Alibaba Cloud expands European push and previews cloud enterprise network offering

James has more than a decade of experience as a tech journalist, writer and editor, and served as Editor in Chief of TechForge Media between 2017 and 2021. James was named as one of the top 20 UK technology influencers by Tyto, and has also been cited by Onalytica, Feedspot and Zsah as an influential cloud computing writer.

MWC Alibaba’s European cloud push continues, with the Chinese provider announcing a series of products for enterprises on the continent around infrastructure, automation, security and more.

The company has announced eight products in total. On the infrastructure side, launching today, are ECS bare metal instances and high performance supercomputing clusters for European customers. While these are both products currently in operation, April will see the new launch of Alibaba’s Cloud Enterprise Network (CEN). The company describes it as a ‘global network for rapidly building a distributed business system and hybrid cloud to help users create a network with enterprise-level scalability and the communication capabilities of a cloud network.’

For big data and AI, Alibaba’s products rolled out to European customers include machine learning-powered image search and a business chatbot – both available today – yet the more intriguing product is Dataphin. Described by the company as a ‘one-stop big data PaaS’, the product offers data integration, warehouse modelling, identity and profile distilling and asset management.

Also included in the launch are a new SaaS-based vulnerability discovery service, as well as Apsara Stack, which offers a scalable and built-in hybrid cloud services platform and launches internationally with adoption from more than 120 enterprise customers.

It has certainly been a long road since July 2015, when the company put in $1 billion in funding to expand its cloud computing operations. In September, Gartner ranked Alibaba as the third player in public cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS), behind AWS and Microsoft – a fact the company now proudly states on its information section on press materials – while the previous month saw the company pass one million paying cloud customers.

The natural reliance towards Asia-based customers – Philips China, Bank of Nanjing and Air Asia to name three – has facilitated a European push. As revealed at the company’s Computing Conference in Hangzhou in October, the company alongside its partners is targeting 10 million customers.

“Alibaba Cloud wants to be an enabler for technology innovation in Europe helping enterprises do business,” said Yeming Wang, general manager of Alibaba Cloud Europe in a statement. “The Mobile World Congress is a great opportunity for us to refresh our European strategy and consider how we can make an increasing contribution to the digital transformation of enterprises in this market from different sectors with our offerings and expertise.”

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