Engineer for the future of Cloud
June 10-13, 2019
San Jose, CA

Cloud native storage behind the biggest 1-day shopping event in the world

Alex Chen (Alibaba Cloud)
4:45pm5:25pm Thursday, June 13, 2019
Building Cloud Native Systems
Location: LL21 A/B



Prerequisite knowledge

  • General serverless and storage knowledge


It’s two minutes and five seconds after the midnight on November 11, 2018; that’s how long it took for the Alibaba platform to record RMB 10 billion worth of sales. At the 26 minute and 2 second mark, more than RMB 50 billion of goods were sold, and by the end of the day, a total of RMB 213.5 billion of goods were sold, the equivalent of $30.5 billion. Over half a billion people across 200 countries participated in this event with goods purchased from 180 thousand brands. Clearly, not only a massive number of transactions took place in a short period of time but also a massive number of users were concurrently browsing product information. At one point, the system reached 1.72 billion messages per second. And later that day, over 1 billion packages were shipped out to the buyers. Alex Chen examines how a combination of cloud native storage products such as table storage, object storage, and log storage combined with serverless technologies were the backbone supporting such a massive workload.

Photo of Alex Chen

Alex Chen

Alibaba Cloud

Alex Chen is the senior director of product management at Alibaba Cloud, responsible for storage products and function compute. Previously, he held various leadership positions over 19 years at IBM. He was the worldwide business executive for IBM Enterprise Storage XIV, IBM File Storage offerings, and IBM Software Defined Storage offerings. He also led various business development efforts for IBM, including the acquisition of Texas Memory System in 2012, and divestiture of System X to Lenovo in 2014. He holds six US patents from his early career as a storage software development engineer, and he worked on enterprise block storage, tape systems, and storage management software development.

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