The new application service range caters for activities in the data development chain, including processing, analysis, computing, machine learning and big data hosting. Around 1,000 developers are expected to be developing services with AliCloud in the next three years.
The plan is to use all the data-processing capacity and data-security skills that the Alibaba Group has accumulated in ten years of running the world’s biggest ecommerce platform, AliCloud president Simon Hu told reporters at the launch. “That data becomes a resource and a service that we can provide our clients,” said Hu.
Meanwhile, AliCloud is working with US chip specialist Nvidia to develop China’s first GPU-based, high-performance computing cloud platform. Along with offering clients GPU-accelerated computing services AliCloud aims to remove the data bottlenecks that handicap many chinese companies, according to Hu.
The Nvidia GPU-based services could also improve the computing capacity of many of Alibaba’s typical users in China, such as manufacturers and distributors, said Hu. “Right now, AliCloud mainly serves internet companies, but our next step will be to also provide cloud computing services to traditional industries such as manufacturing to remove the computing limitations that these companies may face,” said Hu.
The new launch puts AliCloud in direct contention with big data service supplier Data Mall, a start-up that recently launched an online mall for big data assets. The Data Mall cloud offering helps service providers and independent researchers to trade intelligence and market information. Consulting firm Guan Zheng Hang Seng says the Beijing Datatang owned Data Mall service now has 460,000 users supplying raw data to its platform.
A study by Forrester Research forecast that the enterprise cloud service market in China will be worth $3.8 billion by 2020, more than double its estimated size of $1.8 billion last year. According to Forrester analyst Charlie Dai AliCloud now has the Chinese market’s biggest range of public cloud services and alliances with service providers.