Alibaba’s 11.11 (Singles’ Day) Global Shopping Festival took place last week, and the 24-hour sale managed to set some huge milestones this time around. To begin with, the 2019 sale managed to achieve a record-breaking $1 billion GMV in 1 minute 8 seconds and $10 billion in 29 minutes 45 seconds. Further, towards the end of the sale, the Alibaba group managed to achieve a total GMV of ¥286 billion (~ $2.62 billion) with an overall year-on-year GMV growth of 25.7% with around 1.29 billion delivery orders.

alibaba singles' day 2019 had a record peak order rate of 544,000 per second - alibaba singles day 2019 1

The Alibaba group credits its Cloud service, Alibaba Cloud, in helping it achieve such a huge feat. It says that the entire Alibaba Group’s core systems are hosted on its cloud platform, which helped it sustain the 24-hour shopping spree with a peak order rate of 544,000/sec and achieve the ¥268.4 billion revenue mark. Compared to its inaugural Singles’ Day sale in 2009, the 544,000/sec order rate is roughly around 1360 times that of back in 2009.

Jeff Zhang, CTO Alibaba Group, said – “Alibaba Group is like a highspeed jet that is capable of upgrading its engine during the course of flight. We are the first company in the world to run all core business systems on our own public cloud platform, and the performance, reliability, and agility of the core e-commerce platform increased drastically after moving 100% onto the public cloud. We want to share Alibaba Group’s experience with our customers so that we can enable them to take their businesses to the next level.

Highlighting the record-breaking numbers during the Singles’ Day festival sale this year, the Alibaba Group has listed some of the technologies that helped it achieve these figures. These technologies include —

1. X-Dragon server – that seamlessly integrates computing platforms in a single architecture to offer flexibility, agility, performance, and make it more cost-effective.

2. OceanBase and POLARDB databases – both the database products helped the group process requests at 61million/second and 87million/second speeds.

3. Separation between storage and compute – storage and compute were separated in the architecture and left to scale independently to make the platform flexible and cost-effective, which, in turn, resulted in low latency and faster processing for sales activities.

4. RDMA network – a lot of Alibaba’s Cloud data centers support RDMA networks, which help it reduce latency by up to 90%. And so, during the peak hours of the sale, the RDMA-based cloud storage and e-commerce database helped process large amounts of order and traffic.

5. Apsara Operating System – with so much processing power under the hood, the servers require an operating system to aid with different functionalities in the background, for which, they utilized the underlying distributed OS (Apsara) to process more than 970PB of data while still generating customized user experience and recommendations in real-time.

Before the Singles’ Day sale started, the Alibaba Group mentioned that while it strives to expand its business and increase consumption, it also has its focus on saving the environment. For which, it said that it would utilize the renewable energy and energy-conserving technology at its data centers on the day of the sale to save around 200,000 kilowatt-hours of energy.

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