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
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 7 ratings)



Prerequisite knowledge

  • General serverless and storage knowledge

What you'll learn

  • Learn how table storage, object storage, log storage, and serverless technologies can support massive workloads at your company


It’s two minutes and five seconds after midnight on November 11, 2018; that’s how long it took for the Alibaba platform to record RMB 10B worth of sales. At the 26 minute and 2 second mark, more than RMB 50B of goods were sold, and by the end of the day, a total of RMB 213.5B 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 did a massive number of transactions take place in a short period of time, but a massive number of users were also concurrently browsing product information. At one point, the system reached 1.72B messages per second. And later that day, over 1B 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 spent over 19 years at IBM, where he was the worldwide business executive for IBM Enterprise Storage XIV, IBM File Storage offerings, and IBM Software Defined Storage offerings among other roles. 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.