Hybrid Cloud

Aliyun, Alibaba’s Cloud Computing Division, Opens Hong Kong Data Center

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With an entry into the US stock market looming, the Alibaba Group has announced that its cloud computing subsidiary, Aliyun (also known as AliCloud), is opening a Hong Kong data center.

According to the company’s announcement, this data center is launching today, and represents Aliyun’s first significant foray outside mainland China where it already has data centers in Hangzhou, Qingdao and Beijing.

The new facility was built in cooperation with Towngas Telecom, a subsidiary of Towngas, Hong Kong’s largest gas company.

Chinese companies expanding internationally have traditionally had to add web servers in local markets. The company noted that having Aliyun servers located in Hong Kong will allow customers to buy services remotely, and help Aliyun bypass the difficulties of the “differing sets of regulations governing the Internet in each country in which they were operating.”

In March, Aliyun announced intentions to expand internationally, but competition in the Chinese cloud computing market has also been growing in recent months with the entry of foreign entities (in cooperation with local business partners). Amazon Web Servies has been making strides in the Chinese market in cooperation with ChinaNetCenter, and IBM Enterprise Cloud Services are available in China through a partnership with 21Vianet. Microsoft has also partnered with 21Vianet to launch Office 365 and Azure.

Meanwhile, local companies have been taking to the cloud. For instance, China Unicom has launched a full-service cloud computing and big data brand called “Wo-Cloud” built on the OpenStack cloud software platform and delivered from data centers in Hohhot and Langfang.

Domestic cloud use in China continues to grow, yet it is important to note that concerns over data security still cause many foreign businesses to avoid hosting data in China.

Aliyun, which recently began offering cloud services internationally, however, has been amassing distinctions such as a gold certification for cloud security by the British Standards Institute. It also counts many Chinese government agencies and banks as customers, and partners is enhancing cloud security.

With Alibaba seeking funding through a highly anticipated US initial public offering in the coming months, Aliyun could benefit from additional resources and cloud technology acquisitions.

With a global cloud services market anticipated to be worth more than $107 billion by 2017, according to IDC estimates, it’s likely that Alibaba will try to leverage its Aliyun division to compete for a large slice of that market within China and throughout the world.

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  1. Frank Dwyer

    Amazon did less than $75 billion in 2013. Alibaba does $8 billion in one day? No way. This is a huge fraud. Global cloud services anticipated to reach $107 billion by 2017. Alibaba does 8% of this in a single day? I am in awe of the IT infrastructure of Amazon Web Services. They handle more data than their nearest nine competitors combined. Alibaba could not possibly be capable of processing the amount of data required for $8 billion dollars of sales in a single day. I do not care how populous or prosperous China, and the rest of the world are, the IT, electrical, cooling, networking, and internet switching capacity required for this level of concentrated activity does not exist. If this were true, imagine the global boom that would have resulted during their capacity build out for infrastructure manufacturers from electrical substations, to generators, electrical switchgear, automatic transfer switches, uninterruptible power supplies, batteries or other backup energy storage, static transfer switches, power distribution units. electrical power distribution units, circuit breakers, electrical cables, server racks, rack mounted power distribution units, cooling tower, hot aisle containment, computer room air conditioners, cooling towers, pumps, fans, and air handling units. If China alone had invested in the ability to produce this plethora of equipment we would see it here. I see some batteries made in China on the data center market but not much else. Products from any country capable of this level of production would be everywhere, trade barriers and regulatory impediments are a minor nuisance to address by the gigantic corporations required to produce this equipment. I do not see any European, Asian, Indian, Australian, American or even Chinese technological blossoming and innovative renaissance that would result from the creation or expansion of the myriad of companies across the globe that would be required to produce the infrastructure capable of carrying this one company’s daily data traffic. Amazon’s build out has produced and continues to produce a boom for their suppliers. Thank you Jeff Bezos. There’s lots of other less IT intensive American companies whose continuing IT infrastructure build out, like Amazon’s, produce significant benefit to suppliers everywhere in the world. There’s been no recession in this market. If the Chinese have invested the wealth of their nation in this endeavor, as have the countries of the West where are the innovations? They are certainly not here. And who built the delivery trucks? Has India, or Thailand, Indonesia or Nepal blossomed into prosperity? Sure, they can buy all these items from just a few multinational conglomerates but these firms would need to employ a very large number of people to make the required components. Where are the data centers? Everyone in the industry knows the locations of the multinational conglomerates’ data centers. Heck, everybody knows where the facility is that the NSA houses the computer systems that they use to spy on us. It would be apparent if Alibaba rented the space they would require in every country where they do business. Show us the money. As far as I can tell they have four data centers in China and one in Hong Kong. Amazon has five data centers in Seattle. Amazon’s and all the other Western companies’ and Governments’ IT build out over the last five years has the required infrastructure manufacturers running at full capacity. If the country of China, Alibaba or any single entity in the world had built the capacity to process the amount of data required for an $8 billion dollar day it would have produced a boom. There has been no Alibaba boom, even when you consider the global governmental, military, and intelligence communities’ impact on infrastructure manufacturers it is obvious that Alibaba’s sales are too good to be true. If they could offer any of this equipment to American data center owners for a couple dollars less you better believe they would use it. This tide has mysteriously raised only one of the ships.