Alibaba has just made major announcements at its annual event Apsara 2020, which is being held virtually this time around. The event witnessed the Chinese giant making several announcements about its different businesses, including the Cloud services business. The top announcement for the event was Alibaba Cloud 2.0, which has been dubbed by the company as the next phase of Alibaba Cloud. The 12th edition of the Apsara Conference is underway held in Hangzhou, China, and was themed “Leap into the Future of Digital Intelligence.”
One of the most crucial parts of Alibaba Cloud 2.0 is the launch of a new operating system for cloud computing, called Digital Native Operating System. Meanwhile, another interesting announcement was the launch of Wuying, which the company is touting as its first cloud computer. The aforementioned Cloud services announcements were made by Jeff Zhang, the CTO of Alibaba Cloud, during the keynote address.
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Digital Native Operating System
Talking of the Digital Native Operating System first, the cloud-based operating system integrates online collaboration, digital intelligence, and IoT capabilities. Zhang compared the level of service of current cloud deployments to a computer running DOS, and stated that the Digital Native Operating System would act as if the same computer has been updated to Windows.
Alibaba aims to make the new operating system more user-friendly and intuitive so that more and more enterprises can easily migrate to the Cloud and run workloads without any expertise in coding. Zhang compared the operating system to LEGO blocks and said that it aims to redefine app development. He further stated that the operating system will work toward phasing out process-based development in order to transform software development models.
Here’s how Zhang defines the capabilities of the new operating system, “the system will be intelligent, future-proof, mobile, and driven by big data, widening and deepening the cooperation between platforms and organizations. This is what digital native operating system changes.”
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Alibaba Cloud 2.0
Further, Zhang also stated that Alibaba Cloud 2.0 will be an all-in-one platform augmented by company’s Apsara System and Digital Native Operating System. The company aims to empower more and more organizations to create applications without having to worry about the significant investments involved. In his keynote address, Zhang said, “we want to make cloud technology accessible to everyone, just like water and electricity.”
Zhang further spoke about Alibaba’s vision of its second phase, “I believe that Alibaba Cloud 2.0 will change the way we run our workloads on the Cloud and the way we implement applications. It marks the beginning of a ‘digital era’ that will give birth to a smarter society, with smarter organizations and enterprises.” Alibaba also plans to integrate DingTalk with its services to enable efficient communication in organizations. The DingTalk integration will also leverage the solution’s mobility to empower insight-driven and intelligent cloud platform for application development.
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Wuying — Alibaba’s First Cloud Computer
The keynote address also witnessed Alibaba launching its first cloud computer called Wuying. As per Alibaba, Wuying is the next step in the evolution of IT infrastructure caused by Cloud computing. Wuying is a smartphone-sized device that can be connected to a screen and achieve the functionality of a PC. However, what distinguishes is that it allows users to run their workloads in a Cloud environment.
Zhang said, “Wuying transcends the capabilities of PCs, you can use Wuying to perform complex computing tasks, run workloads that have special requirements, or even render a high definition video that may require the use of multiple PCs.”
Alibaba claims that since Wuying only needs a screen to function, it can do away with the upgrade cycle of hardware as its compute capabilities are powered by Cloud. Alibaba also claims that since Wuying does not have any interface for external devices, it offers “unparalleled security.”
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