Microsoft narrows the gap on AWS as cloud computing race heats up


Amazon Web Services (AWS) continues to dominate the cloud computing infrastructure as a service market, but Microsoft's Azure is growing fast. The worldwide infrastructure as a service (IaaS) market grew 29.5 percent in 2017 to total $23.5 billion, up from $18.2 billion in 2016, according to calculations by tech analyst firm Gartner. Companies are increasingly handing over their data and applications to cloud services providers; the analyst group recently predicted that, as a result, 80 percent of enterprises will have shut down their traditional data centers by 2025 -- up from just 10 percent today. Amazon Web Services was the top vendor in the IaaS market in 2017, followed by Microsoft, Alibaba, Google and Rackspace. Sid Nag, research director at Gartner, said spending on cloud computing now accounts for more than 20 percent of the total IT budget for organizations which are using it, and cloud services are now being used to support production environments and business-critical operations.

Cloud providers ranking 2018: How AWS, Microsoft, Google Cloud Platform, IBM Cloud, Oracle, Alibaba stack up


Choosing the right public cloud provider is becoming an increasingly nuanced discussion that goes well beyond scale. We all know the large cloud players--AWS, Google Cloud Platform, IBM Cloud and Microsoft Azure--but stacking them up depends on your enterprise's needs.

Alibaba Cloud opens datacentre in Sydney


Alibaba Cloud, also known as Aliyun, has opened a new datacentre in Sydney to expand its global cloud footprint against existing market players such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. It is also looking to expand its local team based out of Sydney and Melbourne. On November 21, Alibaba Group revealed Sydney to be one of the four locations it has chosen to open datacentres in as part of an $1 billion investment to boost its cloud computing unit. Given China is Australia's largest trading partner, the choice was a no-brainer for Alibaba Group. VP of Alibaba Group Sicheng Yu said Alibaba Cloud will make is easier for Australian small to mid-size enterprises (SMEs) looking to do business in China, given its strength and scale in its native market.

Alibaba Cloud launches AI services for health care, manufacturing


The public cloud division of Chinese ecommerce company Alibaba Group today is introducing new artificial-intelligence (AI) services targeting two specific industries, health care and manufacturing. The Alibaba Cloud is touting an ET Medical Brain and an ET Industrial Brain, each of which encompasses a number of services. The latter will give companies tools for monitoring the production process, improving energy efficiency, and predicting when maintenance will be needed. Also today, Alibaba is announcing the launch of version 2.0 of its PAI machine learning service. Alibaba introduced the original PAI in 2015.