Aliyun Launches Cloud Startup Contest, Competing With Google and Huawei For Developers

摘要: On the Computing Conference, the 2017 Create@Alibaba Cloud Startup Contest was announced, supported by Alibaba and over a hundred partners. Several thousands of teams from the U.S., England, France, Singapore, Tokyo, Dubai, India, Australia and China etc. will compete in the game. This is the third time that Alibaba hosts this event and this year the global competition zone expands to 25.

(Chinese Version)

Just how many developers are there in China? To date there isn’t an exact number for that. However, according to statistics from IDC in 2014, there were 11 million professional software developers around the globe and China alone had 1.111 million developers, accounting for 10.1% of the total number. Looking from that, we can assume that China has at least one million developers.

In the past three decades, these developers hadn’t had much of choices as when they first got their hands on computers, they were all technologies from Intel and Microsoft. Microsoft’s developer tools and C/C++ are dominant in the industry. On the Computing Conference in Nanjing on April 26th 2017, Aliyun’s product experts and RDC manager Li Zhi revealed that he was also a Microsoft programmer in the beginning.

However, according to the 2016 China Software Developer Whitepaper from CSDN, the rise of cloud computing and open source development software, as well as the technology ecosystem, is taking developers away from Microsoft.

The whitepaper shows that Java and JavaScript are the most popular programming language while less developers are using C/C++. In terms of the languages that developers most interested in, Python ranks the first as 33% of surveyed developers show preferences, then we have Java, JavaScript, Swift, Go, HTM, and PHP.

When it comes to database preference, 73% developers choose open source MySQL, while Oracles attracts 41%, and Microsoft’s SQL appeals to 33%. When choosing cloud data, 75% of developers choose Aliun’s database RDS while 14% choose AWS and Tencent. Only 5% choose Microsoft’s Azure.
Aliyun is favored by 65% of developers for its development language and database, followed by Tencent’s cloud, which takes up 15%. AWS on the other hand is chosen by 13% of developer while Azure caters only to 6%.

On The Computing Conference in Nanjing, Aliyun surprised the audience by launching the R&D cooperation cloud, which allows users to complete the development of software on cloud, including the process of software demand, coding, testing, launch and feedback etc.

It’s reported that Aliyun’s R&D cooperation cloud is a result of Alibaba’s 18 years of accumulation from R&D and maintenance. Aliyun’s enterprise product director Tang Zinan stated: “The first step is become the R&D and maintenance support for Aliyun’s users.”

On March 22nd, Huawei introduces its software developer cloud, which is the most special one among all clouds. Huawei’s software development cloud is based on Huwei’s 30 years of experience and practices in software development. It aims to serve one million software developers, ten thousand software companies, one thousand schools and training centers. Huawei also wants it to become a teaching material and tool for relevant college programmers.

But what exactly sets Alibaba’s R&D cooperation cloud and Huawei’s software development cloud apart as they are both based on open source technology system? Li Zhi stated that the difference between Internet companies’ software R&D and traditional companies lies in the fact that Internet companies do not separate R&D and maintenance. That said, Internet companies focuses more on software maintenance and has more practical experience in continuous delivery and integration, which is the core of cloud computing era’s DevOps. For traditional software companies, R&D and operation and maintenance are separated.

When talking about Microsoft’s software development system, Li Zhi, as an experience Microsoft programmer, believes that Microsoft’s technology system is closed. He said that once you enter Microsoft’s technology system, it would be very hard to get out, which is not compatible with Internet’s open source technology system. Li Zhi’s opinion in fact represents most of the developers. The whitepaper from CSDN confirms that developers are indeed leaving Microsoft’s system.

Besides rolling out the cooperation cloud, Aliyun also introduced its Apsara Stack Agility on the Computing Conference. Apsara Stack Agility is Aliyun’s core operation system and supports the Docker enterprise version. This adds appeal to Aliyun’s hybrid cloud and its Apsara Stack. It’s reported that Alibaba has been using container technology internally for six years. In 2016, Alibaba ecommerce business’s platform changed its core to Docker. It’s capacity was tested during the Double Eleven Shopping Festival and it’s capable of deploying and managing tens of thousands of containers.

To increase the leverages when competing for the developers, Aliyun announced two leading technologies on the Computing Conference: server-free computing platform Function Compute and server Qilin. Function Compute is Aliyun’s answer to AWS’s server-free computing environment concept. It responses in milliseconds and charges in accordance with the demand. In a server-free computing environment, the developers don’t need to pay attention a certain function is carried out by which server from which cloud data center. The only thing they need to worry about is the software’s logic and features. It’s the newest developer cloud technology in the world.

Qilin server frees the date center from air conditioning as it puts the whole server in circulating cooling liquid. Its PUE is close to the maximum 1.0 theoretically. In traditional data centers, almost half of the energy is consumed by cooling. Liquid cooling is a highly efficient cooling method and this is the first time it’s being applied in commercial server cluster. The cooling liquid Qilin adopts is non-corrosive with complete insulation. The electronic components won’t have a problem in the liquid for over 20 years.

Additionally, Aliyun is increasing its investment for global investors. On the Computing Conference, the 2017 Create@Alibaba Cloud Startup Contest was announced, supported by Alibaba and over a hundred partners. Several thousands of teams from the U.S., England, France, Singapore, Tokyo, Dubai, India, Australia and China etc. will compete in the game. This is the third time that Alibaba hosts this event and this year the global competition zone expands to 25.

Up till now, Alibaba Innovation Center has set up 32 innovation centers and incubators in 22 cities in China, providing cloud resources and other Alibaba resources for over 5,000 startups. In May 2016, Alibaba was chosen as a role model base as the only Internet company by the state council.

According to Forrester Wave’s 2016 Q4 report on China’s public cloud sector, Aliyun was the leading platform in China’s public cloud sector, followed by AWS and Azure. As the first round of the public cloud competition in China is close to an end, how to provide a better cloud service and keep users engaged have become the next direction for the next round. Huawei and Aliyun’s new launch in March and April this year confirms that the competition is approaching.

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 [The article is published and edited with authorization from the author @Wu Ningchuan, please note source and hyperlink when reproduce.]

 Translated by Garrett Lee (Senior Translator at PAGE TO PAGE), working for TMTpost.

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