Alibaba Cloud leads Asia-Pacific market with price-performance leadership

Cloud service providers are often key partners and a determining factor for success in many businesses’ digital transformation efforts, speaking to the importance of selecting the right cloud service provider to drive business results.

While rival cloud service providers Amazon and Microsoft have stayed consistent in their market share between 2017 and 2018, Alibaba has grown its share by 4.7 percentage points, according to Gartner.

Making the move to cloud today is no longer just about saving costs. Instead, enterprises are looking to use cloud to leap ahead of the competition. To do this, many enterprises are focused on managing multiple clouds and on-premise setups effectively to ensure resources are available when called upon.

They also work with cloud service providers to gain an edge, in customer experience or productivity.  This is why a cloud service provider is viewed as a partner in a business's digital transformation efforts.

In the Asia-Pacific region, Alibaba Cloud is ranked highly by customers and independent analysts alike. From digital-native to traditional enterprises, leading enterprises across the region have come to rely on Alibaba cloud to help drive digital transformation and business growth.

They include AirAsia, which uses a content delivery network (CDN) to improve latencies on its online ticketing website. The Malaysia-based airline also boosted its cybersecurity with Alibaba Cloud and reduced denial-of-service attacks from the Internet.

Other customers, such as Southeast Asia's e-commerce giant Lazada, Japanese cosmetics firm Shiseido, and Indonesian startup Indonet, have also chosen Alibaba to deliver unprecedented reliability, security and cost-effectiveness to stay ahead of their competition.

Thus, it is unsurprising that Alibaba Cloud has been recognised by Gartner as the leader in the Asia-Pacific market for IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) and IUS (Infrastructure Utility Services) for two consecutive years.

In 2018, Alibaba Cloud led the Asia Pacific market with 19.6% of the market, up 4.7 percentage points from 2017. This comes despite rival cloud service providers Amazon and Microsoft staying consistent in their market share between 2017 and 2018.

Being the first

A big part of Alibaba's ability to deliver best in class cloud computing performance for its enterprise customers stems from its close to perfect service level agreement commitment.

In December 2019, Alibaba became the first cloud service provider to announce a service level agreement (SLA) commitment of 99.995% across multiple zones within a region. This went beyond the previous highest of 99.99%, which rival vendors currently still offer.

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In an era where uptime is critical to any business, this additional guarantee can mean a world of difference to customers. With 99.9% available, the average annual downtime is 8.76 hours; with 99.99%, this becomes 52 minutes. However, with 99.999% availability on Alibaba Cloud, the downtime each year is less than 5.25 minutes.

For enterprises that depend on the cloud, this is a crucial factor because it translates to less disruption to their services, better customer experiences, and improved productivity, among many other benefits.

As Asia's digital economy continues to advance, it is also important to have data centres that are local to the markets that the enterprises are serving. One reason is for data sovereignty, while another is to deliver the best performance with low latency.

For a video streaming service, this will be crucial to ensure a smooth viewing experience. Other on-demand services, from ride-hailing to future uses like virtual reality (VR) will also benefit hugely from local data centres that offer improved connectivity.

With data centres in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, Alibaba Cloud is uniquely positioned to help customers in the region leapfrog the competition.

The Alibaba ECS advantage

What also makes Alibaba Cloud unique is the performance it is able to deliver. Its 6th generation Elastic Compute Service (ECS) is an IaaS offering that comes with virtual cloud servers that feature fast memory and the latest Intel CPUs.

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Built around the smart X-Dragon chip developed by Alibaba Cloud, ECS comes with a new lightweight Hypervisor to offload a large number of virtualisation functions to dedicated hosts, significantly reducing virtualisation overheads.

All 6th generation ECS instances are equipped with Intel® Xeon® Platinum scalable processors, delivering a turbo boost of up to 3.2 GHz and up to 15% increase in performance for mission-critical and data-demanding workloads. These ECS instances unlock the full potential of all CPU and memory resources of host machines, thereby improving the capabilities of hosts and high-specification instances.

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Unlike traditional hardware, companies can deploy an ECS instance in just a few clicks. IT teams can scale it up or down depending on their real-time needs. Currently, there are 63 availability zones in 21 regions around the world, which means enterprises can deploy wherever the cloud resources are needed.

At the same time, ECS offers flexible payment methods to ensure there is cost efficiency for enterprises. They pay only for the running time of an instance, through pay-as-you-go pricing. They can start, stop, and release servers in real time, according to their demands.

According to internal tests and comparisons, Alibaba Cloud delivers price-performance leadership over rivals such as AWS. It also scores better in compute performance (in the Super Pi benchmark), disk latency and performance, and network performance.

On the cost front, Alibaba Cloud is more affordable with its pay-as-you-go offerings. For a 2-CPU, 4GB, ecs.c6.large instance, Alibaba Cloud offers an affordable price of US$0.087, while a similar c5.large instance on AWS costs US$0.098.On the other spectrum, a 96-CPU, 192GB ecs.c6.26xlarge instance costs US$4.524 on Alibaba Cloud, while a comparable c5.24xlarge on AWS costs US$4.704.

Alibaba Cloud's new ECS offering is available as a 12-month free trial to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to help them migrate to the cloud.

Get the latest 6th generation ECS Alibaba Cloud Servers at up to 40% off