Alibaba and VMware Extend Cloud-Based Virtualization Globally

3 use cases for deploying hybrid multicloud via VMware Solution on Alibaba Cloud

Daniel Shek
David McCullough
Alibaba and VMware Extend Cloud-Based Virtualization Globally

The combination of virtualization and hybrid cloud is a match made in heaven that many businesses are taking advantage of today. Case in point, VMware vSphere leads the market in enterprise private cloud adoption according to the 2020 Flexera™ State of the Cloud Report.[i] This is providing the impetus for Alibaba Cloud, the data intelligence backbone of Alibaba Group, to partner with VMware, Inc. to create the VMware Solution on Alibaba Cloud. In its own right, Alibaba Cloud is consistently ranked as the largest cloud service provider (CSP) in Asia-Pacific and the third largest in the world.[ii] Together Alibaba Cloud and VMware are empowering enterprises around the world to meet next-gen hybrid cloud computing requirements with VMware Cloud technologies such as VMware vSphere and VMware NSX.

Equinix customers are also benefactors of the VMware Solution on Alibaba Cloud. As longtime partners of both Alibaba Cloud and VMware, Equinix provides fast, low-latency on-ramps to Alibaba Cloud, VMware vSphere and VMware Cloud solutions. This access to these two cloud leaders accelerates our customers’ creation of hybrid cloud digital infrastructures on Platform Equinix®.

Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric™

Equinix Fabric™ directly, securely and dynamically connects distributed infrastructure and digital ecosystems on Platform Equinix®. Establish data center-to-data center network connections on demand between any two Equinix Fabric™ locations within a metro or globally via software-defined interconnection.

Read More
Equinix Fabric

What’s in the VMware Solution on Alibaba Cloud

With the VMware Solution on Alibaba Cloud, all VMware Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) services are integrated and licensed with Alibaba Cloud native services that can be simply purchased as a monthly or yearly subscription. These services are also easily accessed via dedicated, private connections using Alibaba Cloud Express Connect on the Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric® (ECX Fabric®).

The benefits of leveraging VMware Solution on Alibaba Cloud include:

  • Reduced overhead costs by moving from a CAPEX to OPEXmodel
  • Fast application build-out and on-demand extension from on-premises to the cloud
  • Easy business application adoption with no change to application architecture
  • Fast movement and replication of virtual machines (VMs) from an on-premises data center to the cloud
  • Same VMware Stack on-premises and in the cloud for consistent experience and management
  • Flexible hybrid cloud experience: VMware Stack and Alibaba Cloud native services within the same virtual private and public cloud

Equinix provides private and secure cloud on-ramps to the VMware Solution on Alibaba Cloud via Express Connect with a global footprint on ECX Fabric. This enables enterprises to harness high performance and low-latency connections when accessing applications or deploying various use cases that require the services of both private and public clouds across a digital infrastructure.

Hybrid VMware Cloud Use Cases on Alibaba Cloud

There are a number of use cases that can be deployed using the VMware Solution on Alibaba Cloud on Platform Equinix. Below are the top three enterprise use cases we see our customers deploying:

  1. Disaster Recovery/Backup

This data management and retention scenario gives enterprises full control of their data  ̶  on-premises and in the cloud  ̶  on Platform Equinix. It allows them to protect on-premises workloads with cost-effective full or partial disaster recovery (DR) and backup in the cloud. In addition, they can optionally leverage agent-based backup to VMware on-premises and Open Source Software (OSS) on Alibaba Cloud.


2. Data Center Extension

In this scenario, workloads can easily be extended from a simple vSphere platform on-premises to a fully software-defined data center in VMware Cloud on Alibaba Cloud. During peak times, IT organizations can extend business critical application and operations systems to the Alibaba Cloud using VMware vMotion or reduce instances when necessary.


  1. Hybrid Applications

Here enterprises can gain the ability to freely move applications between on-premises and the Alibaba Cloud with a cloud adjacent database. They can use a client to setup the front-end application on the on-premises VMware environment or on Alibaba Cloud. This keeps the cloud adjacent database and data storage on-premises in order to address customer data privacy requirements without sacrificing application performance. This enables businesses to leverage the Alibaba Cloud native service across a flexible, hybrid architecture. Developers can also provision their workloads and applications in two different locations and with one control pane, which improves application portability because they can choose the right place to land their development, testing, staging and production zone.

Global expansion of VMware Solution on Alibaba Cloud

The VMware Solution on Alibaba Cloud is currently available in mainland China regions and specifically in Hong Kong where it is accessible on Platform Equinix. We expect more Alibaba Cloud regions will roll out this service soon.

Alibaba Cloud is accessible from any Equinix Fabric enabled location with Alibaba Cloud Express Connect in six  global metros. Businesses can leverage direct and secure software-defined interconnection to access Alibaba Cloud locations in Equinix International Business Exchange™ (IBX) metros worldwide, even if Alibaba Cloud is not local to an enterprise’s data center.

Enterprises can now shift and deploy VMware VM workloads from on-premises infrastructures in Equinix IBX locations to Alibaba Cloud using Express Connect over dedicated, high-speed, low-latency connections on the Equinix Fabric. They can also easily replicate VM farms between Alibaba cloud regions and consume cloud services using a single VMware vCenter console login to shift workloads between on-premises and cloud environments.

Learn more about Equinix Fabric.



[i] Flexera, “2020 State of the Cloud Report,” 2020.

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


Subscribe to the Equinix Blog