5G and Alibaba Cloud With Toni Cheng
Let's take a look at Alibaba Cloud and their plans for growth in European markets and push towards 5G.
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Do you use a cloud provider? If so, I bet there's a strong chance it's one of the best known three: AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud. In recent months, a handful of new entrants have entered the cloud market. These include older companies looking into new revenue sources, and large players from Asia entering Western markets. A vast company in China has been making slow inroads into Europe recently (for example, countries that don't have Amazon often use Ali Express), including their cloud service, Alibaba Cloud.
Recently after the 5GTechritory event in Riga, I had an email conversation with Toni Cheng, the general manager for Alibaba cloud in central Europe about the company's plans for 5G and Europe.
What does 5G mean to Alibaba Cloud? What are the products and services you have or plan to have that 5G helps support?
5G allows Alibaba cloud to process and analyze vast volumes of heterogeneous data. Growing data volumes in the 5G era mean higher requirements for computing, processing power, and efficient or in-time analytics. This puts a lot of pressure on existing infrastructure as many global companies still rely on legacy architecture or on-premise data centers, which don't necessarily cope well with scalability. In this context, our products can behave as a hub allowing massive concurrent data input from heterogeneous sources. Other products, such as MaxCompute and OSS, can be combined and, thus, become useful in this scenario, as they deliver massive data analysis and AI capabilities to match the requirements of the 5G era.
Are there any differences between 5G support and enthusiasm between Europe and China or Asia? Any examples of use case projects in both those regions?
China is well-known for leapfrogging to new technologies. For example, it's definitely "mobile first," if not "mobile only" in China, as society has skipped the entire step of the desktop. Similarly, China and Asia are already well ahead with 5G. Our goal is to offer 5G support for both some European-language areas as well as the Chinese/Asian markets. Some of our strategic partners, such as China Mobile and Vodafone, are known to be active drivers and great contributors in launching 5G technology. We work closely with such partners to bring E2E solutions and experiences to European end customers to help them benefit from 5G technologies.
As far as I am aware, Alibaba cloud is new in Europe but pushing hard. What can you offer beyond the current cloud offerings available? What is your approach to attracting customers away from other providers?
First, we supply best-in-class public cloud infrastructure to an increasing number of regions worldwide, including Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Gartner recognized us as the third-largest IaaS vendor globally, our core strengths are AI, Data Analytics, as well as our vertical expertise. Alibaba is one of the biggest e-commerce companies worldwide, and we have used volumes of anonymous data to train our AI, which is the best way for AI to improve over time. We use our cloud-powered, AI and data analytics technology to help thousands of global companies and organizations in verticals such as manufacturing, finance, retail, logistics, and media. Finally, we helped our multi-national companies and partners to go to China, Asia, and Global.
Do you offer EU located data centers?
We run two data centers in Frankfurt and just launched another two availability zones in the United Kingdom in October.
What are the benefits of Alibaba cloud for Developers?
With our global infrastructure, we offer multi-cloud support as well as unique PaaS and SaaS products. We have both Swarm and Kubernetes as orchestrator options so that developers can deploy their Docker-based applications to Alibaba Cloud, as well as other cloud or dedicated hosting environments. For Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC) fans, we support Terraform with continued updates, along with new feature development of Alibaba Cloud. Alibaba Cloud also supplies in-house orchestration technology called ROS to help orchestrate resource and cloud-based deployment via code.
What are the benefits of Alibaba cloud for business owners?
Innovation-driven technology and solutions that are shared or co-run with our customers – as well as a reliable, global infrastructure. Business owners profit from our vertical expertise and openness to co-innovation with our local business partners. Also, we support start-up partners focused on quick innovation by sharing our experience and co-running solutions with them.
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