector of eCommerce. These tools will collectively contribute to the growth of eCommerce and increase its share in the global digital economy.

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