Key terms in Alibaba Cloud

Introduction to Alibaba Cloud

In the fast-paced world where organizations are quickly adopting or moving their conventional data centres onto big cloud players like AWS, Microsoft Azure services, Alibaba , Google cloud and so on. Which cloud provider to choose is also a big decision organizations need to make as many of them are not aware of all underlying technologies and terminologies being used in their cloud environment.  

In this article we will learn more about Alibaba cloud and common terminologies used in Alibaba cloud and its features and so on. 

What is Alibaba Cloud?

Alibaba came into cloud business sometime in 2009, just three years after Amazon launched its own cloud AWS. Alibaba cloud is one of the ambitious projects of the Chinese e-commerce giant. Alibaba is a premier cloud provider in China. Two years ago, Alibaba ingested a billion dollar into its ‘Aliyun’ which is Alibaba cloud in English.

Alibaba cloud is ranked fifth according to Synergy research group and majority companies in the United states are using it . Alibaba offers cloud services which are available on a pay-as-you-go basis and include Elastic Compute, Data storage, Relational databases, Big data processing , Anti-DDoS protection and content delivery systems.

Features of Alibaba Cloud

  • Dozen instances types available to choose from 
  • Support for bare metal and virtual servers 
  • Compatible with windows and Linux multiple flavours
  • Ability to create custom images
  • Cloud storage services supported – object storage service (OSS), Elastic block storage (EBS) and Network attached storage (NAS)
  • Higher number of VM processors as compared to other cloud providers
  • Buy Alibaba on a pay-as-you-go, reserved instance, subscription model , preemptible instances
  • Support for variety of relational database services 

Alibaba Cloud – Key Terms

We will look at some commonly used key terms in Alibaba cloud more in detail below:

Key TermsDescription
Alibaba Cloud accountTo use Alibaba cloud services, you need to create a cloud account which has full control over Alibaba resources . Alibaba Cloud account is similar to the administrator or root user of an operating system.
Compute services
Elastic computingIt is a state of the art infrastructure including memory and CPU and built in DDoS protection. It provides auto scaling and server load balancer charged only on the basis of runtime usage such as instance creation, public or private load balancer rental duration, and network traffic etc. it provides high performance Elastic computing services including
Elastic GPU servicefor high demand computing such as graphics and video rendering
Elastic high-performance computing (E-HPC)Support across all layers – HP CPU for LaaS , software stack for PaaS and application template customization for SaaS, ECS bare metal-based elasticity of virtual server combined with performance of physical server
Supercomputing cluster (SCC)High speed Remote memory access interconnectivity etc.
Container services
Container serviceFully managed service for securely running and managing docker applications on a distributed cluster of ECS instances 
Container Service for Kubernetes (ACK)It is a container service which provides a runtime environment for Kubernetes based container applications . Kubernetes clusters can be deployed in ACK to integrate Alibaba services for virtualization, storage and security
Access Management 
Resource Orchestration Service (ROS)Which uses text in JSON format for defining AC resources, configuration details and interdependencies between resources
Cloud resource Access management (RAM)Centralized management under identify and access management service for users and their permissions on AC resources
Storage services
Object storage serviceStores three copies of objects.  Actual usage of storage space, network traffic and number of processed requests determine the payment. There is no data storage limit and data is highly secure with DDoS protection , monitoring of illegal logging access, SSL for data in motion, and data encryption at rest. Ease of integration with web APIs. 
Table storeFully managed NoSQL database service
Network attached storageECS instances, E-HPC, and other container services
Database services
ApsaraDB for PolarDBIs the relational database service which is compatible with MySQL, PostgreSQL, and Oracle syntaxes. PolarDB has 100 TB storage capacity and it decouples compute and storage resources.
ApsaraDB for MongoDBThis is a NoSQL database based on open-source MongoDB protocol. It is a document database which features automatic monitoring and scalability
Network services 
Virtual Private Cloud (VPC)VPC services allows to create private , isolated dedicated network for cloud accounts. It can be customized to meet cloud network needs by defining IP range, route tables and network gateways
Content delivery and monitoring services 
Content delivery frameworkLarge volume of traffic handling with 1200+ nodes across the geographies for faster website response times, and smoother video streaming
Alibaba cloudMonitorProvides advanced , customizable analytics on critical tasks such as CPU utilizations and latency/ delay. Sending suspected threat alerts via email and messaging services
Other services (DNS and Key management)
Key management services (KMS)Used to manage, create and control encryption keys
Alibaba cloud DNSDNS service for cloud to translate domain names into machine readable IP addresses
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