What is Alibaba ECS? Purchase and Configure ECS on Alibaba Cloud
Elastic Compute Service (ECS) is a high-performance, stable, reliable, and scalable IaaS-level service provided by Alibaba Cloud. ECS eliminates the need to invest in IT hardware up front and allows you to quickly scale computing resources on demand, making ECS more convenient and efficient than physical servers. ECS provides a variety of instance types that suit different business needs and help boost business growth
Alibaba Cloud Elastic Compute Service (ECS) provides fast memory and the latest Intel CPUs to help you to power your cloud applications and achieve faster results with low latency.
Deploy ECS instances with just a few clicks from the easy-to-use console and scale capacity up or down based on real-time demands.
ECS provides the following benefits:
- You do not have to purchase hardware or construct data centers.
- Instances can be delivered within minutes, enabling rapid deployment and reducing time to market.
- You can make use of resources in data centers and BGP servers around the world.
- You can scale resources up or down based on your actual business needs at a transparent, easy-to-understand cost.
- x86 architecture-based ECS instances, ECS Bare Metal instances, and heterogenous computing ECS instances such as GPU-accelerated and FPGA-accelerated instances are provided.
- You can use ECS to access other Alibaba Cloud services over the internal network, reducing Internet traffic costs.
- A host of security solutions such as virtual firewalls, role-based permission control, internal network isolation, virus protection, and traffic throttling are provided.
- ECS comes with a performance monitoring framework and active O&M system.
- A standardized API is provided to improve ease-of-use and applicability.
Advantages of Elastic Computing Service(ECS)
1. High Availability
Alibaba Cloud ECS provides the highest SLA commitment for both single instance and multiple instances in multiple availability zones among the top cloud providers worldwide. Alibaba Cloud gained lots of experience of running infrastructure on a large scale while maintaining high availability. We are currently supporting the world’s largest e-commerce platforms such as Taobao and Tmall and we work closely with scientists from DAMO Academy to accurately predict, prevent, and mitigate infrastructure issues without impacting our customers.
On top of the world-class customized components from our various vendors such as Intel, Alibaba Cloud invested heavily in the Research & Development of our ECS product. Over time, we developed X-Dragon compute platform, including the self-developed SOC, hardware acceleration card, as well as the Dragonfly lightweight hypervisor. Our Technology leadership provides a foundation for the high performance, availability, elasticity, scalability, and security you enjoyed in our ECS products.
As the largest cloud provider in China and the 3rd largest cloud provider worldwide by revenue , Alibaba Cloud ECS has the scale to provide high elasticity that can meet your business needs instantly. We can provide hundreds of thousands of vCPUs in minutes for a single customer in a single region, that is because of our sophisticated smart placement algorithm, dynamic and automatic planing as well as our optimization of both hardware and software.
ECS comprises the following major components:
Instance: An ECS instance is a virtual server that includes basic computing components such as CPU, memory, operating system, bandwidth, and disks. The computing performance, memory specifications, and applicable scenarios of an instance are determined by its instance type. Each instance type has particular specifications, including the number of vCPUs, memory capacity, and network performance.
Image: Images provide operating systems, initial application data, and pre-installed software for instances. Multiple Linux distributions and Windows Server operating systems are supported.
Block Storage: Block Storage devices offer high performance and low latency. ECS comes with distributed storage architecture-based cloud disksand physical storage-based local disks.
Snapshot: A snapshot is a stateful data file of a cloud disk at a certain point in time. Snapshots are often used to back up and restore data or to create custom images.
Security group: A security group is a logical grouping of instances located within the same region that have the same security requirements and require access to each other. A security group works as a virtual firewall for the ECS instances inside it.
Virtual private cloud (VPC): A VPC is a logically isolated private cloud network. You can configure a private IP address range, a route table, and a gateway for a VPC.
Classic network: All classic network-type instances are built on a shared infrastructure network that is centrally planned and managed by Alibaba Cloud.
For more information, see the Product page of Elastic Compute Service.
The following figure shows the architecture of ECS components. For more information about the functional components in the figure, see the ECS documentation.
ECS supports multiple billing methods such as subscription and pay-as-you-go and purchasing options such as reserved instances and preemptible instances. For more information, see Billing overview and the Pricing tab of the Product page of Elastic Compute Service.
After you register an Alibaba Cloud account, you can create, use, or release ECS instances in any region by using one of the following methods provided by Alibaba Cloud:
ECS console: a web service page used to manage ECS instances. For more information, see Quick reference.
ECS API: an RPC API that supports GET and POST requests. For more information, see API Reference. The following developer tools can be used to call ECS API operations:
Alibaba Cloud CLI: a flexible and scalable management tool based on Alibaba Cloud APIs. You can use CLI to encapsulate Alibaba Cloud-native APIs to develop custom features.
OpenAPI Explorer: allows you to retrieve API operations, call API operations, and dynamically generate SDK sample code.
Alibaba Cloud SDK: SDKs for a variety of programming languages such as Java, Python, and PHP are provided.
Resource Orchestration Service (ROS): automatically creates and configures Alibaba Cloud resources based on user-defined templates.
Terraform: an open-source tool that uses configuration files to call computing resources of Alibaba Cloud and other platforms that support Terraform. Terraform also implements version control.
Before you purchase an ECS instance, consider the following factors:
Region and zone
A region represents an Alibaba Cloud data center. The region and zone determine the physical location of an ECS instance. After an instance is created, its metadata is established and its region cannot be changed. You can obtain metadata only of the ECS instances located within VPCs. Select a region and zone based on the target geographical location, availability of Alibaba Cloud services, application availability requirements, and whether internal network communication is required. For example, if you want to access both ECS and ApsaraDB for RDS, the ApsaraDB for RDS instance and ECS instance must be within the same region. For more information, see Regions and zones.
To ensure business consistency and continuity, we recommend that you use snapshots to back up data, and use multi-zone deployment, deployment sets, and Server Load Balancer (SLB) for disaster recovery.
Set up network connections
We recommend that you use VPC to plan your own private IP addresses. VPC supports all new features and new instance types. VPC also supports business system isolation and multi-region system deployment. For more information, see What is a VPC?
You can use ECS security groups to control inbound and outbound access policies and the port listening status of ECS instances. For applications deployed on ECS instances, Anti-DDoS Basic are provided for free. Alibaba Cloud Security is also available.
For example, you can use Anti-DDoS Pro to ensure the stability and reliability of source sites. For more information, see What is Anti-DDoS Pro.
Security Center can be used to safeguard the security of ECS instances. For more information, see What is Security Center?
Together with ECS, you can select the following Alibaba Cloud services:
Auto Scaling: automatically adjusts the number of ECS instances based on business and policy changes. For more information, see What is Auto Scaling?
Dedicated Host (DDH): allows you to deploy ECS instances on a dedicated host to have dedicated use of its physical resources. DDH also allows you to migrate your businesses to the cloud at minimal costs while meeting compliance requirements. For more information, see What is DDH?
Container Service for Kubernetes: manages application lifecycles on groups of ECS instances. For more information, see What is Container Service for Kubernetes?
Server Load Balancer (SLB): distributes traffic among multiple ECS instances. For more information, see What is Server Load Balancer?
CloudMonitor: develops monitoring solutions for instances, system disks, and public bandwidth. For more information, see Overview.
ApsaraDB for RDS: provides database services accessible over internal networks to ECS instances, reduces network latency and access fees, and delivers top-notch performance. ApsaraDB for RDS supports multiple database engines, including MySQL, SQL Server, PostgreSQL, PPAS, and MariaDB. For more information, see What is ApsaraDB for RDS?
Alibaba Cloud Marketplace: a platform where third-party partners provide software infrastructure, business software, and various software and services related to website construction, hosted O&M, security, data, APIs, and solutions. You can also provide software and services as a service provider in Alibaba Cloud Marketplace.
For more solutions, see Alibaba Cloud Solutions.
Benefits of ECS
Alibaba Cloud adopts more stringent IDC standards, server access standards, and O&M standards to ensure data reliability and high availability of the cloud computing infrastructure and ECS.
Alibaba Cloud has passed a host of international information security certifications, such as ISO 27001 and MTCS, which demands strict confidentiality of user data and user information, as well as user privacy protection.
Elasticity is a key benefit of cloud computing. Alibaba Cloud provides elastic computing, storage, networking, and business architecture planning and allows you to combine your businesses as needed.
Alibaba Cloud ECS offers an industry-leading SLA, with a commitment of 99.975% availability for individual instances and a commitment of 99.995% availability for multiple zones within the same region.
Flexible Billing Methods
ECS provides multiple billing methods to cater to the cost-effectiveness requirements in different scenarios. Annual/monthly subscription, Pay-As-You-Go, Real time bidding subscription, Reserved instance. Exclusive network bandwidth billing methods are also provided to help you save more on resources.
Deploy and Grow Globally
Choose from 22 international regions with multiple availability zones in each region and manage all regions from a single global account.
Limitation of ECS
ECS has the following limits:
- You cannot install virtualization software such as VMware Workstation or use it for secondary virtualization. Only ECS bare metal instances and Super Computing Clusters (SCCs) support secondary virtualization.
ECS does not support sound card applications.
- External hardware devices such as hardware dongles, USB flash drives, external hard disks, and hardware tokens, cannot be directly attached to ECS. Software verification methods such as two-factor authentication and dynamic passwords can be used.
- ECS does not support multicast protocols. We recommend that you use unicast transmission instead.
Log Service does not support 32-bit Linux ECS instances.
For information about the ECS instances that support Log Service, see Logtail overview.
If you need to apply for ICP filings for websites deployed on your ECS instance, the instance must meet certain purchase requirements. You can apply for a limited number of ICP filing service numbers for websites that are deployed on each ECS instance. For more information, see Prepare and check the instance and access information. For information about how to apply for ICP filings, see ICP filing application overview.