Alibaba is opening its first international data center in Silicon Valley on Wednesday, making the Chinese e-commerce giant a new potential competitor, partner and customer for US service providers.
Aliyun is the biggest public cloud services company in China with more than 1.4 million customers, but gets only 5% of global public cloud spending and is "little known outside the mainland," the blog says. The company hopes that'll change beginning Wednesday when Aliyun starts selling cloud services to US companies. (See Alibaba Opens Silicon Valley Cloud Data Center.)
Aliyun supports Alibaba Group's vast Chinese e-commerce operations, with data centers in Beijing, Hangzhou, Qingdao, Hong Kong and Shenzhen, Alibaba says. It started offering commercial cloud services in 2009, and provides services to businesses, government agencies and merchants. Aliyun competes in China with US companies, including Amazon Web Services.
Initial services available in the US will be virtual servers, load-balancing, relational database and storage.
Aliyun's "fundamental edge" is that it's one of the few companies selling cloud services in both the US and fast-growing China market, "which could be attractive to American companies with operations in the world's two largest economies," Alibaba says.
And US carriers are increasingly focused on cloud:
- CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL) this week told Light Reading about its plans to reorganize around a cloud platform. (See New CenturyLink CTO in Major Overhaul.)
- Equinix Inc. (Nasdaq: EQIX) provides Cloud Exchange for connecting enterprises, network operators and cloud providers. (See Equinix Unveils SDN Engine for Cloud.)
- Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) focuses its cloud efforts on enterprise customers, providing certified hosted apps, interconnections between multiple cloud services, as well as cloud, security and network functions and Internet of Things services. (See Verizon Cloud Marketplace Simplifies Cloud Purchasing, Verizon: Cloud Users Seek 'Best of Breed' and Verizon Makes Integrated Services Push Around Cloud.)
Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) is making cloud and software its main focus, including its Intercloud hybrid cloud service offered in partnership with carriers. (See Cisco: Software, Cloud to Be 'Main Focus'.)
As Alibaba launches its US cloud business, American businesses and politicians are protesting what they see as China's efforts to limit foreign technology in that country, Reuters notes. Chinese regulations limit foreign competition and disrupt online services, including Google and Amazon, earning criticism from US President Barack Obama. (See China, US Quarrels Could Get Ugly for Telecom.)