For 11 years, OceanBase has powered Alipay, reliably handling surging transactions during Double 11 events

  • 690 billion+Rows in a single table

  • 61 millionRequests per second handled during peak hours

  • 1,000+Cluster nodes

  • CNY

    2 billionReduction in storage cost alone

Alipay has been serving as a third-party payment platform in China since December 8, 2004. Today, Alipay has more than 1.2 billion users worldwide and has formed partnerships with more than 200 financial institutions, offering payment services for tens of millions of small and micro businesses. Through its business development and service innovation, Alipay has evolved into a comprehensive open platform that integrates various services, from payment services to life, government, financial management, insurance, and public welfare services.


Ant Group is the parent company of the mobile payment platform Alipay and a world-leading financial technology open platform. Fully owned by Ant Group, Alipay is a leading exemplar payment service provider in China. It has deployed OceanBase Database, a natively distributed database system, to run billions of SQL statements, store hundreds of petabytes of data, support more than one million server cores, and empower all core service traces in all five business modules.

Business Challenges

  • 1. Performance bottlenecks of conventional databases
    • The rapid development of technologies such as the Internet and cloud computing has triggered a data explosion. With more data types involved in ever-changing data application scenarios, combined with specific user needs and the real-time performance of interactive behaviors, meeting the requirements of data processing today using conventional databases and methods has become challenging.
  • 2. Ultra-high costs of conventional databases
    • Around 2013, more than half of the enterprises in the market chose the conventional combination of IBM midrange computers, Oracle databases, and EMC storage devices when building their IT systems. This approach relied on high-priced hardware to achieve satisfactory reliability and high availability. Furthermore, given the huge gap between the traffic volumes during peak and off-peak hours, hardware-based measures for handling massive traffic in special events would result in significant resource waste. 


  • 1. Data migration between heterogeneous databases
    • OceanBase Migration Service (OMS) is an all-in-one data migration tool designed to migrate data from heterogeneous databases to OceanBase Database. OMS performs static code assessment and dynamic traffic playback assessment to eliminate compatibility issues. Additionally, it offers features like full verification, incremental verification, and offline verification to ensure real-time data consistency.
  • 2. Emission reduction
    • OceanBase Database achieves higher utilization efficiency of computing, storage, and network resources through its capabilities of online/offline hybrid deployment, lossless scalability, and intelligent time-sharing scheduling. These features help Alipay in fulfilling its duties in emission reduction. For instance, OceanBase Database can release thousands of idle servers to support other business modules within 30 minutes after the traffic peak during a promotion campaign. This significantly shortens the resource occupancy period and improves resource utilization. 
  • 3. Reduction in data storage cost
    • The multitenancy feature of OceanBase Database integrates long-tail services of Oracle or MySQL databases to alleviate resource fragmentation. Additionally, OceanBase Database uses advanced compression technologies to compress the data storage to 1/4 to 1/3 that of the same service in an Oracle or MySQL database. Compared to the previous system, the costs of computing resources for applications are slashed by about 92%. OceanBase Database also supports the separation of hot and cold data, enabling Alipay to migrate cold data to low-price HDD storage, further reducing storage costs. 


  • 1. Significant improvement in O&M efficiency
    • OceanBase Database greatly improves the system efficiency of Alipay. Database administrators can easily control the O&M system to automatically and efficiently handle routine capacity scaling and disaster recovery. They can also complete scheduled capacity scaling and disaster recovery drills for major promotion campaigns with just a few clicks.
  • 2. Great achievement in energy saving and emission reduction
    • OceanBase Database helped Alipay cut its carbon dioxide emissions significantly in 2021, according to China Environmental United Certification Center (CEC). A total of 2,962,551 kWh of energy was saved, which is enough to power a pure electric car to drive 22 million kilometers, and is equivalent to an emission reduction of 1,864 tCO2e, an amount that can be absorbed by around 5 hectares of mature forest over a year.
  • 3. Stable support throughout ten seaons of Double 11 promotions 
    • In 2012, Alipay, following Taobao, migrated its system to OceanBase Database, a native distributed database. In 2014, although Alipay had initially planned to handle only 1% of the transaction traffic during that year's Double 11 event, it successfully withstood the pressure of 10% transaction traffic. Since then, OceanBase Database has consistently empowered Alipay to deliver impressive results in the subsequent Double 11 events.
  • 4. Substantial reduction in storage cost
    • After migrating an Alipay service from Oracle Database to OceanBase Database, the storage space occupied by the database is reduced from 100 TB to 33 TB, which is a two-thirds decrease. In a conservative assumption where the data volume of Alipay is about 100 PB, the storage cost of OceanBase Database is approximately CNY 2 billion less than that of Oracle Database.