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China's cloud computing industry: chips in the middle and upper reaches are stuck, and cloud ecology in the lower reaches is flourishing

via:博客园     time:2019/10/15 22:39:11     readed:127

From another perspective, there are two sides of the development of cloud computing industry in China.

Text: Zhang Shuai

To what extent the cloud computing industry has developed in China, few people can say it clearly, and there are few interpretations that put the cloud computing industry in a global perspective.

Recently, the white paper on the development of China's cloud computing industry, produced by the International Institute of technology and economics, development research center of the State Council, was officially released. There are a lot of white papers in the cloud computing industry. The special feature of this time is that the subordinate units of the State Council directly release them. The State Council encourages enterprises to go to the cloud in advance. The white paper comprehensively and systematically expounds the development of China's cloud computing industry and provides forward-looking insights and predictions.

Firstly, the background is explained. The rapid development of cloud computing is not only the natural evolution of industry and technology. The white paper points out that China's cloud computing industry is facing a critical period of development.

  • On the one hand, with the rapid development of global digital economy, cloud computing industry in China has become an important infrastructure to ensure the restructuring of China's economy and the transition to digitalization and intellectualization.
  • On the other hand, due to the influence of trade friction, the upgrading of traditional industries and the iterative demand pressure of new information technology, the cloud computing industry in China has the outstanding problems of low degree of independent research and development of core technology, innovation and lagging construction of applied ecosystem.

I. The relationship between cloud computing and digital economy

The link between cloud computing and the digital economy is not new, but to elaborate on the role of cloud computing in the digital economy, or in the next economic cycle, what they say is not exactly the same.

This white paper states that

For example, the application of AI-enabled robots in manufacturing scenarios such as workshops and warehouses makes it possible for manufacturing enterprises to make perceptual-based production decisions. As manufacturing methods become more advanced, manufacturing enterprises will inevitably change the old business model, and ultimately achieve digital transformation and intelligent upgrading.

For the digital economy,Cloud computing is not only a tool to realize IT resource pooling, improve performance, reduce costs and simplify management, but also provide rich services for the digital transformation of the industry.。 That is to say, all kinds of production and market resources based on cloud platform integration can promote efficient docking and collaborative innovation in the upstream and downstream of the industrial chain, greatly reduce the threshold of enterprise digital transformation, and accelerate the development of digital economy.

2. Cloud computing is a big country competition

Technology is the bright line, the big country competition hidden behind the technology is the secret line, which is why every country has improved the strategic position of cloud computing.

U.S.A:In 2011, the Federal Government Cloud Strategy was promulgated in order to solve the problems of low utilization rate of federal government e-government infrastructure, scattered resource demand and serious system repeat construction. At the same time, we will encourage major industries in the United States to use clouds, encourage finance, manufacturing, government and other major industries to migrate business systems to the cloud, and put forward the goal that the size of the cloud computing industry in the United States accounts for at least 30 percent of the high-tech industries by 2020.





Typical countries take the United States as an example. The development of cloud computing industry in the United States has gone through five stages:

1, after 2006, the concept introduction stage

Schmitt, chief executive of Google (Google), in August 2006

2. 2006-2008, the stage of enterprise promotion and user cognition

During this period, IT enterprises in the United States actively introduced the concept of cloud computing to promote the market and users on a large scale. Users and governments also pay close attention to the development of cloud computing related technologies. The government vigorously promotes cloud computing related technical standards, industrial planning, and users pay close attention to the core value of cloud computing related solutions to enterprise information systems and business development. With the development of VMware and other companies, virtualization, distributed computing and other cloud computing rely on the continuous development and improvement of basic technologies, Amazon (AWS), Google and other American Internet companies take the lead in launching related businesses.

3. 2009-2010, accelerated landing stage

The US government actively promotes the development of cloud computing industry. The Federal Information Commission issued the Federal Government Cloud Computing Development Plan in 2009 to guide government departments to use cloud computing to improve productivity and reduce IT investment; proposed in 2010

4. 2011-2015, wide application stage

In 2011, the U.S. government officially released the Federal Cloud Computing Strategy to create a social environment for cloud computing applications, drive the development of the cloud computing industry, guide government departments and industries to migrate to cloud platforms, and explicitly require government departments to migrate at least three services to cloud computing services by the end of June 2012. In addition, the federal government invests about $20 billion a year in cloud computing procurement and research and development. At the same time, finance, manufacturing, retail, logistics, transportation, education, medical and other industries began to widely use cloud computing technology.

5. From 2016 to now, popular stage

After the rapid development of IaaS and other cloud computing services, the security and reliability of cloud computing services have been widely recognized and accepted. At the same time, with more and more developers choosing more flexible and convenient PaaS cloud platform for application development, the industry application is further deepened. According to the data released by IDC and other organizations, the application of cloud infrastructure has exceeded 75% in the fields of business, health, education, public facilities and so on. The whole industry has formed a complete value chain and ecosystem.


According to Lei Feng, the typical feature of China is late development, which also has the advantages of late development. It can greatly shorten the front links, and has successful industrial practice as a reference. If we want to compare the same period, the development of China's cloud computing industry should be accelerated.

III. overview of China's cloud computing industry

Industrial scale

According to the data from the national development and Reform Commission, since 2010, the Chinese government has invested more than 1 billion yuan every year to promote the development of cloud computing industry. At present, it has invested more than 10 billion yuan in total.

According to the data released by China Academy of information and communication, IDC and other research institutions, in 2018, the scale of China's cloud computing industry reached 96.28 billion yuan.


From the regional point of view, North China, East China and South China are the leading regions of the development of the cloud computing industry in China, mainly because the regions have concentrated on the main Internet enterprises and users of finance, consumer goods and manufacturing, among which, the share of North China is the highest, accounting for 23.1%.


From the perspective of industry, at present, the main users of cloud computing in China are concentrated in the Internet, transportation, logistics, finance, telecommunications, government and other fields. In recent years, the amount of data in various industries has increased sharply, and more fields have begun to use cloud computing technology to mine data value. Although the Internet industry is still the leading industry, the scale of cloud computing in transportation logistics, finance and other industries also occupies an important position. Status.


IV. basic situation of China's cloud computing industry chain

According to the industrial structure, the cloud computing industry chain can be divided into upstream core hardware (chip: CPU, flash memory, because of the chip)

The structure of China's cloud computing industry chain is shown in the following figure:


Fifth, upstream core hardware: chip link is still weak

Lei Feng understands that in China's cloud computing market, the vast majority of the computing, network and storage resources of the main cloud service providers come from foreign enterprises. In addition, the vast majority of flash memory chips are also from the United States, Japan and South Korea.

At present, China has become the world's largest semiconductor market, but also one of the fastest-growing cloud computing markets. At the same time, due to the increasingly complex international competition situation and increased trade friction, developed countries have banned chip technology and product exports as an important tool to curb the development of competitors. For example, in 2018, the United States banned the sale of chips to high-tech enterprises in China.

  • Independent research and development of server chip

At present, China's independent research and development of server chips mainly has the following directions: alpha architecture, arm architecture, MIPs architecture, x86 architecture, power architecture, emerging MIPS based Longxin, X86 based Zhaoxin, arm based Tianjin Feiteng and Huawei Kunpeng 920, and alpha based Chengdu Shenwei. Risc-v, an open source instruction set architecture based on the principle of reduced instruction set (RISC), has also attracted the attention of many domestic technology companies.


Alpha architecture is developed by Dec, which is one of the fastest RISC processors. However, most of alpha's technical patents have expired or are about to expire. At present, Chengdu Shenwei is the domestic R & D company of this kind of architecture processor chip. Based on this architecture, the company can develop server chip with the autonomy to expand instruction and development path.

Arm architecture. At present, among the domestic server chip enterprises, Tianjin Feiteng and Huawei develop server chips based on ARM architecture. These two manufacturers have unlimited permanent authorization for V8 architecture, and can develop and independently evolve based on V8 architecture.

In 2019,Huawei released Kunpeng 920 chip based on 7 nm process.

In 2018, Tianjin Feiteng released a series of FT-2000 products that integrate 64 FTC661 processor cores, upgrading the process to 16 nm, upgrading the maximum single core main frequency to 2.6 GHz, and supporting DDR4.

The above-mentioned manufacturers have accumulated many years of server chip development, clear road signs (for example, Huawei has planned the next generation of 5nm chips), strong ecological development efforts, and applications in operators, government, finance, Internet and other fields.

MIPS architecture, home-made server chip companies based on the architecture of Longxin research and development, the early Longxin had planned to develop PC processor based on this architecture, but the results are not good, Longxin is now based on the architecture to develop server chips.

The power architecture and intellectual property rights are owned by IBM. In 2015, it was opened to Chinese enterprises. However, due to its limitations, the development of domestic server chips based on the architecture was affected to some extent.


  • Independent research and development of memory chip

In the field of memory chips, Chinese manufacturers lack core technology in the field of high-end memory chips and need to cooperate with foreign countries.

At present, Ziguang Guoxin, Wuhan Xinxin and other enterprises have built or are building storage chip factories for independent research and development in the field of storage chips. As the main investor of storage chip manufacturing plants of Ziguang group, Ziguang Guoxin's business involves the design, production, test and scheme construction of storage chip, mainly focusing on the research and development of 12 inch DRAM storage chip.

Fujian Jinhua is an early domestic enterprise to carry out memory chip research and development, with memory chip factories in Fujian, Shanghai and other places. In 2019, the United States imposed a ban on the sale of technology and products to Fujian Jinhua, banning American enterprises from selling technology and products to the latter, and the company's own R & D process has been affected.


  • Main bottleneck in chip field

At present, the domestic chip industry has made great progress from capital to technology research and development level, and the degree of self-control has been greatly improved. However, there are many links in the chip industry, and there are still many technical barriers in front of Chinese chip enterprises, among which the most important bottleneck is in the design and manufacturing link.

In the chip design, the core technology of chip simulation design software is monopolized by American enterprises.

Chip simulation design software makes the difficulty of chip design and VLSI production greatly reduced. Without the support of such software, the difficulty of developing advanced chips will be increased by an order of magnitude. Neither Samsung nor Intel can design chips without simulation design software.

The technical threshold of this field is relatively high, so it is difficult to research and develop not only the computer automatically generates the circuit, but also the simulation optimization. At present, the main providers in this field are cadence and Synopsys, etc. simulation design software technology has developed to the third generation, which can realize parallel simulation and support standard multi-core servers.

The key to independent and controllable chip simulation design software is whether Chinese enterprises can fully master all the technologies, including architecture design, module design, coding, testing, simulation, layout and wiring, clock and power optimization, package test design and so on.

In the chip manufacturing process, the world's most advanced technology is mastered by multinational companies, while the chip manufacturing process in mainland China is still at 22nm and 16nm.

The lag of process technology is one of the important reasons that the chip industry in mainland China lags behind the developed countries and regions. For example, TSMC can put 5nm process into production in 2020 and is developing 2nm process, which is expected to be commercially available in 2024.

In addition, the core manufacturing equipment of 7nm process can only be produced by a small number of countries, such as the Netherlands, Japan and so on, and the local industry also needs to break through as soon as possible. Advanced, independent and controllable process research and development can not only raise the development level of chip industry, but also play a strong role in promoting the development of cloud computing industry in China and the digital transformation of other industries.

Mid-stream IT infrastructure: domestic equipment not available

It infrastructure is an important resource platform to support cloud applications, mainly composed of servers, storage, network equipment, etc. After years of development, domestic manufacturers have occupied an important market position in server, storage, network equipment and other markets.

Taking the field of server and storage as an example, the server industry in China has developed rapidly in recent years. Driven by the concepts of digital transformation and intelligence, China's server industry has maintained a good growth trend. according to IDC data, China's X86 server market shipped 3.304 million units in 2018, an increase of 26.1% over the same period last year, and the market size was 115.195 billion yuan, an increase of 54.9% over the same period last year.



In the storage market, in 2018, China's storage market accounted for 12.0% of the global storage market, with a year-on-year growth of 26.8% in 2018, reaching US $3.2 billion.



  • Main bottlenecks in the field of IT equipment


Although the server, storage and other basic equipment are domestic, most of the chips used are x86 architecture. Once there is trade friction and other situations, it is likely to be blocked by other countries.

Compared with Alpha architecture, ARM architecture, MIPS architecture and Power architecture, from the practical application point of view, the current applications are Huawei Kunpeng chip Taishan server based on ARM architecture, Tianjin Feiteng chip based server, Chengdu Shenwei chip server based on Alpha architecture, these servers have entered the government centralized procurement list, I believe there will be some applications in the government and other fields in the future.

Downstream cloud Ecology: flowers bloom

Ecosystem is very important to the development of cloud computing industry in China, which is even more important than chip and IT infrastructure. Although China can develop independent controllable chips and infrastructure, if there is no open source ecological environment and open industry application system for users, ISV and SI, then the cloud computing market in China will eventually become the dumping place of technology products of foreign cloud computing manufacturers.

Cloud ecology mainly includes cloud basic platform, database, cloud native and SaaS application, etc. there are many manufacturers of cloud ecology making progress, here is just an example.

  • Cloud basic platform

In 2019, Huawei cloud released Kunpeng cloud services and solutions. Kunpeng cloud services aggregate chips and hardware equipment developed by Huawei and support multiple domestic server operating systems.

In 2013, Ariyun independently developed a large-scale distributed computing platform

Tencent Cloud and Zhongke Shuguang signed a strategic cooperation agreement in 2017, deepening business cooperation in smart city, city cloud, industry cloud, big data and other areas, and jointly build.

  • data base

Database is a heavy asset that enterprise IT relies on, especially cloud database has gradually become a new generation of IT infrastructure. At present, Chinese manufacturers are developing rapidly in this field. In terms of market performance, Ali's polarDB has made good progress, with Tencent Cloud's database growing at 123 percent and foreign database platform Oracle at 66 percent over the same period.

In terms of technical progress, in 2019, Huawei launched gaussdb, a distributed database, which adopts MPP (massive parallel processing) architecture, supports row storage and column storage, and provides petabyte level data processing capacity. Oceanbase, a domestic database platform launched by ant financial, has also been open-source in GitHub.

  • Cloud primary

Huawei Cloud originally included the cloud in the scope of strategic technology investment in 2019. in 2019, Huawei launched KubeEdge 1.0 to achieve full collaboration, performance, reliability and stability of the end-edge cloud and support the service grid, which will have computing power.

In 2019, Alibaba cloud released the edge container and cloud native application management and delivery system. The edge container can realize the integrated application distribution of cloud, edge and end, and support the application distribution and life cycle management under different system architectures and network conditions.

Tencent cloud also released cloud native technology products for different scenarios of enterprises, including enterprise level container service platform tke, container service grid, serverless 2.0, one-stop Devops.

  • SaaS application

According to IDC analysis, application procurement plays a leading role in the purchase of SaaS. The main SaaS applications include enterprise resource management (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM), followed by content workflow and management applications, and collaborative applications (cloud video conference, cloud collaboration platform).

With the arrival of Tob era of domestic cloud computing, domestic Internet manufacturers are making efforts to the enterprise level market, and traditional software leaders such as Kingdee, UFIDA, Guanglianda, Huina, Shiji are vigorously transforming to the cloud; start-ups are also emerging in succession, such as high-quality manufacturers such as numerous customers, sales easy, Beisen, etc.

At present, the industry has entered a stage of quality growth, and the turning point of domestic SaaS market development has arrived.

In the last era of management software, the layout and technical strength of general software manufacturers (such as user friends, Kingdee) lagged behind the international giants, and the market of large group enterprises (many state-owned enterprises, central enterprises) could not enter.

From the current development point of view, after SaaS, domestic users are gradually realizing localization substitution, for example, northern industry used Oracle before, PetroChina used sap, and these enterprises chose domestic enterprise Kingdee when they went to the cloud.

Six, summary

  1. Main bottlenecks of cloud Ecology:The vast majority of applications in various industries are based on windows and x86 architecture. Once these commercial technologies are limited, they will bring huge risks to the operation of application systems in various industries.
  2. China's cloud computing industry has maintained an annual growth rate of more than 30% in 2016-2018, but compared with the United States,In 2018, the scale of China's cloud computing market is only about 8% of that of the United StatesThis is significantly different from the current situation that China's GDP accounts for about 66% of the U.S. GDP in the same period. It can be seen that the development level of China's cloud computing and economic development level show a serious mismatch.
  3. There is a big gap between the cloud rate of our government and enterprises and that of developed countries. According to the data of McKinsey and other research institutions, in 2018, the cloud access rate of U.S. enterprises has reached more than 85%, and that of EU enterprises is about 70%. However, according to incomplete statistics of organizations and institutions such as China Electronics Society,In 2018, the cloud access rate of enterprises in various industries in China is only about 40%
  4. The full stack self controlled cloud computing platform will become the mainstream IT infrastructure of the government and large enterprises.The requirements of the government and large-scale enterprise users for the autonomous control of cloud computing technology will be improved, especially for the key information system running the core applications and data of the government and enterprise, and even the whole process including chips, it infrastructure and ecosystem needs to be fully autonomous and controllable.

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