Tech gi­ants in push to de­ploy their cloud of­fer­ings over­seas

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS - By HE WEI in Shang­hai hewei@chi­

Chi­nese tech gi­ants are busy de­ploy­ing their cloud of­fer­ings over­seas — pav­ing the way for the grow­ing num­ber of lo­cal com­pa­nies ex­pand­ing ag­gres­sively abroad and their pro­jected de­mand for data stor­age and pro­cess­ing.

Among the lat­est round of de­vel­op­ments was the open­ing last week of a Euro­pean data cen­ter in Frankfurt by Ten­cent Cloud, the cloud com­put­ing arm of in­ter­net con­glom­er­ate Ten­cent Hold­ings Ltd.

The new cen­ter is the first of its kind on the con­ti­nent for Ten­cent, a re­gion more Chi­nese busi­nesses are in­creas- in­gly mak­ing forays into.

As Ten­cent’s lo­cal part­ner in Frankfurt, cloud ser­vice provider In­terx­ion will serve the ris­ing de­mand for the Ten­cent’s cloud ser­vices, par­tic­u­larly from on­line games, on­line fi­nance, video stream­ing, and other in­ter­net-re­lated in­dus­tries.

In the wake of the open­ing of Ten­cent’s Sil­i­con Val­ley data cen­ter in April, the new fa­cil­ity is ex­pected to boost the group’s cloud global avail­abil­ity zones to 34 in to­tal. These span Sin­ga­pore, Aus­tralia, Europe, the United States and the Chi­nese main­land.

Gart­ner Inc Re­search Di­rec­tor Kevin Ji said that for ser­vice providers, cloud com­put­ing was es­sen­tially about the economies of scale. The ex­pand­ing de­ploy­ment of their of­fers would lower costs fur­ther and push for­ward global in­fra­struc­ture de­liv­er­ies, Ji added.

Dat­a­cen­ters — or sup­port­ing data nodes — were es­sen­tial to en­able the global ex­pan­sion of Chi­nese com­pa­nies, which had al­ready be­come a ma­jor driv­ing force in the global econ­omy, said Char­lie Dai, prin­ci­pal an­a­lyst at con­sul­tancy For­rester.

“Choos­ing the same ven­dor will help sim­plify the ar­chi­tec­ture and man­age­ment com­plex­ity and en­sure con­sis­tent user ex­pe­ri­ence,” Dai added.

Gart­ner’s Ji said adopt­ing a cloud ser­vice provider re­quired pru­dence, be­cause it would be costly to change ven­dors once in­fra­struc­tures and codes were set.

“That ex­plains why Chi­nese com­pa­nies, which are al­ready us­ing Chi­nese cloud ser­vices, tend to ex­tend the ser­vice over­seas,” he said.

Chi­nese cloud ser­vices, mean­while, will also help in­ter­na­tional com­pa­nies tap the vast and op­por­tu­nity-rich Chi­nese mar­ket, an­a­lysts said.

They added that ex­plained why Alibaba Cloud, backed by Alibaba Group Hold­ing Ltd, de­cided to set up a new dig­i­tal hub in Malaysia — en­abling small busi­nesses to achieve scale through a se­ries of cloudrelated tech­nol­ogy, ar­chi­tects and con­sult­ing ser­vices.

Only a hand­ful of Chi­nese play­ers, in­clud­ing Alibaba, Ten­cent and Huawei Tech­nolo­gies Co Ltd, have ap­peared as emerg­ing forces in a cloud mar­ket cur­rently dom­i­nated by West­ern peers led by Ama­ Inc and Mi­crosoft Corp.

But some of them have started to climb global rank­ings of their sec­tor. A Gart­ner re­port in June high­lighted Alibaba’s high po­ten­tial, rank­ing it at No 4 ahead of IBM Corp and Or­a­cle Sys­tems Corp, among oth­ers.

“Cur­rently, how­ever, Chi­nese com­pa­nies lack gen­uine tech­no­log­i­cal break­throughs and in­no­va­tion. They still have very lit­tle in the way of unique dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion com­pared with other providers,” Ji said.

Choos­ing the same ven­dor will help sim­plify the ar­chi­tec­ture and man­age­ment com­plex­ity and en­sure con­sis­tent user ex­pe­ri­ence.” Char­lie Dai, prin­ci­pal an­a­lyst at con­sul­tancy For­rester

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