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Community Blog Embrace Alibaba Cloud ECS Instance: A Smart VM for Faster Cloud Computing

Embrace Alibaba Cloud ECS Instance: A Smart VM for Faster Cloud Computing

This blog is a complete guide about what an ECS instance is, its features, classifications, and lifecycle.

By Rupal Shirpurkar, Alibaba Cloud MVP and Business Head (Cloud BU - APAC) Click2Cloud Inc.

An ECS Instance is a virtual machine consisting of some essential computing units, like vCPU, memory operating system, network, and disk. It is an elastic and horizontally scalable service developed independently by Alibaba Cloud that is based on upcoming virtualization techniques. The Alibaba Cloud ECS Bare Metal Instance provides similar computing functions as traditional servers with physical isolation along with elasticity, better performance, and extensive features for physical servers. These instances with advanced virtualization abilities support standard elastic compute services and nested virtualization, which helps you maintain the elasticity of common ECS while providing similar solutions as physical servers. The UI of the Alibaba Cloud Management Console is very simple. You can easily customize, manage, and configure the environment of the ECS Instance for your requirements.

The Storage and Network Used by ECS

An Alibaba Cloud ECS Instance must have a system disk to store the operating system and core configurations. An image is used to initialize a system disk showcasing the operating system and initial software configurations of that ECS instance. Usually, the storage capacity of system disks is very small. If you need more storage types or space, you can add data disks.

ECS Instances support the classic network and Virtual Private Cloud (VPC); VPC is recommended. The ECS Instances lying in the same network, such as in the same VPC, can communicate over the internal network through private IP addresses. If you want your instances to communicate over the Internet, you can obtain public IP addresses to communicate with other devices on the web.

ECS Instance Features

  • It is a high-performance physical server with the elasticity and scalability of virtual servers. It supports ultra-high frequency instances with expandable memory from 32 GB to 768 GB.
  • Offers support to virtual server images and cloud disks for faster delivery of instances.
  • Delivers commendable performance and business stability as physical servers by supporting the VPC network that maintains seamless interconnection between ECS instances and other cloud resources.
  • The Alibaba Cloud ECS Instance implements the same images as other virtual servers, enabling flexible configuration changes to virtual servers without any extra configuration.
  • The ECS Bare Metal Instance supports SGX to assure that encrypted data is cleaned, processed, and computed in a secure and trusted environment.

ECS Instance Classification

The Alibaba Cloud ECS Instance is classified into different instance families based on business scenarios. These instance families consist of different instance types positioned based on their vCPU and memory, such as CPU model and clock speed. Here, a vCPU acts as a thread, and a CPU is responsible to run those multiple threads. For example, if you want to use a Windows Server image, you should opt to purchase an instance type that is equipped with a memory of at least 512 MiB. These instance types can be easily upgraded and downgraded within the same instance family or across instance families.

The Alibaba Cloud ECS Instance is developed to meet the complex requirements of enterprise scenarios for business stability. They are divided into enterprise-level and shared instance families based on whether the instance families are suitable for enterprise scenarios.

ECS Instance life Cycle

The following table shows the lifecycle of an ECS instance that begins when the instance is created and ends when the instance is released.

State State in an API Response State Attribute Description Visible in the ECS Console
Preparing Pending Intermediate After an instance is created, it is in this state before it enters the Running state. If the instance remains in this state for an extended period of time, an exception occurs. No
Starting Starting Intermediate After you start or restart an instance using the ECS console or calling an API operation, the instance enters this state before it enters the Running state. If the instance remains in this state for an extended period, an exception occurs. Yes
Running Running Stable If an instance runs properly, it is in this state. Note: An ECS Instance can be accessed externally only when it is in the Running state Yes
Expiring Running Stable A subscription instance remains in the Expiring state for 15 days before it expires. We recommend that you renew your instances in the expiring state on time. Yes
Stopping Stopping Intermediate After you stop an instance using the ECS console or calling an API operation, the instance enters this state before it enters the Stopped state. If the instance remains in this state for an extended period, an exception occurs. Yes
Stopped Stopped Stable After an instance is stopped or after it is created but has not started, it is Stopped. Note: An ECS instance can be accessed externally only when it is Running. Yes
Expired Stopped Stable After a subscription instance expires or a pay-as-you-go instance is stopped due to overdue payments, the instance enters the Expired state. Note: An ECS instance can be accessed externally only when it is Running. Yes
Locked Stopped Stable If your account has an overdue payment or your account is insecure, your instance enters the Locked state. You can submit a ticket to unlock the instance. Yes
To Be Released Stopped Stable If you apply for a refund for a subscription instance before the instance expires, the instance enters the To Be Released state. Yes

Conclusion

Leverage the amazing services of Alibaba Cloud ECS Instance for high computing performance, optimal user experience, reliable and secure physical isolation, faster delivery to adapt diverse business requirements, and multi-cloud compatibility to give a vast range of smart cloud solutions.

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