AWS VS Alibaba Cloud
The “big three” cloud providers are most commonly mention when talking about the different providers. The big three are AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud. They generate a large amount of revenue from proving cloud services and are regarded as one of the three most reliable providers. However, I think it is important that we also discuss a rise in another cloud provider known as Aliyun by the company Alibaba. They are sometimes also known as the fourth biggest and most reliable providers as they are ranked fourth in terms of revenue.
We have learnt a great deal when it comes to how AWS prices its services and how it operates. Aliyun operates similarly in a lot of way to AWS. However, they are slight differences. For example, the standard compute services used by Alibaba and AWS are Elastic Compute Services (ECS) and the Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2). These should not be lumped up as the same. The core features like choosing instance types, compatibility to Windows and Linux operating systems, supports both virtual and bare-metal servers, as well as the ability to create custom images are similar. However, Alibaba gives much more emphasize on instance families and AWS covers more regions when compared to Alibaba. This gives AWS a more geographical advantage over the Aliyun.
Moreover, the pricing differences between the two providers cannot be compared 1-to-1. Alibaba and AWS both uses the “Pay-As-You-Go” concept, but because there isn’t an instance type that is exactly identical to each other it is hard to compare pricing. The conclusion we can draw from trying to pricing between the two is that AWS is much more cost effective if the user is only looking to compute resources without a including storage. The determining factor between the two would be how much storage would the user need as Alibaba’s instances comes with a sizeable storage. Furthermore, when it comes talking about storage both providers have similar storage services. They are block, object, file as well as cold storages on Alibaba and AWS with a different naming conventions. After a quick glance at the pricing for these storage services, Alibaba is slightly cheaper than AWS. Besides that, when discussing about the API services that enables applications to interact with cloud resources AWS seems to much more API offers. There are features that AWS provide, that Alibaba does not.
In conclusion, AWS and Alibaba are very similar to each other. While, AWS provides a larger geographic coverage than Alibaba this seems like it will change over the years as Alibaba starts expanding to different regions to catch up to competitors. The pricing on these providers are different, which will be a healthy competition between the providers to allow consumers to have more options. However, AWS will remain to be known as the “better” cloud provider dues to its popularity. It will be interesting to see how Alibaba will grow to compete with the “big three”.