Chinese cloud vendor Alibaba Cloud has revealed plans to build a new data centre in Thailand, with news of the development coming as the company unveils details about its new in-house processor design for use in its data centres.
The new facility in Thailand was one of two new data centre development announcements made by Alibaba Cloud in conjunction with its Apsara Conference 2021, the other being in South Korea. Both data centre facilities are expected to be established in 2022.
It is hoped that the data centres will serve as “intelligence backbones” to support the respective nations' digital economies and businesses on their journey to transform and innovate.
The data centre in Thailand, specifically, will offer products and solutions that are in line with Thailand 4.0 – the Thai government's 20-year strategy to promote digital innovation and the development of sustainable technologies.
"As one of the world's top three cloud service providers, we are committed to bringing our world-class, hyper-scale cloud infrastructure to South Korea and Thailand, so that we can support local businesses to be at the forefront of digital transformation," said Selina Yuan, general manager of international business at Alibaba Cloud Intelligence.
"With our business insight serving global customers in multiple key industries from retail to finance, logistics and manufacturing, we believe we can support local customers in South Korea and Thailand to meet their digitalisation needs from both a technology and services perspective,” she added.
Along with the new data centre announcement, Alibaba Cloud has also unveiled a range of new developments across its data centre infrastructure stack, including a new internally designed server chip, new architecture, a new database platform and a new energy-saving solution for customers.
Additionally, the company has launched a new product, Alibaba AI, which is an integrated digital intelligence and artificial intelligence (AI) platform that provides an out-of-the-box setting for enterprises to manage their intelligent assets.
The new server chips, named Yitian 710, are custom-built by Alibaba Group’s chip development business, T-Head.
Built on 5nm processor technology, the Yitian 710 chips are powered by 128 Arm cores with 3.2GHz top clock speed to deliver exceptional performance and energy efficiency. Each processor chip has 60 billion integrated transistors.
The new chips underpin the development of Alibaba Cloud’s new proprietary servers, called Panjiu. The Panjiu servers have been developed for the next-generation of cloud-native infrastructure, the company said.
Specifically, by separating compute from storage, it is claimed the new servers are optimised for both general-purpose and specialised AI computing, as well as high-performance storage.
It is hoped this combination will enhance the company’s cloud services by optimising computing performance and energy efficiency.
“Customising our own server chips is consistent with our ongoing efforts toward boosting our computing capabilities with better performance and improved energy efficiency,” said Jeff Zhang, president of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence and head of Alibaba DAMO Academy.
“We plan to use the chips to support current and future businesses across the Alibaba Group ecosystem. We will also offer our clients next-generation computing services powered by the new chip-powered servers in the near future.”
“Together with our global partners including Intel, Nvidia, AMD and Arm, we will continue to innovate our compute infrastructure and offer diverse computing services for our global customers,” he added.
In June Alibaba Cloud revealed plans to launch its first data centre in the Philippines by the end of this year.
The proposed Philippines data centre will offer local businesses a variety of products and services, including the company’s elastic compute service (ECS), database, global network solution, content delivery network (CDN) and storage services.
Alibaba Cloud said the investment was the latest in its growing commitment to the country, focusing on the banking, fintech, retail, logistics and education sectors, among others.