Community Blog Friday Q&A - Week 3 - Questions From The Vault

Friday Q&A - Week 3 - Questions From The Vault

In this weekly Q&A series, we take a look at burning questions asked by Alibaba Cloud users.

By Jeremy Pedersen

Welcome back for the third installment in our weekly Q&A blog series. This week we will focus on addressing an assortment of questions asked during recent training sessions.

Let's dive in!

Q: What is the uptime/reliability for ECS?

This is a great question! After all, almost all customers will have at least some of their workload deployed on ECS virtual machines.

The short answer is that uptime is quite good. Most cloud providers - including Alibaba Cloud - give users an SLA (Service Level Agreement) which guarantees a certain hourly, daily, or monthly uptime percentage.

Alibaba Cloud's single-zone monthly SLA is 99.975%. If your application runs across multiple ECS instances in more than one Availability Zone, the multi-zone SLA is 99.995%.

Usually, when a provider fails to meet the SLA, users can claim a refund for the period of time the service was down. Click the link above to see how this works for Alibaba Cloud users.

Q: Is there a mobile app for uploading data to Alibaba Cloud's cloud storage service?

As it happens, we have just launched a cloud storage service called "Ali Cloud Disk" (阿里云盘). You can download the app for iOS and Android here.

Unfortunately the app doesn't appear to be available in the Apple app store in countries or regions outside China, and I'm not sure if any languages are provided other than Chinese (yet).

A less elegant solution for users outside China would be to directly use Object Storge Service (OSS). There's no mobile app designed specifically to upload files to OSS, but we do offer a desktop application called OSS Browser. Give that a try first: it works with Linux, Windows, and macOS.

Are there Alibaba Cloud use-cases for IPTV?

We do have some customers who produce video cameras and video camera storage systems, but I'm not aware of any cases that are approved for public sharing.

The most similar (public) case I can think of is Soar and Australian company that does aerial mapping. They use Function Compute, OSS, and TableStore for image storage and processing.

Q: What is Alibaba Cloud's equivalent to Amazon Lightsail?

We have a service called SAS (Simple Application Server) which is similar to Lightsail.

Q: Does Alibaba Cloud have an equivalent for AWS's Spot Instances?

Yes, we offer Preemptible instances, which work in a very similar way.

Q: Does Alibaba Cloud have a "free tier" similar to AWS's?

We don't have an exact equivalent to the free tier but we do offer a free trial for new users. You can read up on it here.

Q: How extensive is the marketplace?

We actually operate two marketplaces:

  1. The International Marketplace
  2. The Domestic (mainland China) Marketplace

The International marketplace offers about 320 different products, including pre-built images for popular operating systems like Red Hat, popular CMS systems like Wordpress, and firewalls including Fortinet's FortiGate. For the most part, the International marketplace is restricted to offering ECS disk images.

By contrast, the domestic (Chinese) marketplace offers a wider variety of different products, including consulting services, SaaS products, and ECS disk images.

Both marketplaces offer a wide variety of 3rd party products, but the Chinese marketplace's overall offering is broader.

Q: Is Alibaba Cloud in China separate from Alibaba Cloud in other regions?

No, this is a key advantage of Alibaba Cloud! Regardless of where you are located, you can use any and all Alibaba Cloud regions, including those inside Mainland China.

We operate two portals, but both of them allow you to deploy in any Alibaba Cloud region:

  1. International site: https://www.alibabacloud.com
  2. Chinese site: https://www.aliyun.com

If you are located outside mainland China, sign up for https://www.alibabacloud.com, because this site supports non-Chinese bank cards and phone numbers.

If you are located inside mainland China, sign up for https://www.aliyun.com, which supports Chinese bank cards and phone numbers.

Note that regardless of which site you sign up for, you will have to submit valid ID for real-name registration, if you want to use services like ECS or OSS within Mainland China.

I have personally gone through this process on both sites: it's a little time-consuming for passport holders, but relatively straightforward.

Q: Does Alibaba Cloud have a tutorial for creating Android apps?

Not that I'm aware of, but we do have an app-building accelerator service called mPaaS. That might be a good place to start, if you are interested in quickly generating an Android app.

Q: Is there a video demo of the Alibaba Cloud console?

We have a comprehensive Alibaba Cloud Overview course available for free here, but it doesn't focus on console usage.

If you're looking for something more console and command line focused, check out this migration tutorial which goes through the steps required to migrate a small E-Commerce site onto Alibaba Cloud.

I've Got A Question!

Great! Reach out to me at jierui.pjr@alibabacloud.com and I'll do my best to answer in a future Friday Q&A blog.

You can also follow the Alibaba Cloud Academy LinkedIn Page. We'll re-post these blogs there each Friday.

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