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Community Blog Why Gaming Industry Uses PolarDB for Its Database Needs

Why Gaming Industry Uses PolarDB for Its Database Needs

Alibaba's POLARDB helps the gaming industry achieve extremely low latency and high write concurrency during online and daily peaks.

Alibaba's POLARDB Powered 11.11, and Now It's Bringing You Games with Zero Latency

For the gaming industry, the distributed cloud-native database ApsaraDB for PolarDB offers the unique advantages of addressing some common challenges, such as low latency, global server sharing, and high concurrency. POLARDB was originally designed for internal use at Alibaba Group. Its computing capabilities were honed over the past 10 years during which it was used to support major shopping events and promotions on Alibaba's various e-commerce platforms.

A Better System Architecture for More Powerful Capabilities

POLARDB boasts a unique distributed cloud-native architecture that offers better performance, scalability, reliability, and even better usability over traditional databases.

POLARDB takes advantage of cloud-native technologies to support scenarios of high concurrency that require extreme elasticity and scalability and superior hardware performance. Vincent noted that POLARDB can process highly concurrent data requests, scaling up to millions of queries per second and 100 terabytes per database cluster.

How POLARDB's Bringing the Power to the Gaming Industry

The unique advantages of the new database management system are especially advantageous to new and upcoming industries like new retail, online education and finance, and the gaming industry.

One big customer of Alibaba Cloud was the creators of the popular game Sausage man, which, in China, has over a hundred million registered users with an average of 20 million plus users playing simultaneously during peak periods. With POLARDB, the gaming company was able to greatly reduce the maintenance time and increase overall game reliability. Next is a Guangzhou-based gaming company, Zhuoyou Information Technology Limited, specializing in the games publishing industry, providing various solutions to gaming companies like marketing operations and quality control as well as channel experience optimization. By upgrading from RDS to POLARDB, Zhuoyou was able to achieve extremely low latency and high write concurrency during online and daily peaks.

Learn How PolarDB Is Supporting Business Expansion in the Gaming Industry

The Upgrade from MySQL to Apsara PolarDB

After several rounds of discussion, evaluation, and analysis of various metrics in stress testing, they found that PolarDB was 100% compatible with MySQL, which allowed XD Inc to seamlessly migrate its services between them. ApsaraDB for PolarDB also significantly reduced the read and write loads on a single table, making the services relatively stable. This further enabled XD Inc to spend less time optimizing database and table shards, reducing the costs needed for AWS Aurora. In the end, XD Inc chose PolarDB.

ApsaraDB for PolarDB is a relational distributed database. Using the compute-storage separation architecture that has been successfully implemented across the industry, ApsaraDB for PolarDB is natively compatible with MySQL. It has undergone the tests of high concurrency, high availability, and scalability during the Double 11 Shopping Festival, and is a mature product in the Chinese market. As such, PolarDB has become the database of choice for many enterprises, including XD Inc, to migrate their databases to the cloud.

However, as one of the most difficult technologies to migrate in application software, database migration may result in critical consequences once an error occurs. Before the database migration, XD Inc and Alibaba Cloud teams conducted a risk assessment and backed up data. The only concerns were performance and potential inconsistency in database structure after the migration.

Fortunately, the migration was smooth, because XD Inc had performed full stress testing of the performance of ApsaraDB for PolarDB, and had carried out migration testing. After migration, XD Inc built all business systems by using the distributed cloud-native database PolarDB solution, resolving the challenges it had faced before migration. Specifically, the solution helps XD Inc provide the following features:

  1. Excellent gaming experience: Based on the compute-storage separation architecture, each instance is deployed in redundancy mode with a master instance and a read-only instance. The high-performance read and write capabilities facilitate the provisioning of new servers and elastic application scaling. This can greatly shorten the maintenance time in scenarios such as game version releases and server restarts. In addition, in extreme cases, software and hardware failure on the servers will not cause slow service recovery that affects player experience.
  2. 24/7 high-availability services: Data is stored in three replicas in a consistent manner to ensure data reliability. When the master instance fails, the system can quickly fail over within 30 to 60 seconds. This ensures that online services can be quickly recovered to provide services normally while ensuring data integrity.
  3. Fast backup: The backup time of a traditional database is associated with the data capacity. Backups are slower when the database capacity is larger. In contrast, in the compute-storage separation architecture, ApsaraDB for PolarDB uses distributed storage snapshots to implement lock-free backup. By using copy-on-write technology, PolarDB copies data only when the data is modified, allowing the entire database backup process to be finished within 30 seconds. In this way, the backup duration is independent of the capacity.
  4. Abundant service support: PolarDB is 100% compatible with MySQL 5.6 and MySQL 8.0 and is fully compatible with all types of MySQL ecosystems and open-source middleware tools. This makes it easy to generate historical game achievements, top up game accounts, and carry out operational activities.

Related Products

ApsaraDB for PolarDB

ApsaraDB for PolarDB is a cloud-native relational database compatible with MySQL, PostgreSQL, and Oracle. ApsaraDB for PolarDB provides the performance and availability of traditional enterprise databases and the flexibility and cost-effectiveness of open-source databases.

ApsaraDB for PolarDB is designed for business-critical database applications that require fast performance, high concurrency, and automatic scaling. You can scale up to millions of queries per second and 100 TB per database cluster with 15 low latency read replicas. ApsaraDB for PolarDB is six times faster than standard MySQL databases, and delivers the security, reliability, and availability of traditional commercial databases at 1/10 the cost. ApsaraDB for PolarDB embodies the proven database technology and best practices honed over the last decade that supported hyper-scale events such as the Alibaba Double 11 Global Shopping Festival.

Related Documentation

Architecture of ApsaraDB for PolarDB

PolarDB is based on the cloud native architecture. PolarDB provides the benefits of commercial databases and open source cloud databases. Commercial databases offer the benefits of stability, reliability, high performance, and scalability. Open source cloud databases offer the benefits of simplicity, openness, and rapid iteration. This topic describes the architecture and features of PolarDB.

Overview of data migration or synchronization solutions

PolarDB provides multiple data migration and synchronization solutions to meet different business requirements, such as migrating data to the cloud, migrating data between different cloud service providers, and synchronizing data. This allows you to migrate and synchronize databases to Alibaba CloudPolarDB. This does not affect your business.

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