Accelerating the cloud journey for financial institutions with Alibaba Cloud and Equinix

Helping Southeast Asia’s banking, financial services and insurance sectors thrive in a digital world

Michael Tsang

Enterprise technology is a constantly evolving field. With the shift from core to cloud to edge, businesses are looking for IT solutions that can provide security for mission-critical workloads, elasticity for delivery and high performance to speed growth. This is driving the need for hybrid multicloud that combines the advantages of both public and private clouds, while mitigating their limitations. The uptick of this approach is reflected in the latest Global Interconnection Index (GXI Vol. 4), with the interconnection bandwidth of Cloud and IT Services in Asia-Pacific predicted to grow at a 51% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2019 to 2023.

BFSI’s race to the cloud  

If we take a look at Asia-Pacific, cloud computing market revenue in Southeast Asia is estimated to reach US$40.32 billion by 2025, representing a dynamic market for service providers.[i] Among all industries, banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) have proved to be early to recognize the advantages of cloud, with the current pandemic only speeding things up further in this area. Hybrid multicloud adoption has become a strategic imperative for the BFSI sectors because it helps lower total costs, improves operational efficiency and promotes innovation.

Although many in BFSI are embracing hybrid multicloud infrastructures, some are still facing pressure points when it comes to designing, implementing and deploying processes in the journey. In particular, financial institutions are looking for direct, secure connectivity between different environments to address concerns around cost, security and compliance, interoperability and resiliency.

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Hybrid multicloud made easy with Alibaba Cloud and Equinix

To help the BFSI sectors in Southeast Asia to capitalize on hybrid multicloud architecture, Equinix has teamed up with Alibaba Cloud to develop its first joint solution in Singapore, providing flexible and high-performance interconnection between on-premise infrastructure and cloud services from wherever financial institutions are based. By combining Alibaba’s cloud solution, Equinix’s global footprint and robust ecosystem, we can offer the performance, security and flexibility financial institutions need to unlock new opportunities in the digital era. Together, we enable those in BFSI to enjoy:

  • Performance – local interconnection with network and cloud service providers as well as partners to leverage the economies of aggregation and unlock the benefits of a robust digital ecosystem
  • Security – secure and private connections to cloud service providers, which bypass the public internet and help mitigate latency and risks
  • Flexibility – making it easier to migrate and shift workloads to and within various cloud service providers available in different regions and countries, opening up more opportunities

The faster route to cloud

This strategic joint solution is built on our strong service capabilities and shared vision to accelerate the cloud journey for BFSIs in Southeast Asia. Alibaba Cloud is the third largest global provider of Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and the largest in Asia-Pacific.[ii] It has a strong presence in ASEAN countries and China, ensuring the subsidiaries and branches of financial institutions can enjoy consistent and high-quality services across the region. Its light-weight hybrid cloud solution, Alibaba Cloud ZStack, can be easily deployed to manage hardware in data centers, servers on the edge and hybrid cloud environments across on-premise and Alibaba Cloud resources. To help the BFSI sectors easily monitor and manage their infrastructures anywhere, this platform provides multi-tenant management, multi-zone management, billing management and disaster recovery to resolve management issues. In addition to cloud management capabilities, it also offers computing virtualization, network virtualization and distributed storage virtualization in one product.

To complement Alibaba Cloud’s services in the region, Equinix’s vast digital infrastructure, which includes the most network dense data centers in Singapore and ecosystems, can further help BFSIs scale their infrastructure in the cloud efficiently. Our four facilities, including SG1, SG2, SG3 and SG4, are interconnected via low-latency dark fiber links, hosting more than 205 network carriers and offering an unmatched choice of regional and global vendors and network routes.

At Equinix, we provide access to Alibaba Cloud with Equinix FabricTM. Available in more than 170 International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data centers across 45+ metros, Equinix Fabric is an on-demand, SDN-enabled interconnection service that allows any business to connect between its own distributed infrastructure, and that of any of 2,100 users on Platform Equinix®. This software-defined interconnection solution connects multiple clouds over high-speed, low-latency, virtualized connections, enabling BFSI better manage a wide range of business and technology risks.

Notably, Alibaba Cloud has integrated its API with Equinix Fabric, which streamlines the process for enterprises to facilitate private and direct connections to Alibaba Cloud. This means companies operating in the BFSI sectors can establish secure connections between their network and Alibaba Cloud through a single portal in minutes. This allows them to maintain private clouds and manage sensitive data in close proximity to Alibaba Cloud, while taking advantage of the flexibility, scalability and cost-savings benefits offered by Equinix IBX data centers.

Equinix is also home to some of the richest and most mature financial ecosystems in the world, connecting exchanges, sell-side and buy-side firms, and market data and service providers to the opportunities offered by global financial markets. In fact, Platform Equinix houses the world’s largest multi-asset class electronic-trading (e-trading) ecosystem.

In Singapore, foreign exchange (FX) companies, including Euronext FX, Jump Trading, Lucera, Orient Futures and Spark Systems, as well as major banks with FX operations in Singapore, have joined Equinix’s FX ecosystem. This means market participants in the region can take advantage of close proximity to the broadest choice of over 1,800 networks globally, enabling them to reduce network latency and enhance trading performance for their customers.

Building a roadmap for future success

Leveraging Alibaba Cloud’s strong presence in Southeast Asia and Equinix’s best-in-class interconnection services, BFSI with subsidiaries and branches in ASEAN countries can now easily and securely interconnect across the region, building a solid foundation for their future growth. Read more about Equinix Fabric and discover how digital businesses are harnessing the digital infrastructure to accelerate their digital transformation journey.



[ii] Gartner – Market Share: IT Services Worldwide 2019, April 2020, Super Region: Asia/Pacific

Michael Tsang Senior Director, Partner Account Management, Equinix Asia-Pacific
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