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Alibaba Cloud extends hybrid cloud offerings, aids with digital transformation

By Catherine Knowles, 07 Dec 2020

Alibaba Cloud has updated its hybrid cloud strategy with the intention of accelerating enterprise cloud adoption.

The company’s revamped hybrid cloud strategy focuses on bringing compatibility, security, compliance, scalability and reliability with its newly upgraded product offerings and its Hybrid Cloud Partner Program.

To help businesses, especially small medium enterprises (SME) transform digitally and take advantage of public clouds' elastic, scalable and available characteristics, new appliances are also launched to support enterprises' private cloud utilisation needs, the company states.

Alibaba Cloud's new physical server

To support timely and cost-effective hybrid cloud backup, Alibaba Cloud launched a physical server to integrate with Hybrid Backup Recovery (HBR) solution with embedded backup capabilities to public cloud.

The appliance acts as a bridge between customers on-premise servers and the public cloud without compromising network security and efficiency, the company states.

Its dual power source, network ports and hot backup disc also ensures a safe and stable operating environment for users without consuming extra computing resources, Alibaba Cloud states.

Offering enterprise level storage

The Hybrid Cloud Storage Array (HCSA) appliance is an enterprise level storage.

It blends in with the Alibaba Cloud storage service thereby connecting the local storage with the elastic, scalable and unlimited public cloud storage to create a smooth hybrid cloud environment with ease of operation.

HCSA supports multiple hybrid cloud modes such as cloud caching, replication, tiering and snapshots with its fully redundant hardware design to ensure there is no single point of failure during operation, the company states.

With HCSA, customers can implement cross team file management and collaboration, unified heterogeneous storage management, and storage extension from local server to public cloud, the company states.

A new hybrid cloud partner program

To enable joint innovation and service delivery with hybrid cloud partners, Alibaba Cloud launched its Hybrid Cloud Partner Program.

According to the company, the program provides an ecosystem for capable partners to plan, design, and resell services to propel customers' hybrid cloud adoption journey.

Alibaba Cloud will also offer free technical resources to qualified partners under the program including free ZStack licenses with unlimited CPU cores.

Current partners include global partners such as DXC Technology, Equinix, HPE, NCS, Whale Cloud; European partners Arrow Electronics, Softline Group and APAC partners AsiaPac, B&Data, Blue Power Technology, Cloudify, CTC Global, DiGiCOR, and Sen Spirit.

Catering for all hybrid cloud needs

Alibaba Cloud Australia and New Zealand general manager says, “A key observation we have made globally this year is that hybrid cloud deployments continue to accelerate for businesses trying to combat the lockdown impacts of COVID-19 in industries such as education, e-commerce, gaming and fintech.

"This cloud structure is especially useful for SMEs with limited IT resources but still want to leverage the security and elasticity feature of public cloud to continue business digitalisation process."

Partner commentary

DiGiCOR cofounder and CEO Richard Huang says, "We are excited to partner with Alibaba Cloud, APAC's largest cloud service provider to extend their core IT infrastructure footprint in Australia and NZ with DiGiCOR's core infrastructure.

"This partnership will allow us to provide robust cloud infrastructure such as Alibaba Cloud ZStack, to best match our clients requirements across a broad range of industry sectors.

"The deliverables from this partnership is able to bring cost-effective and class leading services to customers across the region."

Hewlett Packard Enterprise senior director and general manager of APAC channels, mid-market and SMB, Alibaba Cloud Partnership, Christanto Suryadarma, says, "Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has successfully collaborated with Alibaba Cloud since 2018 to deliver the next generation of hybrid cloud and drive customer success in sectors such as telecommunications, financial services, aviation and the public sector.

"We are pleased to take our partnership with Alibaba Cloud to the next level as an Alibaba Hybrid Cloud Partner.

"Through our Global Channels ecosystem and innovation portfolio, we will accelerate collaboration with Alibaba Cloud Solutions and create new synergies to help customers accelerate their digital transformations, harness the full power of their information, wherever it resides, and benefit from a modern cloud experience on-premises through our unique consumption offering and as-a-service vision."

Equinix Asia-Pacific senior director Partner Account Management michael Tsang says, "We have a long history of collaboration with Alibaba Cloud to meet digital leaders' evolving needs for hybrid multicloud architecture.

"Through Equinix Fabric, enterprises can establish direct and scalable connections to Alibaba Cloud in 17 metros across the globe.

"Combining Alibaba Cloud's solutions, including ZStack and Storage Array, with our global network and robust ecosystems of 2,900+ cloud and IT service providers, we enable enterprises to fast-track their digital advantage with an agile, secure and cost-efficient IT infrastructure."

Tsang says, "In addition to the hardware appliances, Alibaba Cloud also upgraded its ZStack, a light-weight hybrid cloud solution which can be easily deployed to manage hardware in data centers, servers on the edge, and hybrid cloud environments across on-premises and Alibaba Cloud resources.

"Compared with traditional private and hybrid cloud solutions, Alibaba Cloud ZStack is more cost-efficient and scalable, and can be deployed from as few as a single node in 30 minutes and easily scale out to hundreds of servers when needed."

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