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InfoQ Homepage News Alibaba Cloud Expands Their Presence in the EMEA Region with UK Data Centers

Alibaba Cloud Expands Their Presence in the EMEA Region with UK Data Centers

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Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of Alibaba Group, announced the opening of two new availability zones in the United Kingdom. With the addition of these new availability zones, Alibaba is increasing its presence in the EMEA region.

The new availability zones increase Alibaba Cloud's footprint in EMEA to three locations: Frankfurt, Dubai, and London. The expansion of zones is an answer to the increasing demand from customers for Alibaba Cloud services in the EMEA region, and customers in this region can now benefit from an increase in the availability of services and better disaster recovery capabilities. Furthermore, the new data centers offer a wide range of Alibaba Cloud product lines, including Elastic Computing, Storage, Database, Network, Application Services and Big Data Analytics.

The addition of the new data centres increases the number of availability zones to 52, located in 19 regions around the world. Yeming Wang, general manager of Alibaba Cloud EMEA, said in the announcement blog post:

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. 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. 

According to a Bloomberg article about the new data centers in the UK, Alibaba is moving toward the EMEA region because of the increasing tensions between the US and China, and to enhance its success outside of China.

With Alibaba expanding the number of availability zones it starts competing more with other public cloud providers, who also expanded their number of availability zones in the last 12 months. IBM for instance, announced in June, an expansion of their availability zones across the globe. Furthermore, Microsoft announced in April, new availability zones in France and Central US Government Iowa (Central US) regions. Lastly, Amazon at the end of last year added a new region in Paris including availability zones.

Alibaba Cloud is currently fifth in the world rankings of cloud computing solutions firms by market share. According to City A.M. article, research from Synergy revealed that Amazon Web Services is first and Microsoft is second, while Google and IBM take third and fourth place respectively.

Regions and availability zones of the five biggest cloud providers by market share
Cloud Provider Regions Availability Zones
Amazon            19                            56
Microsoft            54                            15
Google            18                            55
IBM              6                            18
Alibaba            19                            52

The cloud market is growing with the increase of data centres, Tony Lock, distinguished analyst and director of engagement from Freeform Dynamics, said in the same announcement blog post:

Today, with planning, global enterprises and organisations of all sizes are able to make informed and strategic decisions about their cloud investments. 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.

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