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Alibaba Cloud debuts cloud computer in Singapore

The Chinese cloud supplier unveils cloud computer powered by Alibaba’s Elastic Desktop Service for the first time outside China

Chinese cloud giant Alibaba Cloud has launched its cloud computer in Singapore that alleviates the need for powerful desktop hardware to perform compute-intensive tasks.

Dubbed Wuying, the palm-sized machine weighs just 60g and relies on Alibaba’s Elastic Desktop Service (EDS) to do the heavy lifting. This is the first time the device and EDS are available outside of China.

All connectivity and storage will be managed by Alibaba Cloud, which is looking to target organisations performing medical research and financial modelling as well as oil and gas simulations, among other use cases.

The cloud computer can also enable remote workers to access corporate networks while minimising the risk of losing sensitive information as everything will be stored and managed on the cloud via a secured network.

“Our cloud computer offers enterprises an innovative way to address business issues that arise during digitalisation, including those associated with increased IT expenditure, the need to manage desktop clusters in a centralised way, and the means to leverage public cloud securely while enjoying all the economies of scale it can bring,” said Derek Wang, general manager for Singapore at Alibaba Cloud.

Wang said customers that have been using Wuying have reduced their IT hardware spending by almost 50%, along with a significant boost in their productivity levels.

One of the first adopters of Alibaba’s cloud computer in Singapore is Netpluz Asia, a managed IT and communications service provider with network operation centres in Singapore and Malaysia.

By enabling employees to access its corporate applications through a web browser, Netpluz has reduced capital expenditure as it does not need to invest in infrastructure, which has to be constantly upgraded and patched for optimal security and performance.

“With the cloud computer from Alibaba Cloud, we can deploy and decommission resources faster, especially during seasonal spikes and drops, and this helps us to save time and investment, while enabling us to adapt quickly to changing demands,” said Leng Fong Lau, managing director at Netpluz Asia.

“It also gives us an option to support our customers remotely with its convenient multi-location deployment capability and high performance, so that we can meet our commitments while minimising cross border travel for our staff and customers to ensure their safety,” he added.

Computer Weekly understands that Alibaba Cloud will provide support for businesses that plan to migrate their applications to the cloud, so that the applications can be accessed through the cloud computer.

For organisations that require on-premise applications to be connected to the cloud computer, Alibaba also offers solutions to connect those applications to the public cloud.

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