Alibaba is known as a website where vendors can buy and sell goods from manufacturing groups located all throughout the world. A lesser known arm of the Alibaba group called Aliyun which provides cloud services to end users in China.
According to an announcement on Alizila, the news arm for the Alibaba group, Aliyun has announced that they will put their new Silicon Valley datacenter to use and begin providing cloud services to American end users on March 4th.
Aliyun is the largest cloud provider in China. Alibaba’s cloud offerings will be going up against established players in the US cloud market including Amazon, Microsoft, IBM and others. The announcement marks the first time Aliyun has offered services outside of China.
“If look at the overall cloud market, China represents 5 percent of the (global) public budget. So there is lots of room for us to grow outside of China, we just need to grow in a careful way,” says Sicheng Yu, VP at Aliyun.
Some analysts have mentioned that Alibaba’s American cloud maybe too late to the party. Others believe that Aliyun will need to provide some sort of unique cloud service to entice American businesses. In China, Aliyun competes in the same space as Amazon Web Services.
Aliyun believes that since they are competing with AWS in China, they can likely compete with AWS in the USA. With that said, the blog post detailing the announcement says that Aliyun “doesn’t plan to blitz American companies on their home turf.”
Alibaba’s story sounds similar to Amazon’s venture into cloud computing as both companies have roots in the e-commerce world. Alibaba’s Aliyun will likely need to provide significant value to American end users in order to succeed. Aliyun’s cloud comes with many of your standard IaaS provider features such as storage and compute services.
Aliyun is also regarded as one of the more secure cloud infrastructures in the world. Alibaba notes that its cloud services fended off a massive 14 hour DDoS attack in China last year. This attack was alleged to be the biggest DDoS attack in Chinese history. Alibaba’s Aliyun looks to expand into Europe and Southeast Asia by the end of the year.