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Customer Success Stories

Learn how companies are scaling their business on Alibaba Cloud

“Our service availability with the number of mobile carriers has increased from 50% to 200% after switching to Alibaba Cloud.”

BorderX Lab Case Study

Background

BorderX Lab is a Silicon Valley based company that aims to expand global e-commerce by leveraging technologies like big data and artificial intelligence to help consumers discover and buy authentic, high-quality and affordable products from global brands.

Through our mobile marketplace, called 5th Avenue in your Pocket, BorderX Lab provides a one-stop international shopping experience to customers. At the same time, the we enable popular brands, including Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Ashford and Saks, to raise brand awareness and revenue in the Chinese market.

Challenges

As BorderX Lab caters to a global audience, we required a robust IT infrastructure to connect consumers with merchants while managing different applications running in multiple data centers across countries.

BorderX Lab also deploys applications that entail generating and exchanging large volumes of data on a regular basis and consumer-facing services with stringent real-time requirements. BorderX Lab therefore required a flexible and scalable infrastructure that could scale both horizontally and vertically to support rapid business growth.

Additionally, as the product inventory was increasing two-fold every two months, BorderX Lab required an exponential increase in server capacity, storage and bandwidth resources.

Why Alibaba Cloud?

BorderX Lab’s rapidly growing e-commerce business required a scalable and robust IT infrastructure that could aid and support our business objectives.

We have learnt from experience the importance of choosing the right IT infrastructure provider to succeed in a new venture, specifically in the fiercely competitive mobile e-commerce space. From our research, we narrowed it down to Alibaba Cloud.

Alibaba Cloud is well established, reliable and they understood exactly our infrastructure needs as an e-commerce company. Also, the global presence of Alibaba Cloud, especially its strong presence in China, was one of the primary reasons we chose Alibaba Cloud.

Architecture

BorderX Lab’s infrastructure performs two main functionalities:

a) Data-intensive jobs running on Alibaba Cloud VPC located in Silicon Valley (US West region)

b) User-facing services deployed in another VPC located in Beijing (North China 2) region.

To support both types of service requirements efficiently, BorderX Lab deployed I/O and memory-optimized Alibaba Cloud ECS instances using the built-in monitoring feature. This facilitated both fast and easy deployment.

BorderX Lab uses Alibaba Cloud PostgreSQL-based Relational Database service to perform complex queries on massive amounts of data. ApsaraDB for RDS simplifies the setup, backup and restore, and security of its database instances.

We also had requirements to store simple data objects such as product images, log files, and various machine learning training data sets. To address this, we used Object Storage Service (OSS) along with Alibaba Cloud Content Delivery Network (CDN) solution to accelerate content delivery and reduce overall latency.

Deployment Architecture

Final Word

We have found that Alibaba Cloud's DNS is more reliable than any other DNS service provider in China and the U.S. In fact, our service availability with the number of mobile carriers has increased significantly from 50% to 200% after switching to Alibaba Cloud.

Chengdu Huang, Founder of BorderX Lab.