From the minute you chose one of the world’s most popular cloud computing companies as your strategic cloud services provider, your world became multi-cloud. In a multi-cloud world, there’s now every reason to consider and embrace the relative newcomer, Alibaba Cloud. Not just as a specialist niche player to support business in Asia, for example, but as a full-service second-source supplier offering all the services, globally, you would come to expect from a leading cloud provider.
Select Your Cloud Providers for Their Strengths
Multi-cloud is the use of two or more cloud computing services. A Multi-Cloud Strategy is the deliberate and considered choice of the partner providers and the mix of services commissioned from each. In the initial stages of cloud computing, many organizations looked to diversify their cloud vendors due to reliability concerns and multi-cloud was seen as a way to prevent data loss, downtime or vendor lock-in.
While these are still concerns, they are becoming a lower priority. The modern multi-cloud deployment may now be driven by a business’s technical or strategic goals and different providers selected on their merits to support different parts of the business. This can include utilizing the most cost-effective cloud solutions over different periods, leveraging access speed and services offered by vendors or assisting large-scale deployments to different geographical regions.
The essence of success now is to pick your various cloud services providers each for their specific strengths. And Alibaba Cloud has at least three specific strengths which mark it out from the crowd:
• If you’re doing business with China or Asia, Alibaba Cloud has to be part of your cloud mix.
• If you seek sheer scale or reliable computing power and performance, it has to be Alibaba Cloud.
• If you are concerned about security — again, Alibaba Cloud may be your best choice.
Reason #1: Doing Business with China
Alibaba Cloud is the #1 public cloud vendor in China with China’s largest cloud network, comprising seven data centers in Mainland China and more than 1,000 CDN nodes connected by a multi-line BGP backbone network and multiple Availability Zones in each region. More than one-third of China’s top 500 companies, among them energy giant Sinopec, automaker Geely, and telecoms company China Unicom, are Alibaba Cloud customers, as are numerous government agencies like China Customs as well as the 2022 Beijing Olympics.
In addition to the deployment regions in China, Alibaba Cloud has two in the United States and one each in Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo, Frankfurt and Dubai. As part of a multi-cloud strategy, an organization may choose to host in Virginia with one cloud vendor and in Frankfurt with Alibaba Cloud. This would ensure vendor separation and regional separation and still provide local high-speed delivery to clients in both regions.
Sister companies to Alibaba Cloud in the Alibaba group of companies can also help organizations set up and do business in China. The payments company Alipay, the logistics company Cainiao (which handled 812 million delivery orders in one day at the 11–11 Global Shopping Festival) in 2017 and the e-commerce company Tmall (which is also China’s largest third-party platform for brands and retailers), could all provide serious support to companies trading in the region.
These strengths are combining to make Alibaba Cloud a serious second-source cloud provider and an emerging alternative, if not the primary provider, in many regions in the world and for many applications.
Reason #2: Sheer Scale
The sheer scale of Alibaba Cloud’s operations is incredible. The world’s premier showcase e-commerce events each year must be the pre-Christmas shopping days known as Singles Day (or the 11–11 Global Shopping Festival to be exact), Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The first of these runs on Alibaba Cloud — yes, the entirety of the 11–11 Global Shopping Festival is run on platforms operated by Alibaba platforms — and in stark summary supports over USD $25BN of business in one day compared roughly to Black Friday’s $8BN and Cyber Monday’s $7BN. The value of mobile transactions on this one day is roughly ten times higher in China than it is in the U.S.
This is some scale, some resilience and some power.
In 2017, the 11–11 Global Shopping Festival saw 1.5 billion payment transactions, with Alibaba Cloud processing 325,000 orders per second at peak and the payments platform, Alipay, supporting 256,000 payment transactions per second at peak. All this was up some 40% on the previous year. That takes cloud computing horsepower, scale and security to a level that can definitely be described as world-leading.
So they shop, but Chinese people also travel. At the annual Spring Festival, another great national event where everyone, it feels, travels on the same few days, the Alibaba Cloud platform hosts the railway ticket site 12306.com and supports up to 40 billion page views a day leading up to peak travel time.
Reason #3: High Security
With this sheer scale of operation, you would expect Alibaba Cloud to focus on the highest levels of resilience and security to mark it out from all other cloud services providers — and it does. It offers a suite of purpose-built cloud products to protect against common attacks in China and safeguard sensitive data and online transactions. Anti-DDoS Basic enables you to mitigate attacks by routing traffic away from your infrastructure, including protection at the application and volumetric level. Anti-DDoS Pro, Web Application Firewall (WAF) and Server Guard defend against massive DDoS attacks and isolate cloud networks to operate resources in a secure environment with VPC.
Sometimes companies are driven to multi-cloud by forces beyond their control. In late 2017 when the website of one Australian company, Mishi, was attacked and the company was blackmailed to pay for restoring the site, Mishi turned to Alibaba Cloud for help. They deployed Alibaba Cloud WAF Pro and Enterprise versions as a countermeasure to repeat attacks.
Even with all this smart and secure technology, Mishi cited the personal service which provides 12/7 tech support, fast response times, and bilingual cloud solution architects as “the most compelling reason” behind their initial decision to choose Alibaba Cloud.
As a Singapore registered company, Alibaba Cloud complies with high-level international certifications to guarantee data security. Alibaba Cloud’s security products are trusted by over 40% of websites hosted in China, which includes the free Anti-DDoS Basic service, automatic snapshots, triplicated backups, and advanced services that have set records in DDoS attack protection. Alibaba Cloud is also the first cloud services provider to receive CSA STAR Certification and the first cloud services provider to be certified with the ISO27001 Information Security Management System Certification in China.
It’s worth noting too that in addition to scale in China and security, Alibaba Cloud provides website hosting and support with registration and legal compliance for organizations who want to trade online with and within China. It’s ICP compliance service, for example, provide a one-stop registration service through the Alibaba Cloud Management Console and personal support from a bilingual team.
Adding Alibaba Cloud to the Mix
Getting started with Alibaba Cloud is as simple as setting up an account at www.alibabacloud.com. It’s free and you will get $300 credit to get a server up and running in minutes at no cost. From there, you can incorporate projects in to your multi-cloud world as you need them: if you’re doing business with China or Asia, if you need awesome scale or if you are concerned about security.
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