May 17, 2020

Alibaba secures lease for entire Beijing 3 data centre

Data center
data centre
Callum Rivett
1 min
Chinese e-commerce giants Alibaba has signed a pre-commitment for a lease for the entirety of the Beijing 3 data center, GDS Holdings has confirmed.


Chinese e-commerce giants Alibaba has signed a pre-commitment for a lease for the entirety of the Beijing 3 data center, GDS Holdings has confirmed. 

The data center is currently under construction and will boast 4,260 square meters of IT space when it opens in the first half of 2018.

This deal follows on from May's announcement that Alibaba will be building a new data center in Malaysia, which adds to their fourteen they currently own worldwide.

One of those data centers is the GDS Beijing 1 facility, which Alibaba part-owns and is adjacent to the new Beijing 3 center. 

GDS and Alibaba have also signed a memorandum of understanding that recognizes GDS as the preferred data center provider to Alibaba in China, and committed GDS to supporting Alibaba's cloud development plans.

William Huang, Chairman and CEO of GDS Holdings, said that the "demand created by China's rapid cloud adoption" has meant that high-performance data centers are needed now more than ever.

"We are proud to be the partner of choice for Alibaba as we continue to grow and develop China’s Cloud market together," said Huang.

"This partnership is a testament to our ability to continuously source the right projects and provide high operating standards for our customers."

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Jun 18, 2021

GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud

3 min
VMware has been walking GfK along its path through digital transformation to the cloud for over a decade.

GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.  

In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade. 

“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.

Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.

By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.

One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.

“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.

Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs. 

“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.

The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment. 

The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.

One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.

“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.

“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client. 

“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”

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