"What attracted us to Alibaba Cloud was a product called Express Connect. This is a network service, which provides fast and secure private network communication between different cloud environments."
DeepIR Case Study
DeepIR is a deep learning and artificial intelligence technology and services company. The company has operations in Beijing, Xiamen and Singapore.
DeepIR’s leading deep learning image recognition algorithms are used to identify more than a 1,000 different types of objects as well as facial features. DeepIR technology is used in various fields such as medical health image recognition, facial recognition, video broadcasting and e-commerce. The technology for example can be applied to identify, retrieve and index e-commerce merchandise product images. DeepIR also offers specialized solutions in smart video identification. This includes the capability to accurately identify vehicle types within a video file or even identify illicit video content.
From the very beginning, we understood that we would be generating a large volume of high-definition content, and at the same time we needed to ensure our image recognition services would remain competitive in the deep learning industry. Cloud infrastructure is an industry standard for deep learning, and we also looked at cloud technology as a way to save costs. Cloud technology was therefore a logical choice to complement our existing on-premise infrastructure.
Why Alibaba Cloud?
What attracted us to Alibaba Cloud was a product called Express Connect. This is a network service, which provides fast and secure private network communication between different cloud environments. With the support of Express Connect we wanted to increase the flexibility of our network topology and enhance the quality and security of our inter-network communication.
We were also looking for solutions that could help partially move our workload off our on-premise HPC (high performing computer) to the cloud and provide secure access to processed files for our users.
As I mentioned, we were looking for solutions that could help move parts of our workload off the HPC to the cloud, and provide secure access to processed files for users. Express Connect was successfully able to do this by carrying out the data transfer between data centers through secured network protocols. During the migration process we were able to ensure minimal packet loss, increase security by mutually isolating different communication networks and isolate the cloud network for confidential purposes.
Express Connect not only offered us a commendable solution to fix some of our existing problems but also helped us remove the jump server-ECS HPC Support to access public networks directly. Alibaba Cloud effectively managed and supervised the Express Connect service leaving us with sufficient bandwidth. The setup allowed a convenient operation on an official web console and an overall better Intranet network quality for DeepIR.
Products: Elastic Compute Service (ECS), Object Storage Service (OSS), Express Connect, Resource Access Management (RAM), ApsaraDB for RDS
We deployed an Elastic Compute Service (ECS) to launch our servers, which helped us exploit the powerful computing capabilities of our on-premise High Performance Computer (HPC) to provide users with the HPC as a deep learning training platform. ECS acts a bridge that connects it to the outside world with the cloud storage service providing on Object Storage Service (OSS).
However as the ECS directed requests to the HPC and all requests from the HPC to the cloud were going through the ECS as well, the ECS jump server created a bottleneck in the performance of the HPC. This required us to manage server availability as it may have led to a single point of failure.
OSS has helped us to archive large amounts of files processed by the HPC on the cloud, and the exchange of data is carried out through Express Connect, which eliminates the need for an ECS jump server.
The architecture offered by Alibaba Cloud made it convenient to access OSS/RDS/ECS from the HPC Server. There was no need for complex configuration for the connections.
Alibaba Cloud also provided us with Resource Access Management (RAM) support, which helped us ensure secure and appropriate usage of our cloud resources and protects from any unsolicited access into our account. RAM enables us to create, manage, and keep track of different users accessing our cloud resources and grant various levels of access.