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Alibaba Cloud elbows into EMEA with new UK data centres

22 Oct 2018
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Competition is heating up among the major cloud providers, as Alibaba Cloud continues to claim a bigger stake in the market.

The Chinese cloud provider today announced the opening of two availability zones in the UK, emphasising its commitment to the region with data centres across three EMEA locations – Frankfurt, Dubai, and now London.

Alibaba Cloud asserts the investment will extend its capabilities within Europe and is a direct response to relentless demand for its services. The company says the pair of high performance availability zones will equip organisations in the region to push the advances of their digital infrastructure to ultimately enable more efficient digital transformation initiatives.

"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," says Alibaba Cloud EMEA general manager Yeming Wang.

"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 – ensuring that we continue to offer an unparalleled level of service. We are incredibly proud to take this latest step in our continued investment in EMEA."

Business continuity has been highlighted as a key focus, hence the dual availability zones to offer stronger disaster recovery options. The facilities also have 24/7 on-site support in addition to real-time monitoring and a ticketing system with SLA guarantees.

The new data centres will offer the bulk of Alibaba Cloud product lines, and brings the company’s global footprint to 52 availability zones in 19 regions around the world – and Wang asserts there are more global regions to come.

Freeform Dynamics distinguished analyst and director of engagement Tony Lock says Alibaba Cloud’s establishment in the UK is a timely one.

"The global cloud computing market is growing and increasing enterprise experience has led to a maturity of deployments. Today, with planning, global enterprises and organisations of all sizes are able to make informed and strategic decisions about their cloud investments,” says Lock.

“Together, cloud solution maturity and customer experience are leading to the popularity of a multi-cloud approach to services, which, in turn, is encouraging providers to look carefully at their own points of distinction. The arrival of Alibaba Cloud into Europe is an important milestone, not only for the company, but for the market by providing another significant world-wide cloud option for businesses in the EMEA region."

As an indication of how the new data centres will benefit not only customers in the region, but also customers from around the world, Alibaba Cloud provided commentary from an existing customer in China.

"As a specialist, global information company, we enable smart decision-making for the world's most ambitious businesses. Working with Alibaba Cloud has been key to our global success, and we have seen positive impacts from the easy implementation, a robust and scalable public cloud platform, and first-class customer support especially in a complex market such as China,” says Ascential chief information officer Sean Harley.

“In an increasingly complex, digitally-driven world, we need a service provider who is equally ambitious and has the geographical, vertical and technical know-how to support us, not only in China but eventually across the world to help us better serve our global customers."