China’s Alibaba Cloud has opened its first UK data centre facilities, adding two sites to an EMEA portfolio that previously spanned Dubai and a co-location site in Frankfurt shared with Vodafone.
The company declined to answer questions from Computer Business Review about site location or capacity (cloud providers typically lease custom space in data centres owned and operated by specialist third parties), but said they offered a wide range of Alibaba Cloud offerings.
The dual availability zones offer stronger disaster recovery capabilities, it added, saying it could now provide elastic computing – a means to manage usage spikes in a network – storage, database, network, application services and big data analytics from London.
The move comes as China’s largest public cloud provider seeks to ratchet up its presence in Europe and showcase its capabilities in handling huge loads, with experience born of handling China’s huge retail spikes.
(Last year the company facilitated a record-breaking 325,000 e-commerce orders per second during China’s Single’s Day on November 11, handling unpredictable peak traffic spikes, without incident, the company earlier told Computer Business Review).
“The pair of high performance availability zones will enable organisations in the region to accelerate the upgrade of their digital infrastructure enabling more efficient digital transformation initiatives,” the company said.
Alibaba Cloud said in a release: “The London location also boasts 24/7 on-site support – including both security and engineering – as well real-time monitoring and a ticketing system with SLA guarantees. Alibaba Cloud now operates 52 availability zones in 19 regions around the world.
“At Alibaba Cloud, we are – and always have been – committed to our customers. Our expansion into the United Kingdom, and by extension into Europe, is in direct response to the rapidly increasing demands we have seen for local facilities within the region,” said Yeming Wang, General Manager of Alibaba Cloud EMEA.
He added: “Using AI-powered and data-driven technology, our latest data centres will offer customers complete access to our wide range of cloud services from machine learning capabilities to predictive data analytics – we are incredibly proud to take this latest step in our continued investment in EMEA.”
In an interview in London, Wang earlier told Computer Business Review: “A lot of clients want to have a global service. Alibaba Cloud today is also the only provider who can manage one account to manage the whole global infrastructure. Neither AWS nor Azure can run seamlessly both outside of China and in China. This our advantage – helping global clients go to China; go to Asia. This is the first USP.”