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Alibaba Challenges AWS in Cloud Computing

The dominance of Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS) isn't deterring new competitors from entering the public cloud computing arena, with giant e-commerce company Alibaba Group being the latest to join the fray.

Aliyun, the company's cloud computing unit, yesterday announced a plan to team up with partners around the globe to provide hybrid cloud computing services, localized to meet the regional needs of developers. This Marketplace Alliance Program (MAP) will work with companies such as Intel, Singtel, Equinix and several others to provide customized cloud expertise.

"By collaborating with international partners and combining their experience and expertise in local markets, Aliyun is able to reduce infrastructure cost, improve networking efficiency, optimize cloud solutions, pass along savings and provide hybrid cloud services to cloud consumers in Internet, finance, energy, gaming, entertainment, healthcare and education," the company said.

Several industry observers noted the move was a direct challenge to AWS and its major competitors such as Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform. "The company is expected to add more partners in the future which will help to boost its ability to compete with the likes of Amazon," Computer Business Review said in an article titled, "Alibaba's Cloud Alliance Targets AWS, Google & Microsoft."

CNBC reported the Chinese company isn't daunted by the tough cloud competition. "They are great role models for Aliyun we want to learn from their strengths," company exec Simon Hu was quoted as saying by CNBC in an article titled "Alibaba in Big Push to take on Amazon in Cloud." "At Aliyun we want to benefit from technology profits and help society create a better balance and increase efficiency."

Commenting on the partnership program, Intel exec Raejeanne Skillern was quoted as saying, "For years Intel and Alibaba have collaborated on optimizing hardware and software technology across the datacenter for Alibaba's unique workloads. As a partner in Aliyun's Marketplace Alliance Program, Intel looks forward to continuing our collaboration to promoting joint technology solutions that are based on Intel Architecture specifically tailored to the rapidly growing market of international public cloud consumers."

Pricing details weren't disclosed, as they will reportedly vary by region. Aliyun, which it says "creates "sophisticated networking solutions and makes Big-Data intelligence products and services available to small and medium-sized companies, while driving the adoption of cloud services among large enterprises," is building a datacenter in Dubai to join those in Beijing, Hangzhou, Qingdao, Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Silicon Valley. The company reported a year ago it had more than 1.4 customers being served directly or indirectly through independent service providers.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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