It’s no secret: Organizations of all sizes are struggling to build the nimble architectures and secure backbones required for today’s digital-business needs and rapid-fire online transactions.
To address this need, Chinese e-commerce and cloud-services
powerhouse Alibaba recently debuted its enterprise-class Internet
architecture, Apsara Aliware, which uses the underlying technology that powers Alibaba’s successful online marketplaces. Offered
through Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of Alibaba
Group, Apsara Aliware introduced Alibaba’s cloud and middleware
expertise to customers who are currently mainly in China, though
Alibaba plans to offer the solution globally.
Officially known as the Enterprise-Class Internet Architecture:
Apsara Aliware, the solution consists of a proprietary technology
stack and a highly agile and scalable cloud platform. It supports
all Alibaba Group entities, including Taobao (an online marketplace that resembles eBay), Tmall (like Amazon, a business-to-consumer open platform that allows brands to sell goods and
services), and Alibaba.com (a business-to-business platform), as
well as Alipay, a service similar to PayPal.
The enterprise-class Internet architecture Apsara Aliware is the
cornerstone of the Alibaba Group’s technology innovations,
supporting a diversified business portfolio that includes business, finance, logistics, cloud computing, video broadcasting,
and navigation services. For instance, the Aliware platform
processed total sales of more than $17.8 billion in the 2016
Double 11 Global Shopping Festival, up from $14.3 billion in
2015. During the 2016 event, the platform also supported peak
volumes of 175,000 transactions and 120,000 payments
The technology’s value proposition is simple, says Jiangwei Jiang,
A Platform for Efficiency and Innovation
Alibaba research staffer and head of the Aliware team: “Aliware
helps to enhance corporate IT system responsiveness, leading to
huge improvements in enterprise business responsiveness and
significant reductions in cost.”
Aliware is used by large Chinese companies in manufacturing,
sales management, government, telecommunication, and retail.
Specific clients include the Chinese petrochemical company
Sinopec and Zhejiang Tobacco, among others. According to
Data Center Knowledge, an industry news website, the primary
cloud user base includes mobile-app developers, system integra-
tors, Internet gaming and online platforms, and e-commerce and
Internet finance companies.
Aliware customers benefit from Alibaba’s considerable expertise
in building a reliable and hugely scalable digital backbone for
online transactions. Few organizations have the experience and
resources to develop their own platforms for handling high user
and transaction volumes securely and speedily. For that reason,
it’s less expensive and more efficient for many of them to instead
use what Alibaba has already built.
“The essence of the platform is to enhance the efficiency of
industry operations, to narrow the gap between the end user
and the service or manufacturing enterprise, and to speed up the
response to market changes,” Jiang says.
Consider, for example, the traditional car-manufacturing paradigm.
After producing the cars, manufacturers and car buyers typically
are out of touch because the local car dealership sits between
the two sides. Through the Aliware platform, car manufacturers
can interact directly with end customers, capturing their preferences for future product development as well as car performance
and quality information from the field. Data from manufacturing,
customer management, supply chain, marketing, and other
groups is shared and linked seamlessly.
The Internet and mobile technologies have profoundly changed
the way customers and companies interact, says Jingyu Wang,
Aliware cloud products R&D leader. Customers demand more
from their e-commerce technology: more information, more say
in product design, more service via their preferred channels.
“As the production and manufacturing industries accelerate to
keep pace with the digital information age, the enterprise demand
for data storage and computing capacity will grow far beyond
the maximum capacity of the traditional hardware-supported
Total sales for
2016 Double 11
more from their
more information, more
say in product design,
more service via their
Jiangwei Jiang, Research Staffer,
Head of Aliware Team
Jingyu Wang, R&D Leader,
Cloud Products, Aliware
Lin Zhao, Product Leader,
Cloud Products, Aliware
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