"ApsaraDB for OceanBase is tested by the challenges of the 11.11 shopping festival for supporting the transactions, payments, and accounts of Alipay. ApsaraDB for OceanBase helps Alipay deploy a high availability architecture across data centers and regions. ApsaraDB for OceanBase also plays an important role in daily operation, emergency drill, and disaster recovery."
- Cheng Li, CTO, Ant Financial
Alipay is a leading third-party payment platform in China. It is dedicated to providing fast, easy, and safe online payment solutions. During the Double 11 Shopping Festival in 2019, the maximum number of transactions made on Alipay reached 544,000 per second. All core business data of Alipay, including transactions, accounts, Huabei (Ant Financial's consumer finance service), and Jiebei (Ant Financial's consumer loan service), are stored on ApsaraDB for OceanBase. Compared with traditional Oracle solutions, ApsaraDB for OceanBase requires lower costs and achieves higher scalability. ApsaraDB for OceanBase helps Alipay deliver reliable services during various seasonal promotions.
●Consistency: Consistency is the lifeline of financial businesses. Traditional databases can only provide limited solutions for ensuring consistency when dealing with hardware or system failures, such as the failures of data centers, operating systems, and servers. The maximum availability mode is one of these solutions. However, it may cause data loss if a primary database fails. The maximum availability mode increases unavailability over the entire year and compromises database performance.
●Scalability: In scenarios where high concurrency is required, databases are usually scaled out. However, when a traditional database is scaled out, the service is interrupted and the scale-out cost is extremely high.
● Availability: Financial businesses require a system availability of 99.99% or higher. To ensure high availability, some financial institutions use the features that are provided by the databases they use. For example, Oracle provides RAC and DataGuard features to ensure high availability. However, these features require long periods of time for disaster recovery. To reduce the recovery time, some high availability solutions, such as the failover solution, are implemented. However, these solutions introduce a lot of complexity.
●Cost and performance: For traditional databases, costs include server costs and license costs. Different from traditional financial companies, Internet finance services have large numbers of users. In this case, using traditional payment charging methods incur high costs.
Why Alibaba Cloud?
ApsaraDB for OceanBase provides financial-grade consistency by using the Paxos protocol, data verification mechanisms, and Alipay business model. After put into operation, ApsaraDB for OceanBase clusters have been scaled out online through table sharding several times, which can avoid business loss during scaling. ApsaraDB for OceanBase also provides a different deployment architecture. Alipay's ordering business uses the "Three Centers in the Same City" architecture, which provides disaster recovery capabilities for a single server or data center. An RPO of zero and an RTO of less than 30 seconds have been achieved. ApsaraDB for OceanBase follows the distributed design concept, which allows adding common PC servers and reduces the dependency on high-performance machines. Therefore, such a database with financial-grade reliability and consistency has been built at only one third of the cost for a commercial database.
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