Alibaba Cloud Computing, also known AliCloud or Aliyun, is the cloud computing arm of Alibaba. It was first established in September of 2009 in conjunction with the 10th anniversary of Alibaba Group. They have offices in Hangzhou, Beijing, and Silicon Valley and are the largest cloud computing company in China.
While the company has mostly flown under the radar of the western media, they have slowly been building out a global network of data centers and services that closely resemble an AWS of the East. They currently have data centers in Silicon Valley, Singapore, Hong Kong, and mainland China and will be expanding into Germany, Japan, and Dubai in the near future.
Their service offering is still fairly primitive and consists of 5 product groups: elastic computing, database services, storage (including CDN), security, and middleware. While they don’t have near the breadth of product of an AWS or Azure, it’s notable that their computing platform recently broke several world records during the 2015 Sort Benchmark competition where they sorted 100TB of data in 377 seconds.
At this time they are primarily focused on helping Chinese businesses expand their reach globally, but its only a matter of time before they start opening sales offices in the US and Europe and competing directly with AWS and the other large cloud providers.
Besides mainland China, AliCloud has infrastructure in several major cities in the US and Asia, although very little has been disclosed about exactly where they are or how large they are. In late 2015 they launched a second data center in Silicon Valley and it appears their sights are set on Europe and the Middle East next.
Very little is known about AliClouds feature offering at this point as the company primarily only works with enterprise customers in China. They appear to have all the basic services needed to build basic websites and applications and will certainly be expanding quickly going forward.
Their computing platform appears to be powerful based on recent benchmark data, but until they start expand into more regions globally and expand their service offering they will remain a smaller regional player.
Their CDN offering looks somewhat interesting, although they don’t share much info about their edge locations and it isn’t clear if the technology is licensed from another player such as Akamai or ChinaCache.