Google and Alibaba focus on Southeast Asia in latest infrastructure expansion

The largest players in cloud computing are looking to Asia for further expansion – Google has announced it is building a new data centre in Singapore, while Alibaba Cloud has announced a second infrastructure zone in Malaysia.

Google’s expansion will take the company up to three data centres in Singapore, taking its overall investment in the country to $850 million. The facilities will also be built in line with Google’s environmental policy; back in April the company announced it had achieved its long-standing goal of becoming 100% renewable.

According to Google’s location map, the company now operates 61 open and provisional zones across 20 regions and five continents. Singapore is joined in Asia Pacific by Japan – an open facility in Tokyo and a future region in Osaka – Mumbai, Taiwan, Sydney, and another future facility in Hong Kong. “We’re looking forward to growing our small team at the data centres here, as well as expanding our ties with the local community,” wrote Joe Kava, VP data centres in a blog post.

Alibaba, meanwhile, is launching a second availability zone in Malaysia to expand its cloud footprint in the country. Among the new products to arrive are DDoS protection, as well as elastic computing, database, networking and monitoring services. In line with Alibaba’s recent partnership with SAP, the zone will also be certified for SAP hosting.

“The success of our trade on a global platform with assistance of companies like Alibaba Cloud depends on an efficient Internet environment,” said Gobind Singh Deo, Malaysia minister of communications and multimedia. “The advanced technology afforded by Alibaba Cloud opens new opportunities, which I believe will quite substantially benefit Malaysia in its efforts to raise competition and efficiency in this new industry.”

There is a major audience for cloud technologies in Southeast Asia – indeed, Google said that in three years more than 70 million people had gotten online for the first time. This has been reflected in recent industry research into the area.

According to the most recent study from the Asia Cloud Computing Association (ACCA), out of 14 Asia Pacific countries, Singapore was considered the most ‘cloud ready’. The country was praised for its broadband quality, cybersecurity and levels of business sophistication. Malaysia was ranked at #8, noting the government’s cloud-first strategy as a potential indicator of future success.