Digital Transformation in Cloud Computing
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Digital Transformation in Cloud Computing

Top-level Design, Architecture, and Applications

Alibaba Cloud Intelligence GTS

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eBook - ePub

Digital Transformation in Cloud Computing

Top-level Design, Architecture, and Applications

Alibaba Cloud Intelligence GTS

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With the rapid development of cloud computing and digital transformation, well-designed cloud-based architecture is always in urgent need. Illustrated by project cases from the Chinese technology company Alibaba, this book elaborates how to design a cloud-based application system and build them on the cloud.

Cloud computing is far from being just a resource provider; it offers database, storage and container services that can help to leverage key advantages for business growth. Based on this notion, authors from the Alibaba Cloud Global Technology Services introduce new concepts and cutting-edge technology in the field, including cloud-native, high-availability and disaster tolerance design on cloud, business middle office, data middle office, and enterprise digital transformation. Resting upon Alibaba's years of practice and achievements in the field of cloud technology, the volume also elucidates the methodology and practice solutions of digital construction, including methodology, product tools, technical processes, architecture design, cloud application capacity assessment and optimization, etc.

The book will appeal to researchers, students, and especially IT practitioners, professionals, and managers interested in cloud computing, digital transformation, cloud migration, business middle office, data middle office, as well as the Alibaba Cloud itself.

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CRC Press
Computer Science

CHAPTER 1 Cloud Computing and Digital Transformation

Jin Jianming
DOI: 10.1201/9781003272953-1
There has never been an era like today that we can use information and data resource like hydropower and coal, and no era can use data mining and intelligence as much as today, in human history. The rapid arrival of the era of digital intelligence makes many people feel unprepared, but they also fully enjoy the convenience and innovation experience brought by the era of digital intelligence. Digital intelligence has a profound impact on all aspects of society and is constantly reshaping the way of life. More and more government institutions and enterprises put ‘digital innovation’ and ‘governance modernization’ on the agenda.
What is digital innovation? Digital innovation is to drive the reconstruction of business, organization and process with digital technology (Figure 1.1).
FIGURE 1.1 The value of digital innovation.
  1. Computing: Centralized (Mainframe) → Distributed (Virtualization) → Cloud Computing (Using on demand) → Data Intelligence (Digitalization and intellectualization). This is key development milestone after human beings entered the computer age.
  2. Data: File Store → Database → Big Data Platform → Data Analysis. Since the electronic storage of data, the data have evolved from simple storage to classified query, and then to in-depth analysis, which can help people make better and more efficient decisions.
  3. Connection: Cloud computing is not only a data center, a bunch of devices, a cloud operating system and some cloud computing, storage and network services, but also forms the interconnection of cloud, edge and terminal with people and everything. Cloud is in the center, providing unlimited computing power and massive data processing capacity, global control and macro analysis; edge is distributed in various regions, local computing and analysis, liberating transmission constraints, and local fast decision-making; the terminal connects all things, activates all kinds of devices, and touches all aspects of society like tentacles, so as to establish a connection between people and things. In the near future, when you go home, you may know at any time whether the street light on the road you want to cross is good or bad, whether you want to change the road, and so on, but this is just a very small use scenario of connection (Figure 1.2).
FIGURE 1.2 Connection.
Communication: The biggest change brought by the Internet and digital age is the change of communication mode. New technologies such as IM (Instant Message) timely communication, video interaction, live shopping and face recognition are constantly impacting the original way of life, and life is becoming more and more convenient. Therefore, many organizations have begun to try to communicate and manage online, organize online management (paperless office, electronic travel application, real-time display of organizational effectiveness, online training, etc.), office coordination, online data-driven business, and communication of information flow and data flow of ecological partners are all advancing by leaps and bounds. In the traditional communication mechanism, information transparency has always been a challenging problem. Many isolated islands of information lead to fragmentation and incompleteness of information, which will further lead to information distortion and inaccurate decision-making when the whole organization makes many judgments and decisions. Personal experience becomes a crucial factor. When there are still a lot of policy instructions that need to be uploaded or sent to the management from bottom to top, it is actually inefficient in the traditional enterprise communication mechanism. People may send documents layer by layer, and it has been a long time since one thing has been conveyed. However, if the whole organization can be connected by data flow, the distribution of an instruction may take a few minutes. Especially in the face of enterprises with hundreds of thousands of employees, if we want to hold a full staff meeting, it used to be totally unthinkable. Now online video live conference, exhibition on cloud and other forms of online communication technology have become mature, and began to be widely used in all walks of life. Similarly, in the past, if there were dozens or hundreds of people modifying the same document in a project, it was unimaginable, let alone dozens or even a few people. It was also a troublesome version management. Now, some collaborative platforms can realize the ability of online multiple people editing at the same time. Therefore, in the era of digital intelligence, there are many innovations in communication (Figure 1.3).
FIGURE 1.3 Communication.
In the big demand of digital innovation and governance modernization, cloud computing has entered the 2.0 era. From providing basic computing, storage, network, security and other resource services in 1.0, it has upgraded to a three-dimensional cloud service of infrastructure cloud & digital native operation system & industry solutions & ecological business system. From the cloud of 1.0 to the data, IoT (Internet of Things) and mobile, and then to the industrial and ecological development. Cloud based on 2.0 can achieve new business scenarios more flexibly, promote the landing of more innovative businesses through data and promote business change (Figure 1.4).
FIGURE 1.4 Cloud computing 2.0.
Alibaba has been trying to build a digital native operating system. Based on the cloud computing operating system, through the Internet of things and mobile technology, Alibaba has built a Cloud-Edge integration and Cloud-DingTalk integration technology system, so that all businesses can be digitized. With data as the blood, it connects all aspects of social life, so as to form a digital native operating system and promote business through digital innovation (Figure 1.5).
FIGURE 1.5 Digital native operation system.
For any government, institution or enterprise, governance is the top priority. Good governance can ensure long-term stability and healthy operation, and vice versa. So, what is the modernization of governance? Governance is nothing more than internal and external. The core goals of internal governance is to improve the efficiency of the organization, reduce operating costs, and ensure that the organization is safe and controllable; externally, take government institutions as an example, how to realize the refinement, source and rapid response of social governance, realize the people-centered service, and release the data dividend in the critical period of economic transformation, rather than continue to focus on the demographic dividend. Therefore, it can be summarized into two key words: ‘dual online, internal and external communication’, where ‘dual online’ is to realize online organization and online business, and ‘internal and external communication’ is to be proficient in internal governance and good at external management (Figure 1.6).
FIGURE 1.6 Governance modernization.
The above gives an overview of cloud computing and digitization. Next, let’s uncover the mystery of cloud computing and digitization.

1.1 Past and Present of Cloud

1.1.1 The Evolution of Cloud Computing Born in the Era of Extreme Single Computer Computing

On August 9, 2006, Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, first proposed the concept of ‘cloud computing’ at SES San Jose 2006. But in fact, the real external service of cloud computing comes from the elastic computing cloud (EC2) service launched by Amazon in March 2006. The earliest concept of cloud computing originated from ‘the network is the computer’ proposed by Sun Microsystems in the 1980s. In 2006, Microsoft, IBM, HP, Oracle, SAP and other companies are still in the ascendant era. Why did the cloud computing, which is now popular all over the world, come into being in the era of extreme stand-alone computing and single software? I think you may have found an interesting phenomenon that Google and Amazon are both studying cloud computing, but there is a big difference in the direction. First of all, let’s look at the respective businesses of Google and Amazon. Google’s main business is search business, and Amazon’s main business is e-commerce business. When it comes to Google’s cloud computing, the most famous papers are FS, MapReduce and BigTable. Google has been focusing on the research of distributed file system and big data-related technologies in its early stage, mainly because Google’s business is related to how to process data on a large scale and efficiently. Amazon’s early research direction of cloud computing is also very interesting. Because Amazon’s e-commerce enterprises have strong seasonal sales characteristics and short-term seasonal characteristics, when the sales peak comes, they need to quickly invest a lot of computing resources, and these resources will become a lot of waste after the seasonal sales peak has passed, so it makes Amazon incubate EC2, the earliest cloud computing service. However, these requirements cannot be solved by traditional software and hardware, which forces new companies such as Google and Amazon to start to study technologies to meet their own business. Due to the greater seasonal impact, Amazon has also commercialized earlier and launched cloud computing business services in order to save costs and avoid waste. After the emergence of Amazon’s cloud AWS, no matter the new Internet company Google, or the traditional software and hardware companies Microsoft and IBM have successively launched their own cloud. At the same time, many new cloud computing companies such as Salesforce and Rackspace have been born. The most interesting one is Salesforce, which is different from AWS, Microsoft, Google, IBM and others focusing on infrastructure cloud services. Salesforce has seen the high cost and relatively few services faced by many small- and medium-sized enterprises when using ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software. Salesforce has rapidly launched the cloud computing service based on CRM software, which is a great breakthrough and innovation. In fact, Salesforce started very early. Marc Benioff, the founder of Salesforce who was still working for Oracle, boldly proposed ‘no software’ and ‘software as a service’ in 1999. In the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the company, the company’s business has run out of a very sexy growth curve, accounting for about 20% of the CRM market share, far ahead of other CRM software company.
After looking at the United States, let’s look back to China. Alibaba was also an e-commerce company at the beginning. It had similar business scenarios with Amazon, and the complexity was even greater, because China’s double 11, 618, New Year’s Day and other large-scale promotion activities were larger and more frequent, and the demand for flexible resources was stronger than other region Internet companies. On the one hand, we can see the development trend of international technology. On the other hand, due to the extremely high cost of traditional software and hardware in the e-commerce industry, Alibaba also started the research on cloud computing in 2009, established Alibaba Cloud, and commercialized it on a large scale in 2014. So far, the business form of cloud computing has undergone tremendous changes, not only the layout of traditional cloud computing business, but also the development of cloud computing. It is further to the smart city, retail cloud, financial cloud and other new areas with strong industry attributes. Subsequently, a group of cloud computing companies focusing on the segmentation industry have sprung up, including UCloud and QingCloud. With the rapid promotion of Alibaba Cloud, AWS, Azure and other cloud computing platforms, we all see that cloud computing has a very bright future and huge market potential. After 2016, Tencent, Huawei, Baidu, Kingsoft, JD and other domestic enterprises have started to rapidly launch their own cloud computing. China’s cloud computing has entered the fast lane and entered the spring and autumn and Warring States period. However, with the increasingly obvious Matthew effect, it may quickly enter the Three Kingdoms era in the future.
It is because of the high cost of traditional hardware and software provider, the unfriendliness of architecture for new business, the difficulty of traditional hardware and software provider to choose their own life, the rapid development of the Internet era and other factors that cloud computing was born at the peak of traditional hardware and software business, and developed rapidly. However, compared with the traditional technology architecture, the overall market share of cloud computing is still a relatively small number, and there is still a very broad development space for cloud computing in the future. Four Stages of Cloud Computing Development

Cloud computing has experienced several different development stages since its birth, and it is still in high-speed evolution.
  1. Public cloud stage: Public cloud is the earliest form of cloud computing, and it is also the ultimate form that many cloud providers expect to achieve in the future so far. It starts from the earliest elastic computing shared resource rental service. So, what is public cloud? Generally speaking, public cloud is a kind of cloud computing mode in which users or customers connect to a third party through the Internet to provide public computing, storage, network, security, data and application sharing services. The following chart is a typical public cloud usage scenario on Alibaba Cloud. The emergence of public cloud not only reduces the difficulty and cost of ownership for small- and medium-sized enterprises and individual users to use basic resources such as computing, storage and network, but also improves the convenience, flexibility and timeliness of use, which also takes effect for large- and medium-sized enterprises. At the same time, for large- and medium-sized enterprises, it has also changed their information construction mode of holding proprietary data center, server, network, storage and other equipment with heavy assets in the past, and can further optimize and upgrade the personnel structure, and focus more on their own business development. Of course, the public cloud is not only limited to the infrastructure to provide services, but also takes the platform, software and data as a new mode of public cloud to provide services, which are called IaaS (infrastructure as a service), PaaS (platform as a service), SaaS (software as a service), DaaS (data as a service), etc. In this way, cloud computing is like hydropower. Users are tenants one by one, applying for the required resources and paying the required fees on demand. The rapid arrival of public cloud has brought about qualitative changes in the traditional IT market. On the one hand, as enterprises and ordinary users, they need to build their own data centers, purchase hardware and software equipment as assets, and train a large number of technical personnel to carry out the operation and maintenance of these infrastructures. With the arrival of public cloud, many technical personnel begin to transform to be technical architects who understand the business, and many enterprises also began to change thinking, and migrate the data and applications to the public cloud. On the other hand, with the popularity of PaaS, SaaS and DaaS services on the public cloud, enterprises are not limited to renting infrastructure shared resources, but directly act on the container platform, middleware and big data platform on the public cloud to build their own applications, and even directly rent the softwa...