Alibaba Cloud to Open Four New Data Centers
Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce company known for its consumer and business sales, has expanded its influence as a cloud computing company. The cloud computing arm of the company, Alibaba Cloud, announced this month that it will open four new data centers – one each in Australia, Europe, the Middle East, and the country of Japan.
The first of this group to open is the Dubai location, which began its operations on Oct. 21. The rest of the collection is expected to begin running by the end of 2016. Together, they will increase the total number of data centers under Alibaba Cloud’s care to 14 and should help build the company’s existing client base of about 2.3 million subscribers.
Simon Hu, the president of Alibaba Cloud, commented on the types of industries these data centers can affect. He also spoke about Alibaba’s goal to have a positive influence on the global economy and address business large and small.
“Alibaba Cloud has contributed significantly to China’s technology advancement, establishing critical commerce infrastructure to enable cross-border businesses, online marketplaces, payments, logistics, cloud computing, and big data to work together seamlessly,” Hu said. “We want to establish cloud computing as the digital foundation for the new global economy using the opportunities of cloud computing to empower businesses of all sizes across all markets.”
This is not Alibaba’s first foray in computing. Beyond its construction of the existing 10 data centers, it has influenced the Internet of Things (IoT) by working with Gemalto, an international data security company, to increase the abilities of the Alibaba YunOS, an operating system used for controlling IoT-based data and services. Gemalto called that partnership a huge push for IoT that has the ability to place both companies “in a sweet spot to provide security and trust in this ever-expanding ecosystem.”
The link between Alibaba’s push in IoT and its creation of new data centers is the global demand for faster data and more advanced networking. One of Alibaba’s online marketplaces recently saw a peak of 175,000 transactions per second. The amount of data flow at that time would be enormous, and it would certainly require robust data centers that can properly handle the load and route it correctly without error. When IoT information is added to the mix, it will place a strain on those networks that the world may never have seen.
Still, Alibaba will need to have expected the strain. Its partnerships and creation of new computing facilities suggest that it has kept its eyes on the future. For its own sake and the quality of service that its customers expect, that matching of reality and foresight should result in something tempered and capable for years to come.
Edited by Maurice Nagle