Typhoon Haikui Stress-tests AliCloud Web Traffic Management

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Typhoon Haikui Stress-tests AliCloud Web Traffic Management

Typhoon Haikui tested the infrastructure of China’s Zhejiang Province last week when the storm slammed the Chinese mainland. One utility that withstood the storm surge was a government typhoon-monitoring website using cloud-computing technology.



Typhoon Haikui tested the infrastructure of China’s Zhejiang Province last week when the storm slammed the Chinese mainland, destroying thousands of homes and disrupting the lives of millions. One utility that withstood the test was a website run by the Zhejiang Bureau of Water Conservation that monitors severe storms and provides that information to the public.

On an average day, the storm-monitoring website might get a couple of thousand hits. By 9 p.m. on Aug. 8, the day the typhoon came ashore, more than 4 million pageviews were logged. Although the traffic surge could have crashed the site, service continued without a hiccup because the water-conservation bureau had recently switched to a cloud-based traffic management system provided by Alibaba Cloud Computing (AliCloud), a subsidiary of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group.

Cloud computing is the delivery of computing resources as a service over the Internet. These services can be sold on an as-needed basis, freeing users such as the water conservation bureau from the costs of owning and operating large in-house systems capable of handling unpredictable surges in website traffic that happen only occasionally.

AliCloud provided the bureau with a cloud-based load-balancing service that shifts traffic to AliCloud servers during periods of high demand, said AliCloud business manager Bai Peixin. Typhoon Haikui was the first real-world test of the bureau’s system, said Bai, who added that were “not surprised at all” by the outcome. “For a government website, 4 million pageviews might not be a lot,” he said. “In the context of the amount of information AliCloud handles every day, it’s not that much data.”

AliCloud isn’t as well-known as other Alibaba Group companies, which include market-leading e-commerce websites Taobao Marketplace, Tmall and Alibaba.com. But the cloud-computing company has a growing client list of more than 6,000 corporations serving more than 100 million Internet users. AliCloud’s offerings include website traffic management services, data storage and database services, corporate e-mail and network security, among others.

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