Case Study

Case Study: Alibaba

Deployment, Performance and Management at Scale for E-Commerce Giant

E-commerce giant, Alibaba, is currently topping the list as one of the world’s biggest companies with a market value of over 205.1 billion US Dollars. It has also announced a retail sales turnover exceeding the amount of 350 billion US Dollars. Alibaba was also the world’s first e-commerce site to boast over 6 million traders. It debuted at the New York Stock Exchange with an IPO of 25 billion US Dollars; a record that shattered all previous offerings.



Alibaba is divided into three main areas of business: Ali-Cloud, Ali-Express, and Alipay. These three business platforms each have their own hardware requirements and must be managed accordingly. The distinct features and complexities of each platform necessitate configuration flexibility, and centralized management. Traditional servers have dedicated fans and power supplies which consume much more power, are inefficient and difficult to deploy, maintain and service. Traditional servers cannot cope effectively with the magnitude and intricacy demanded to operate Alibaba’s infrastructure.



The Inspur Rack Scale Server SR 4.5 Rackscale Architecture simplifies system management, system upgrade, inventory asset management, and reduces TCO – using centralized rack level management, centralized power and cooling, and modular node configurations. Alibaba can easily manage and monitor remotely at the Rack Level using the RMC (Rack Management Controller). Multiple application nodes can be easily installed, deployed, and upgraded in the same rack in modular fashion – simply plug and unplug nodes from the rack. The Inspur Rack Scale Server SR 4.5 architecture makes it easy to service, maintain and do asset management on the infrastructure.

The Inspur Rack Scale Server SR 4.5 is a more cost-effective option for an online corporation of Alibaba’s magnitude. The Inspur Rack Scale Server SR 4.5 reduces cooling and power consumption by up to 5 percent for Alibaba. The expenses involved in operating at scale as well as maintaining it are significantly reduced. The Inspur Rack Scale Server SR 4.5 can also be incorporated into the current setting of Alibaba’s user arrangement as the floors in the data centers do not need to be raised. Alibaba also experiences greater efficiency when upgrading to new technology.



The flawless integration of the Inspur Rack Scale Server SR 4.5 and Alibaba’s systems were revealed in 2015, during the event known as ‘Double Eleven’ (similar to Cyber Monday). Alibaba exceeded a sales turnover of 14.5 billion US Dollars in one single day. This was made possible by reaching a peak of system transactions of 140,000 per second and 85,900 transactions a second. The Inspur Rack Scale Server SR 4.5, the key feature of the Alibaba infrastructure, facilitated this mammoth volume. The smooth processing was all attributed to the Inspur Rack Scale Server SR 4.5 servers for the record-breaking success.