Community Blog Using Alibaba Cloud PolarDB for Storing Environmental Parameters in Smart City

Using Alibaba Cloud PolarDB for Storing Environmental Parameters in Smart City

This article discusses in detail on the usage of Alibaba Cloud PolarDB for storing environmental parameters for smart cities.

This post is from Tech Share Indonesia contributor
Written by Gavaskar S., Alibaba Cloud Tech Share Author

The term smart city includes the usage of information and communication technologies (ICT) for developing and improving the quality of urban services such as transportation, electricity usage, water usage, industrialization. The overall aim of a smart city is to reduce the greenhouse gases emitted from the usage of vehicles, machinery, industries, and transport systems to enhance the quality of people living in a smart city.

The measure of environmental parameters contributes hazards in the smart city have gained more importance since it affects the people living in the urban area directly and indirectly. The challenge in this scenario is how to store and process the tremendous amount of data created in real-time and offline by the Sensor devices placed all around the smart city. The solution can be obtained for this scenario by using Alibaba Cloud product, PolarDB.

Introduction to Alibaba Cloud PolarDB

PolarDB is a Cloud-native database developed by Alibaba Cloud, it provides high-performance, massive storage, secure and reliable database storage services which can be used to store a large amount of real-time data. Various features of PolarDB include:

  • It is compatible with most of existing database products in the market, such as MySQL, PostgreSQL and Oracle database;
  • It has the capability to store up to 100 TB of data in a single database instance;
  • It takes few minutes to create read-only replicas and can be scaled out to maximum of 16 nodes;
  • It is 6 times faster than a standard MySQL database.

Storing Environment Parameter in the Smart City Using PolarDB

The environment parameters are the water and air pollutant which pave the way for the greenhouse effect. The various environment pollutants include Carbon Dioxide, Carbon Monoxide, Nitrous Oxide, Methane, Ozone, sulphur-dioxide, Chlorofluorocarbons, Hydro-fluorocarbons, Sulphur hexafluoride, Nitrogen trifluoride. One of the challenges of capturing those pollutants information is the huge amount of data generated every day. In this scenario, we can use Alibaba Cloud's database PolarDB to store all those real-time data from various sources. Figure 1 explains the detailed architecture to use PolarDB to store the environmental parameters of the Smart City system.

Figure1: Using PolarDB for Storing Environmental Parameters in Smart City

Architecture for Storing Environment Parameter Using PolarDB and IoT

The architecture consists of the following modules

  • Environment Parameter Source
  • IoT device module
  • PolarDB Module

Environmental Parameter Source:

This is the source of the environmental data, such as a vehicle, household items, plants. For example:

  • Carbon dioxide,
  • Carbon monoxide,
  • NitrousOxide,
  • Methane,
  • Ozone,
  • Sulphur dioxide,
  • Chlorofluorocarbons,
  • Hydro-fluorocarbons,
  • Sulphur hexafluoride,
  • Nitrogen trifluoride.


IoT Module

Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the network of connected objects that can collect and exchange data using embedded sensors. It is nowadays finding profound use in each sector and plays a key role in the proposed environmental monitoring system too.

Sample sensors used in the environmental data collection are:

  • Temperature sensors
  • Proximity sensors
  • Water quality sensors, which measure pH, BOD, COD and other microbial contaminants; these also measures ion parameters like arsenic, iron or other compounds
  • Gas sensors, which detect air quality conditions
  • Smoke sensors, which are required for industrial environmental conditions or smoke- prone places

PolarDB Module:

Since the amount of real-time data generated from the IoT device module are huge, for better data storage and management, Alibaba Cloud PolarDB is introduced. PolarDB uses an architecture with computing-storage separation., where the compute nodes and storage nodes are interconnected through a 25 Gbit/s high-speed remote direct memory access (RDMA) network and communicate with each other through the user-state network protocol layer of the Bypass kernel. This ensures the low latency of transactions and query statements and reduces the latency of state synchronization between compute nodes.


The environment pollutant and greenhouse gases are the major cause of serious health issues for the people in a smart city. The data generated in this use case is tremendous which cannot be handled by the ordinary traditional database. This article explains how to store the real-time and offline data generated by the IoT device in the Cloud by using Alibaba Cloud PolarDB product.


[1] Data Science empowering in public data driven dashboards for transparent and accountable decision making in smart cities,Ricardo Matheus,Marijn Janssen, Devender Maheshwari,Government Information Quarterly,Elsevier

[2] My City Dashboard:Real-time Data Processing Platform for Smart Cities Catalin-Constantin Usurelu and Florin Pop

[3] Data smart Cities :Empowering cities through data Smart Cities Mission Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) Government of India (GoI)

[4] Smart City Control Room Dashboards Exploiting Big Data Infrastructure P. Bellini, D. Cenni, M. Marazzini, N. Mitolo, P. Nesi, M. Paolucci

[5] Smart cities :understanding the challenges and opportunities

[6] Collecting and Visualizing Real-Time Urban Data through City Dashboards

[7] Geospatial Dashboards for Monitoring Smart City Performance Changfeng Jing 1 , Mingyi Du 1, Songnian Li 1,2 and Siyuan L

[8] The Dublin dashboard: design and development of a real-time analytical urban dashboard gavin mcardle^a , rob kitchin^b

[9] Online Performance Assessment System for Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Services in India Vavaliya Jaladhia, Bhavsar Dhruv a, Kavadi Utkarsha a, Mohammad Mahroof a Smart solution for Sustainable cities:Deutsche Telekom AG Friedrich-Ebert-Allee 14053113 Bonn

[10] Creating Smart Cities through Integrated EcosystemsSyed Othman SyedSalim Maxis Enterprise October 2019

[11] Smart cities and urban data platforms: Designing interfaces for smart Governance

[12] The platform as a technological heart of smart city

[13] A Framework for dashboarding city performance - An application to cascais smart city

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