Singapore hosts Aliyun's new Asean-based cloud data center

Alibaba's cloud computing arm is opening a data center in Singapore, which is good news for Asean businesses looking for more cloud options

Aliyun is set to open its latest cloud data center in Singapore next month.

The Singapore facility will be the seventh globally for the cloud computing arm of Alibaba Group. Aliyun said its headquarters for overseas business will be based in Singapore to drive its overseas expansion plan.

Aliyun is confident that with direct connections to its data center network via Beijing, Hangzhou, Qingdao, Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Silicon Valley, the Singapore cloud data center will cater to the cloud computing needs of businesses investing in south-east Asia.

"Singapore is a natural destination to be our headquarters for overseas expansion," said Sicheng (Ethan) Yu, vice-president of Aliyun. "We are seeing healthy demand for cloud-related data management services in Singapore because of the ease of doing business, comprehensive transport and telecommunications connections, and robust intellectual property regime. The stable geo-political climate and abundance of highly skilled talent are advantages, too."

Danni Xu, data center and cloud computing analyst at Frost & Sullivan in Asia Pacific, said Aliyun’s expansion into Singapore is good news for Asean businesses that are opting for more cost-effective cloud and data center solutions in the local market, while adding the potential to tap into the China market.

“On the other hand, many Chinese enterprises are also looking to expand into the Asean market by leveraging on Aliyun’s platform, which will definitely pose as competition to the local Asean businesses across all sectors,” she said.

Xu said the cloud computing landscape in the Asean region is maturing rapidly, with different countries at various stages of cloud development.

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“Singapore is the most developed cloud market in the region, accounting for the largest portion of total cloud spending, owing to the strong government support and the aggregation of multinational companies.”

Xu added that Malaysia is the second largest cloud market in the region, with major enterprises beginning to move their services into the cloud.

Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines are nascent cloud computing markets, taking a wait-and-see approach, while Vietnam is beginning to see initial uptake of cloud services, she said.

The major challenges Xu sees for cloud adoption in the Asean region include: lack of awareness and understanding of the cloud services model and the economic benefit of cloud adoption in certain Asean countries; lack of business cases to migrate from legacy systems; concerns around security, data integrity and privacy, as well as hosting locations; and poor bandwidth and broadband infrastructure in the rural areas of some Asean countries.

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