Equinix and Alibaba Are Extending the Reach Of Hybrid Multicloud

Alibaba Cloud is adding 17 metros globally on Platform Equinix

David McCullough
Equinix and Alibaba Are Extending the Reach Of Hybrid Multicloud

As a key enabler of digital transformation, hybrid multicloud has become the de facto IT infrastructure for the enterprise. According to IDC, by 2021, over 90% of enterprises worldwide will rely on a mix of on-premises / dedicated private clouds, several public clouds, and legacy platforms to meet their infrastructure needs.[i] And while cloud adoption is nearly ubiquitous, enterprises are also increasingly running more workloads in the cloud. A recent report by the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) found that the number of organizations running more than 30% of their production applications on public cloud infrastructure is projected to grow by 45%. Moreover, all of these trends are accelerating as organizations have ramped up to support remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Alibaba Cloud is becoming a major cloud contender

Alibaba Cloud, also known as Aliyun, is a subsidiary of Alibaba Group that provides enterprise cloud services in 21 data center regions and 63 availability zones around the globe. Supporting nearly 40% of the Fortune 500 companies, it is consistently ranked as the largest cloud service provider (CSP) in Asia-Pacific and the third largest in the world by analyst firms .[ii]

Growing our global Express Connect partnership

As part of its expansion, Alibaba Cloud recently announced an extension of its global reach on Platform Equinix® to 17 global metros.

Alibaba Cloud Express Connect is currently deployed in six Equinix International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data centers across three regions:

  • Three Asia-Pacific metros: Hong Kong, Singapore and Sydney
  • Two American metros: Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C.
  • One EMEA metros: Frankfurt

By leveraging Alibaba Cloud Express Connect with Equinix Fabric™, enterprises can also easily and privately connect to Alibaba Cloud from 55+ metros worldwide on Platform Equinix. Equinix Fabric enables direct and secure software-defined interconnection to cloud platforms that may not be local to a business’ data center locations, even in metros with no native Alibaba Cloud Express Connect presence.

Enterprises can now provision Alibaba Cloud Express Connect in near real-time

As a long-time Alibaba partner, Equinix has made it even easier to provision Express Connect. Express Connect allows you to establish high bandwidth, reliable, secure, and private connections between on-premises data centers and Alibaba Cloud, which improves the flexibility of your network topology and the performance of cross-network connectivity. Benefits include:

  • High speed interconnectivity
  • Stability and reliability
  • Security, and
  • Pay-as-you-go billing from both Alibaba Cloud and Equinix

API integration with Equinix Fabric means that enterprises can now provision Alibaba Cloud Express Connect through a single portal in minutes.

Provisioning Alibaba Cloud Express Connect from the Equinix Fabric portal

3 strategic use cases

Common use cases for leveraging Alibaba Express Connect with Equinix Fabric include:

  1. Hybrid multicloud: Whether a business needs to extend their on-premises infrastructure into Alibaba Cloud, run applications across different clouds or move data from one cloud to another, a hybrid multicloud architecture provides this flexibility. Alibaba Cloud Express Connect with Equinix Fabric delivers fast, reliable and secure interconnection to Alibaba Cloud services on Platform Equinix worldwide. This means that businesses in metros with no native on-ramp for Express Connect can leverage the Fabric to access Alibaba Cloud resources globally, including Alibaba Virtual Private Clouds (VPCs), as well as interconnect their Alibaba Cloud environments across multiple regions.

Sportag provides artificial intelligence (AI) photography services for athletes across Asia, processing and delivering more than 2 million photos to over 35,000 members. Through direct and secure connectivity to multiple CSPs, including Alibaba Cloud, via Equinix Fabric, Sportag is able to reduce search time, improve the overall user experience and provide enhanced services for its customers.

  1. Business continuity in the cloud: Establishing a business continuity/disaster recovery plan (BC/DR) is an essential part of running a successful business. Creating redundant connections between multiple clouds is an effective way to accomplish this. Businesses can ensure high availability, as well as improve performance, scalability and redundancy by connecting to the same CSP or other CSPs across multiple regions. This will help reduce the risk associated with running mission-critical applications in a single cloud.
  1. Distributed edge: Increasingly businesses are competing at the digital edge, close to end users. By deploying connections between CSPs, applications and data repositories at the digital edge, businesses can reduce time to market and scale quickly as customer needs change. Connectivity to multiple CSP availability regions can also help extend global reach. Equinix Fabric enables businesses to optimize traffic flow between infrastructure, applications and regions through a single portal on-demand.

Connect to Alibaba Cloud from five continents

With access to Alibaba Cloud Express Connect from five continents, Equinix can help enterprises around the world easily and privately connect to Alibaba Cloud on Platform Equinix.

Learn more about the Alibaba Cloud Express Connect expansion with Equinix and Equinix Fabric.

You can also find out how Equinix Fabric can streamline your ability to reach multiple clouds, partners, customers and your own infrastructure by downloading the Equinix Fabric data sheet and watching the webinar.


[i] IDC, IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Cloud 2020 Predictions, Nov 2019.

[ii] Businesswire, Two in Five Fortune 500 Companies Choose Alibaba Cloud, July 2020.


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David McCullough Principal Product Manager
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