Verizon adds Alibaba Cloud into its cloud ecosystem

Verizon is teaming up with Alibaba Cloud for private MPLS connections. (Pixabay)

Verizon announced today that it has expanded the reach of its Secure Cloud Interconnect into Alibaba Cloud for private connections.

Verizon's customers that are looking to expand in the Asia-Pacific region can now do so with direct MPLS connections to Alibaba Cloud. With the addition of Alibaba Cloud in Singapore and Hong Kong, the number of cloud service providers accessible from Verizon Secure Cloud Interconnect has grown to 10 overall, covering more than 72 locations globally. 

“In the past, organizations had to connect with multiple cloud service providers through the public Internet, which meant less control and visibility over policies and security measures,” said Verizon's Vickie Lonker, vice president of product management and development, in a prepared statement. “Today, via Secure Cloud Interconnect, organizations have the freedom and flexibility to quickly establish and manage workloads with leading cloud service providers through a consumption-based connectivity service with end to end visibility and control. We are happy to help our customers who have chosen to use Alibaba Cloud to make that connection via private networking.”

In the latest report on market share for cloud service providers by Synergy Research Group, Alibaba Cloud was fifth behind, respectively, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and IBM.

Aside from its home country of China, Alibaba Cloud has been expanding its presence into Europe. Three years ago, Alibaba forged a partnership with Vodafone in Germany. Alibaba has one data center located in Frankfurt that allows Vodafone to resell Alibaba's cloud services, such as data storage and analytics.

RELATED: Alibaba talking to BT about European cloud partnership, Bloomberg reports

Also last year, BT was rumored to be kicking the tires on a European partnership with Alibaba Cloud that would challenge not only Amazon Web Services' dominance, but also boost BT's cloud computing and big data capabilities. While a BT spokesperson confirmed the talks at the time, there's been no announcement to date.

Faced with the prospect of losing large enterprise customers to cloud providers, the telecom industry has responded by forging relationships with them. Two years ago, AT&T announced it had expanded its business cloud network partnership with AWS while early last year Verizon picked AWS as its preferred public cloud provider.

CenturyLink had a busy year in 2018 with cloud related announcements. CenturyLink was named as a Managed Service Provider Partner by AWS and also announced a deal with Oracle Cloud.

Aside from working with their business customers, service providers are tapping into the cloud to offer cloud-based virtual services, including as a service VNFs, IaaS, Paas and virtual customer premise equipment, to their enterprise customers.