As SAIC Motor passenger cars are showing extraordinary market performance, it is absolutely necessary to keep developing and upgrading vehicle models to stay ahead of the curve. However, available computing resources for engineering simulations fall far behind the current demand in the following ways: Massive Urgent Requirements, Lagging Resource Iteration, and Poor User Experienc.
To tackle these problems, SAIC Motor Passenger Vehicle Corporation collaborated with Alibaba Cloud and Fanyun Technologies at the end of 2017 to build the first industrial hybrid IaaS simulation computing service platform in the industry - SAIC Simulation Computing Cloud or SSCC, which is primarily composed of Alibaba Cloud's public cloud clusters and clusters built by SAIC Motor Passenger Vehicle Corporation. Data interconnectivity and unified scheduling for computing resources are delivered by using a high-speed leased line. Alibaba Cloud's public cloud clusters primarily provide the following computing resources: HPC Computing Clusters, NAS Shared Network Attached Storage and Graphic Processing Cluster.
SSCC is built based on Alibaba Cloud's Elastic High Performance Computing (EHPC) solution. With innovations in IaaS/PaaS/SaaS, SSCC provides the following technological advantages.
1. Excellent Performance
HPC computing nodes have powerful performance. The Intel Xeon Gold 6149 CPU and the latest 5th generation Skylake architecture provide more excellent computing performance.
2. SLA Assurance
A variety of response methods (including the public cloud's full-fledged, reliable governance system and migration during downtime) help provide availability up to 99.95% for a single computing node and ensure continuous CAE simulation computing services.
3. Hybrid Cloud Architecture
VPC in the cloud is connected with local clusters using Express Connect (leased line) and serves as an independent subnet to ensure secure data interconnection. Computing resources in the cloud are seamlessly connected to local licenses, schedulers, and SaaS. Increasing public cloud resources temporarily is the best way to respond to the unplanned need for compute resources (e.g. urgent projects).
4. Automatic Scaling (*E-HPC Support)
If a proper cluster load threshold is set, automatic scaling can minimize public cloud resources' overheads and handle workloads at peak times thus ensuring the smooth operation of CAE simulation computing solution services.
5. Fast POC
Activation of public cloud resources is directly carried out in the Alibaba Cloud console. Delivery of the entire cluster is completed in just minutes, after which testing can immediately be conducted. Various trifling and annoying matters such as waiting for procurement or scheduling/installing deployment in data centers can all be avoided.
During POC, you can choose to temporarily activate more resources in the environment than originally planned for so as to accelerate the CAE application verification process.
6. Data Sharing and Interconnectivity for Linux/Windows
Alibaba Cloud provides the leading NAS in the industry, which can be mounted to Linux/Windows by using the NFS protocol. These critical features allow users to directly read computation and solution results in shared storage when they are performing interactive post-processing operations in the Windows user interface that they are already familiar with.
7. Closed Loop with Elastic Data Volumes
After users upload input task data and the computed result data is written to NAS, users can start post-processing using the graphic server in the cloud. In this way, a closed loop of data is built to provide both high security and high reliability. Except under special circumstances, there is no need to download it back to local storage.
8. Collaborative Development Enabled by Perfect Account Management
By authorizing sub-account read-only permission via RAM, users can allow their partners to log on to machines in the cloud for software maintenance and troubleshooting/analysis without having to go on site. The Shared background VNC link also makes discussion and collaboration easier.
9. Perfect SaaS Service Capabilities
This platform features two types of built-in IaaS resource entries - cluster computing and virtual applications. Unified deployment, integration, scheduling and monitoring can be performed based on the engineering software's features so as to provide online engineering software services such as CAD and CAE, including interactive applications and computing applications.
10. Granular Business Scheduling Capabilities
Based on the resource differences between on-premises HPC clusters of SAIC Motor Passenger Vehicle Corporation and Alibaba Cloud as well as data storage consistency requirements, this platform is designed to deliver granular simulation computing business scheduling capabilities.
If we review the journey this project has taken and outlook on the future of China's industrial independent research and development, we believe SSCC will become an important milestone in the practice of cloud computing, and shows Chinese enterprises the true capability and huge value of intelligent industrial development cloud.
Alibaba Cloud, the largest cloud computing platform in China, serves data and applications for many companies. For enterprises in the tech industry, cloud computing has become a backbone infrastructure for these enterprises. Cloud providers need to provide highly reliable and highly available services to these enterprises, while maintaining the integrity of data and infrastructure.
In the past, security vendors all over the world were selling static "boxes" for security. In the beginning of last year, vendors have introduced customizable cloud services based on APIs. This year has seen most security vendors offering cloud security SaaS services based on the cloud. This makes it apparent that SaaS security service has become an irreversible trend.
The reason is the maturity of SaaS services. In the United States, public cloud-based SaaS services have become the main form of enterprise services, while SaaS services in China are not yet established and SaaS security services are also immature.
Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) will expand the market
CASB refers to a field that has only just emerged over the past two years, specifically it refers to data security for SaaS services on the cloud. Simply put, enterprises may encounter data and privacy problems when accessing the SaaS service.
SaaS is ubiquitous. For example, Salesforce is the world's largest SaaS provider of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and many companies around the world access its systems to manage customer resources. There are also many SaaS service providers in manpower management, such as Workday, which was listed in the United States before. Microsoft manages hundreds of thousands of people through SaaS services, and personal work will also require access to SaaS services like as Office 365.
In the past, enterprises around the world only used local software. Now that they have access to cloud SaaS, new kinds of threats have emerged from the process of accessing them. This includes, but are not limited to, SaaS service security, cross-border uploads of sensitive information, and legal access.
Some security vendors have taken it upon themselves to solve these threats, for example:
• CipherCloud provides a full set of cloud encryption, monitoring, and private key management services.
• Skyhigh provides security protection for well-known SaaS systems such as Office 365, Salesforece, etc.
• CloudLock protects all purchased and independently developed cloud applications.
There will be a broad market for CASB, but according to my observation, the market for SaaS services in China will not exceed RMB 1 billion. Many companies are still not using SaaS services yet. Therefore, it may be too early to introduce CASB products at this stage in China.
CASB is also developing in the global market. One thing that's for sure is that the forms of CASB products are still changing.
A large number of CASB products are currently based on the APIs provided by SaaS providers (finance, customers and offices). According to the SaaS providers' data, this method relies heavily on the maturity and integrity of the APIs. If the data provided by the SaaS providers is incomplete, then CASB products' monitoring capabilities will suffer.
Based on this, some security vendors have chosen to use the traffic analysis method to obtain data this year. Because employees access the Internet through network interfaces, in fact, traffic at the interfaces is comparatively more comprehensive, so the latest trend is for CASB vendors to perform threat analysis based on network interface traffic.
Alibaba Cloud responds to high-risk incidents with a defense system that integrates Anti-DDoS Service Pro and WAF. The solution can be simply deployed by updating DNS resolution, and available for both cloud and on-premises (including non-Alibaba Cloud) systems.
Anti-DDoS Service Pro implements the SaaS security service to effectively defend against DDoS attacks when origin servers become unavailable under a large volume of DDoS attack traffic. This ensures the stability and reliability of the origin site.
E-HPC supports Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) with high-performance CPU and heterogeneous computing GPU instances. Furthermore, E-HPC supports Platform as a Service (PaaS) with high-performance computing software stack, and Software as a Service (SaaS) with application template customization. E-HPC is also applicable to education and scientific research organizations with the demand for large-scale computing capabilities. E-HPC supports applications such as E-HPC, AI, and large-scale data analysis.
An Internet Firewall monitors and centrally manages the traffic between the Internet and your cloud assets.
The built-in Intrusion Prevention module of an Internet Firewall allows you to detect victim servers, block external connections started by your servers, and view the connections among cloud services. An Internet firewall is delivered based on the SaaS model. You can quickly enable the firewall without complex network configurations or firewall installation using an image file. Internet Firewalls are deployed in a cluster by default and support smooth scale-up.
Alibaba Cloud SaaS Accelerator helps Alibaba Cloud ecosystem partners and customers build and launch SaaS applications efficiently. It enables ecosystem partners, such as enterprises in the e-commerce, hospitality, and travel industries, to quickly reach their customers on Alibaba platforms. It defines three centers for the SaaS ecosystem: commercial center, capability center, and technology center. This solution enables Alibaba Cloud to be integrated more efficiently and helps customers develop businesses, adopt technologies, and increase capabilities.
Based on Alibaba Cloud infrastructure, Alibaba Cloud Elastic High Performance Computing (E-HPC) is an end-to-end public cloud computing service. E-HPC provides individual users, education and research institutions, and public institutions with a fast, elastic, and secure cloud compute platform that interconnects with Alibaba Cloud products.
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