On August 26, Alibaba Cloud announced that the in-house Enhanced Solid-State Drive (ESSD), which will be for the first time available to international customers-open to serve tens of thousands of enterprises in industries like autonomous driving, AR/VR, securities trading, and e-commerce search engines. Alibaba's ESSDs are one of the first of their kind-being ultra-high performance cloud storage with millions of IOPS and with latency as low as a few hundreds of microseconds. All of this allows for Alibaba's ESSDs to become the standard for Artificial Intelligence of Things (AIoT) scenarios now and in the near future.
Simply put, Alibaba's ESSDs are so powerful that they are the equivalent of a massive data warehouse of 10 million square meters and a super highway with a speed of over 120 kilometers per hour. It takes only around one second to complete the transmission and storage of a HD movie.
After one month of commercial availability, ESSDs has easily become the fastest growing Alibaba Cloud's storage product with a 300% increase in the number of users in the one month's time.
Consider some client cases in China. As a first example, through using Alibaba Cloud's in-house ESSDs, Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. has accelerated the migration of their on-prem SAP HANA to the cloud, improving the performance of their services by around some 300% while also reducing their costs by 30%. Similarly, Chinese micro-blogging platform Weibo (in many ways the Chinese equivalent of Twitter) also uses Alibaba's ESSDs to accelerate elastic resizing, which has improved the elasticity of their services by 300%, allowing them to easily cope with high traffic incidents on their web and mobile platforms. Last, ESSDs have helped to increase Yixia.com's interaction speeds by 100%.
The Artificial Intelligence of Things (AIoT) is an industry of increasing importance and has become and will be an important application for Alibaba Cloud's ESSDs. According to the market intelligence and advisory service leader IDC, it is predicted that with the development of AIoT, the total amount of global data will reach 44 ZB in 2020. And with that said, all of this data will require real-time collection, transmission and computing. Take autonomous driving as an example, for which a 1 millisecond delay may cause a traffic accident, posing a new challenge to storage.
So, in other words, these scenarios will increasingly need the computing power of next-generation technology like that of Alibaba's ESSDs. These ESSDs have the advantage over past tech in that they can achieve fast data transmission and storage, meeting the ultimate requirements in storage performance and read and write speeds of AIoT scenarios.
The excellent performance of Alibaba's ESSDs relates to some Alibaba Cloud proprietary technology working in the background. First, the underlying architecture is based on an in-house developed large-scale distributed storage system, and the storage chip uses the in-house AliFlash SSD. It also relies on the Luna network protocol and enhanced RDMA data transmission protocol, and combines the in-house high-precision congestion control (HPCC) algorithm to optimize TCP, greatly reducing the computing resources consumption and response delay, increasing the data transmission efficiency of Alibaba's ESSDs by 50%.
Alex Chen, senior director of Alibaba Cloud intelligent storage products, said: "Alibaba Cloud's in-house ESSDs provide new possibilities for enterprise data storage and agile business innovation. In the future, it will become the standard for massive data storage in the AIoT era."
Alibaba Cloud arguably has the world's richest cloud storage product family, with a total data storage capacity of dozens of EBs of storage. With its multi-level protection and cross-region disaster recovery capabilities, Alibaba Cloud has been named as a global leader in Gartner's Magic Quadrant for global cloud storage for three consecutive years.
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