Alibaba Cloud eyes VMware workloads with new cloud service

The Alibaba Cloud VMware Service is aimed at Chinese enterprises that are looking to move their VMware workloads to public cloud, perform disaster recovery and reduce their on-premise datacentre footprint

Alibaba Cloud and VMware have launched the Alibaba Cloud VMware Service targeted at Chinese enterprises that are looking to move their VMware workloads to public cloud, among other use cases.

Like similar offerings from other hyperscalers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Alibaba’s service provides access to the entire VMware stack that runs natively on its infrastructure, giving enterprises a consistent vSphere-based environment.

The use cases for VMware services provided by hyperscalers typically include application modernisation and migration, hybrid cloud and disaster recovery. These are expected to drive demand for the Alibaba Cloud’s service as well.

Enterprises that intend to modernise their workloads on Alibaba Cloud can also tap the full suite of cloud services from Alibaba Cloud to infuse their applications with cloud-native capabilities.

In addition, those that choose to rehost their applications can use VMware’s Hybrid Cloud Extension (HCX), a workload mobility tool that lets enterprises move workloads running on vSphere in on-premise datacentres to the cloud.

These include vMotion, which performs a live migration of a single virtual machine at a time with zero downtime; cold migration, an offline migration method; and bulk migration, which moves virtual machines in parallel.

“In today’s app-driven economy, more Chinese enterprises are adopting a hybrid cloud model to accelerate their digital transformation,” said Mark Lohmeyer, senior vice-president and general manager of cloud infrastructure business group at VMware.

“Alibaba Cloud VMware Service helps customers modernise applications, infrastructure and operations faster with demonstrable economic benefits and less risk,” he added.

Chinese automobile parts manufacturer United Automotive Electronics is one of the earliest adopters of Alibaba Cloud VMware Service.

Ming Xu, its deputy director of process and IT department, said the company had considered adopting hybrid cloud and wanted to move some VMware workloads to public cloud, but found that there wasn’t a public cloud platform with the same VMware architecture.

“After deploying Alibaba Cloud VMware Service, we solved many challenges, including enabling seamless cloud migration with no negative effects on the core business, efficiently managing simultaneous environments on and off the cloud, and removing the high cost of datacentre operations,” Xu said. “The service also enhanced elastic scaling and rapid expansion of VMware resources on the cloud.”

In other Asia-Pacific markets, financial companies have been among the first to use similar services offered by hyperscalers. These include Australia’s ME Bank and Singapore’s UOB Bank, which is using VMware Cloud on AWS to deploy and develop applications in a hybrid cloud environment.

Alibaba Cloud also expects Chinese financial companies to sign up for its VMware service, noting that it will bring its technology know-how, as well as that of VMware, to power the transformation of financial institutions. 

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