SOFAStack™

A one-stop, cloud-native platform that allows financial enterprises to develop and maintain highly available applications that use a distributed architecture.

Help Financial Enterprises Adopt Cloud-Native Technologies

Scalable Open Financial Architecture Stack (SOFAStack™) is a collection of distributed middleware components tested by the internal financial business of Ant Group for over ten years. SOFAStack™ is used as a distributed architecture for applications used in the key financial transaction systems of Alipay. Alipay is an e-wallet platform that provides services to more than 800 million users.

SOFAStack™ provides full-stack solutions for service creation, application development, deployments and releases, service governance, monitoring and O&M, and disaster recovery for high availability. SOFAStack™ can help prevent risks that occur due to digital transformation in the finance industry. SOFAStack™ is compatible with microservices runtimes, such as Dubbo and Spring Cloud, and provides services that cover the entire lifecycle of applications. SOFAStack™ allows enterprises to develop different types of applications that adopt a distributed architecture.

Full-Stack and Open-Source

SOFAStack™ is developed based on the accumulated experience and expertise of Ant Group and uses open-source financial transaction technologies. SOFAStack™ is backward compatible and allows users to integrate classic architectures into their financial applications. SOFAStack™ is developed based on open standards. This service allows you to use all resources in the open-source ecosystem. The technology stack of SOFAStack™ is open-source and consists of software developed by open-source communities. You can install and remove different types of components separately and replace or integrate the components with other open-source components.

Meet the Requirements of Financial Asset Security and Lossless Disaster Recovery

SOFAStack™ provides all the required components to develop a cloud-native architecture for financial enterprises. This way, the enterprises can focus on business development and innovation. SOFAStack™ is a tested service and can handle challenges in extreme scenarios in the finance industry. SOFAStack™ ensures that distributed architectures can withstand the heavy loads of transactions in high concurrency scenarios. SOFAStack™ also ensures the integrity of data and the high availability of services in system expansion, disaster recovery, and version release scenarios.

Build a Cloud-Native Architecture to Support Active Geo-redundancy and Unlimited Expansion

SOFAStack™ ensures high reliability and scalability during application development to help simplify the O&M of cloud-native applications. SOFAStack™ allows enterprises to transform their disaster recovery systems from a single data center to active-active disaster recovery, three data centers across two regions, or active geo-redundancy. This way, enterprises can expand their systems and schedule resources across multiple data centers to increase the utilization of server resources, improve the disaster recovery capability, and ensure business continuity.

SOFAStack™ Significantly Improves Efficiency and Reduces Costs

SOFAStack™ provides a collection of tested architectures and services to help enterprises develop complex, reliable financial business systems. Download The Total Economic Impact of SOFAStack by Forrester Consulting >

Reduce Learning Costs by 92%

Developers can use the cloud-native capabilities of SOFAStack™ to develop applications without understanding the full-stack. This helps reduce the costs of technical training.

Improve Development Efficiency by 80%

SOFAStack™ reduces the technical skill gap between developers and distributed middleware and reduces the time required to understand complex business logic. Developers can use microservices technology and reuse existing components to simplify application development.

Save O&M Manpower by 90%

SOFAStack™ provides O&M capabilities such as resource scaling, monitoring, and alerting. SOFAStack™ also provides distributed middleware components and adopts the service mesh architecture to reduce the complexity of managing and maintaining cloud-native applications.

Meet
Compliance Requirements

SOFAStack™ normalizes the disaster recovery standards for cloud-native applications to ensure security compliance and high availability. This reduces information technology risks in financial services.

Improve Business and Resource
Elasticity

Resources in SOFAStack™ can be launched within a few milliseconds to meet the requirements of fast business development and expansion.

How SOFAStack™ Works

Handle challenges in cloud-native adoption: Manage application updates and releases, applications and services, and version iterations

Features

Middleware

SOFAStack™ allows financial enterprises to seamlessly migrate applications that use traditional architectures. Enterprises can use SOFAStack™ to handle the challenges related to service upgrades and releases, service and data expansion, transaction consistency, second-level disaster recovery, and resource scaling and scheduling.

Microservices Based on Microservices and Service Mesh Modes

Provides SDKs, the microservices architecture, and the service mesh architecture to allow enterprises to develop distributed systems that provide high performance and are highly scalable, cost-effective, lightweight, and intrusion-free.

Message Queues

Supports asynchronous decoupling and load shifting based on Apache RocketMQ.

Distributed Transactions

Provides distributed transaction middleware developed by Ant Group for financial enterprises to ensure the eventual consistency of transactions in large-scale distributed computing environments.

Task Scheduling

Supports distributed computing jobs and allows financial enterprises to schedule, monitor, and maintain jobs in different business systems in a standardized, automated, visualized, and centralized manner.

API Gateways

Helps enterprises manage service APIs used by internal and external users. This ensures the efficiency, security, and reliability of intercommunication between systems isolated by networks and ensures the security of internal systems.

Data Access Proxies

Provides distributed database middleware for financial enterprises to support horizontal partitioning, seamless scaling, and read and write splitting.

Operations & Maintenance

SOFAStack™ Cloud Application Fabric Engine (CAFE) provides Platform as a Service (PaaS) capabilities, such as application management, releases and deployment, operation orchestration, monitoring and analytics, and disaster recovery. You can use the capabilities during the entire lifecycle of application development to meet the requirements for managing and maintaining financial applications that use classic architectures or cloud-native architectures. This helps enterprises seamlessly migrate their applications from traditional architectures and reduces information technology risks.

Services for Containerized Applications

Provides standard Kubernetes capabilities and features developed by Ant Group to allow enterprises to manage and release applications during the lifecycle of the applications.

Real-Time Business Monitoring

Helps O&M engineers, R&D engineers, and site reliability engineers quickly identify issues, locate causes, analyze issues, and resolve issues. This ensures the high availability of your applications.

Services for Classic Applications

Allows you to manage and control application releases based on VMware modes. This way, you can update applications or distribute traffic among multiple application versions through a data center.

Research and Development Efficiency

SOFAStack™ is developed based on the accumulated experience and expertise of Ant Group in the Internet finance industry. SOFAStack™ is a one-stop intelligent R&D platform designed to help financial enterprises complete digital transformation. SOFAStack™ allows agile, reliable, and innovative application development and delivery and can help reduce compliance risks and ensure the quality of the delivered applications. SOFAStack™ allows enterprises to develop financial applications that support high availability and continuous iterations.

Continuous Delivery

Provides best practices based on Gitflow Workflow. Users can orchestrate components to scan code, evaluate code, perform automated testing, and automate compiling and deployment. Continuous delivery can significantly improve the efficiency of research and development.

Project Collaboration

SOFAStack™ is a simple, easy-to-use, and integrated R&D collaboration platform. SOFAStack™ allows you to manage the R&D requirements, jobs, defects, iterations, and dashboards of different projects in multiple dimensions. SOFAStack™ also provides best practices for project management to support lightweight, agile development.

Scenarios

Empower Product Development and Innovation with Mid-Ends

SOFAStack™ provides best practices that adopt the mid-end development strategy and architecture provided by Ant Group. SOFAStack™ abstracts enterprise-class capabilities into mid-ends developed based on customer services, operations services, and distributed architectures. Users can use these mid-ends to adopt distributed, scalable, and open-source architectures with different types of components. This meets the requirements of fast, efficient, and cost-effective business innovation in the Internet finance industry.

Benefits

  • Powerful Business Capabilities

    Abstracts capabilities provided for enterprise applications and develops mid-ends to reuse services and technologies, improve agile development, and support fast, efficient, and cost-effective business innovation.

  • Fast Iteration and Innovation Capabilities

    Enforces the mid-end development strategy based on the capabilities of mid-ends and key distributed middleware to support fast product innovation. Enterprises can use the powerful mid-ends to perform product iterations quickly.

  • Standardization and Scaling Capabilities

    Mid-ends reduce the technical skill gap and allow users to collaborate and develop technologies based on the same standards. This reduces the costs of collaborative development. Mid-ends also allow enterprises to reuse, extend, and customize the capabilities of existing business systems.

  • Distributed Computing Capabilities

    Provides distributed frameworks and distributed database services for financial applications, supports multi-tenancy, and supports a large number of tenants in high concurrency scenarios. Provides capabilities to allow enterprises to develop big data mid-ends and AI mid-ends, and supports active geo-redundancy to ensure the high availability of your distributed financial systems.

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Help Financial Enterprises Adopt Cloud Computing to Handle Challenges in Digital Transformation

SOFAStack™ is a platform developed by Ant Group to help financial enterprises develop distributed applications. SOFAStack™ provides basic full-stack architectures to allow agile and iterative development and reduce information technology risks. SOFAStack™ also meets the requirements for geo-disaster recovery and fast expansion with low costs. SOFAStack™ can help enterprises transform their applications from traditional architectures, and adopt large-scale and highly-available distributed architectures to support business development and innovation.

Benefits

  • Asset Protection and Lossless Disaster Recovery

    Ensures that your distributed applications can withstand the heavy loads of transactions in high concurrency scenarios, and ensures the integrity of data and the availability of services when you expanding your systems, performing disaster recovery, and releasinge updates.

  • Active Geo-Redundancy and Unlimited Expansion

    Allows enterprises to expand their systems and schedule resources across multiple data centers to increase the utilization of server resources, improve the disaster recovery capability, and ensure business continuity.

  • Full-Stack and Open-Source

    Enriches the technology stack with open-source software developed by open-source communities. You can install and remove different types of components separately and replace or integrate the components with other open-source components.

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A Microservices Platform for Advanced Architectures

The microservices platform of SOFAStack™ uses SOFAStack Microservices and SOFA Mesh to manage and maintain microservices that use the SOFA and service mesh frameworks. This platform helps enterprises integrate their new systems with the legacy systems and migrate workloads from the legacy systems during digital transformation. This way, financial enterprises can seamlessly migrate applications from a traditional, centralized microservices architecture to a cloud-native architecture.

Benefits

  • Compatibility with Multiple Protocols

    Uses SOFA (a tested microservices framework developed by Ant Group) to develop microservices applications on the cloud. It allows enterprises to migrate Dubbo and Spring Cloud applications to the cloud. Enterprises do not need to create self-managed services, such as ZooKeeper, Eureka, and Consul services, for the applications migrated to the cloud. This reduces the O&M costs substantially.

  • Support for Multiple Platforms with Zero Intrusion

    Uses the lightweight service mesh architecture to manage applications and business systems deployed on different platforms. SOFAStack™ provides the service registration and service governance capabilities with zero intrusion into applications. These capabilities help reduce the costs of cloud migration. SOFAStack™ also allows enterprises to transform containerized applications and applications deployed on virtual machine platforms to applications that use the service mesh architecture.

  • Ease of Use and Simple Maintenance

    The microservices platform also provides a centralized, graphical, and easy-to-use console to simplify service management, service governance, observability settings, and configuration management for distributed applications. This way, enterprises can manage applications and services in a centralized manner.

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Innovative Architecture: Five Data Centers across Three Regions

This architecture helps enterprises avoid the network latency issue that occurs during cross-data center or cross-region access and ensure active geo-redundancy. Unlike the Three Data Centers across Two Regions architecture, this architecture does not require a separate data center for cold backups and improves the high availability of the disaster recovery system. The architecture also provides competitive advantages to ensure scalability and high availability.

Benefits

  • Data Security and Business Continuity

    Mitigates the risks of data loss or data corruption that may occur when enterprises use a traditional disaster recovery architecture and ensures data integrity and consistency for financial applications.

  • Lossless Disaster Recovery across Data Centers and Regions

    Adopts a cell-based architecture to ensure active geo-redundancy for lossless disaster recovery. This way, enterprises can focus on developing stable, high-performance, and cost-effective financial applications.

  • Improved Utilization of Server Resources

    Overcomes the disadvantages of the traditional Three Data Centers across Two Regions architecture, such as the waste of the data center for cold backups. This reduces disaster recovery costs substantially.

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Success Stories

Cathay Insurance

Cathay Insurance

SOFAStack™ provides infrastructure resources to help Cathay Insurance quickly deliver applications over the Internet, develop mid-ends to meet agile business requirements, and resolve the issues related to large-scale releases, monitoring, and scaling.

PayTM

PayTM

PayTM managed 12x user growth in two years by utilizing Alipay+ Digital Wallet. Now, PayTM is one of the largest e-wallets in the world. SOFAStack™ provides distributed middleware to help PayTM build a unified technology middle-end and architecture governance and improve R&D efficiency.

GCash

GCash

GCash applied SOFAStack™'s distributed middleware, full lifecycle management, and real-time business monitoring function. It supported 10x transaction growth over two years and strengthened GCash's financial risk prevention and control capabilities.

PICC

PICC

SOFAStack™ and ApsaraDB for OceanBase help PICC Health build an industry-leading cloud core business system for Internet insurance. PICC Health has officially opened a new era of Internet insurance business, going from one order per five seconds to 1,000 orders per second.