A primer on Alibaba Cloud for Western enterprises
Most people outside of Asia, if they know anything about Alibaba, think of it as a gigantic e-commerce site. However, similar to Amazon, Alibaba Group is an online powerhouse that reaches into every corner of the internet, including cloud computing.
Alibaba Cloud, much like AWS, sprang from the parent company’s enormous need for resources to support its retail operations. Its origins stem from Alibaba Singles’ Day in November 2010 — a shopping event that Amazon later emulated with Amazon Prime Day.
After several years of domestic growth, the company opened its first U.S. data center in California in 2015 to expand its business internationally. It now operates in 18 regions around the world, but it is still focused more on the domestic Chinese and other Asian markets. Nevertheless, Alibaba is the fourth largest provider of cloud services in the world, with an estimated 5% market share, according to Synergy Research Group.