Ethan Yu, Alibaba Group vice-president, gave media an overview of the company, and its cloud operations that commenced in 2009 after extensive development and testing for its parent company, Alibaba Group. The group comprises business-to-business and business-to-consumer trading platforms that include Taobao Market Place (China), AliExpress (global), and dozens of other online based enterprises. Wikipedia has an overview here.
Yu said, “We are now the world’s third-largest public cloud and have the unique advantage of offering both global coverage and incredibly strong Asian coverage. We are the choice for business wanting to do business in Asia.
“As a global leader in cloud computing and big data, Alibaba Cloud has successfully established critical commerce infrastructure to enable cross border businesses, online marketplaces, payments, logistics, cloud computing and big data to work together seamlessly. We look forward to working closely with our local partners and customers to drive technological innovation and development in Australia, and empower businesses of all sizes across different sectors,” said Simon Hu, president of Alibaba Cloud.
The Australian Cloud (location withheld for security reasons) offers all of Alibaba’s services – storage, network, database, security, and monitoring/management tools. Yu said that Alibaba Cloud had achieved several benchmarks including 175K orders per second processing, 120K financial transactions per second during Alibaba Group’s 2016 11.11 Global Shopping Festival.
Alibaba’s entry into Australia will generate positions in sales and support in offices located in Sydney and Melbourne. A key to its growth is to establish a channel partner programme, and it has announced that Accenture is its first global partner and integrator. ACP (Alibaba Certified Professional) training will commence in Australia shortly, and it expects to attract a large developer market.
It has also partnered with a range of SaaS providers including Docker, SAP, Here, Check Point, SUSE and Hitachi Data Systems and expects this list to grow.
Alibaba’s local cloud should satisfy governance and sovereignty rules and resilience will initially be provided by a back-up in the local data centre, and for others, with lesser requirements, it can be backed up to Singapore or Hong Kong.
The $64,000 question is why should Australian companies consider Alibaba in comparison to proven offerings from AWS and Microsoft Azure?
Yu said it was a very mature cloud provider, proven on home ground with the Alibaba Group. “It is fully tested, and we offer stability equal to our competitors,” he said. “The race has started, and the target is for the 90% of business still using on-premise infrastructure.”
Right to left – Simon Hu, President of Alibaba Cloud, Ethan Yu, General Manager of Alibaba Cloud Global, Raymond Ma, Regional Manager of Alibaba Cloud Australia
Cutting-Edge Technologies Driving Innovation (information provided by Alibaba)
Computing Power – Apsara for “11.11 Global Shopping Festival”
- Powered by Apsara, Alibaba Cloud’s super computational engine, Alibaba Cloud supported Alibaba Group’s 11.11 Global Shopping Festival with scalable computing capabilities.
- Apsara ensured that networks and systems were scaled to enable unprecedented volumes and efficiently matched buyers and sellers worldwide during the 2016 11.11 Global Shopping Festival. Topped with advanced real-time data processing and analytic capabilities, Alibaba Cloud facilitated a record-breaking 175,000 orders per second seen during unpredictable peak traffic spikes, without incident.
- In November 2016, Alibaba Cloud won the world championship of the CloudSort category in the 2016 Sort Benchmark competition. Alibaba Cloud set a world record of $1.44 per terabyte (TB), breaking AWS’ record of $4.51 per TB in 2014.
- In October 2015, Alibaba Cloud’s distributed compute system (FuxiSort) broke four world records in two of the most technically-demanding categories during the 2015 Sort Benchmark competition. Alibaba Cloud finished sorting 100 terabytes of data within seven minutes (377 seconds), three times faster than the previous record of 23.4 minutes set by Apache Spark.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
- Alibaba Cloud has a comprehensive suite of solutions in video, image and speech recognition technologies through its AI programme, ET. Its AI technologies could be implemented in different industries to help customers gain efficiency, monitor risks and minimise cost.
- Alibaba Cloud provides its AI, deep learning and data analytics capabilities to the “Hangzhou City Brain” master plan, to perform real-time traffic prediction. It enhances transportation departments’ efforts to ease traffic congestion and provide users with real-time traffic recommendations on travel routes.
- Alibaba Cloud hosts and provides security services for more than 35% of websites in China.
- Alibaba Cloud helped to protect a gaming app company against one of the largest DDoS attacks. The attack occurred on 20 December, 2014, lasted 14 hours and peak attacking traffic reached 453.8 gigabytes per second.
- In 2016, Alibaba Cloud achieved two new certifications overseas: Singapore Multi-Tier Cloud Security (MTCS) standard Level 3 and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS). This is on top of the previously awarded Information Security Management System Certification ISO27001 and Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) Star certification.
- In 2015, Alibaba Cloud issued a Data Protection Pact which outlined the company’s commitment to protect consumers and business data privacy.
- In 2014, the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology listed Alibaba Cloud as a trusted cloud service provider.
- In 2013, the British Standards Institute (BSI) awarded Alibaba Cloud with the world’s first gold certification for cloud security.