Alibaba Cloud nears profitability as customers move from IaaS into AI, data analytics workloads

Alibaba Cloud has become the dominant cloud provider in China and nearing profitability, but future growth will largely revolve around moving up the services stack for artificial intelligence and analytics workloads.

The upshot from Alibaba Group’s investor sessions this week is the e-commerce giant is surging as shopping habits chang,e and it has a portfolio that touches commerce from many angles. Its Alibaba Cloud unit is what Amazon Web Services is to Amazon.

And like AWS, Alibaba is starting to see Alibaba Cloud as a future profit engine. Alibaba CFO Maggie Wu said that the cloud unit will turn profitable within fiscal 2021. 

“The company expects cloud to become EBITA profitable in fiscal 2021, and is targeting AWS-like profitability long term,” said Oppenheimer analyst Jason Helfstein in a research note. “Moreover, ARPU is growing significantly faster than customers, implying customers are moving ‘up the stack.'”

Alibaba CEO Yong Zhang said

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Intel teams up with Lightbits Labs to maximize data center profitability

Intel and Lightbits Labs have entered into a strategic collaboration to improve the performance and profitability of data centers. 

On Tuesday, the chip giant said both parties will develop disaggregated storage solutions suitable for data centers; in particular, systems that will reduce total-cost-of-ownership (TCO) issues caused by stranded disk capacity and performance problems. 

TCO variables can include energy usage, cooling requirements, location, and the choice of equipment. Cost-reducing investments in the data center usually pursued relate to reducing waste, labor time, and reclaiming or recovering stranded disk capacity — allocated but unused storage that would otherwise not be available for use by applications. 

See also: Security firm McAfee files for IPO on enthusiasm for IT stocks

Intel and Lightbits Labs will work together to co-engineer technical solutions designed to reduce stranded disk volumes as well as launch go-to-market initiatives. 

The companies will investigate how merged designs — utilizing Intel’s hardware

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