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Alibaba Cloud pre-sales highlights - understanding Alibaba Cloud computing in two minutes

More Posted time:Dec 8, 2016 15:06 PM
Many people say Alibaba Cloud servers are good. Is cloud computing new to you, which is quite unsettling?
What on earth are the advantages of cloud servers over traditional servers or virtual hosts? I heard cloud servers are more elastic and flexible, and cheaper?
But I know nothing about the technical stuff. Which configuration should I buy? What if I buy a higher configuration than necessary? Can I return it? What if I don’t know how to operate the cloud servers? How is the after-sales service?
The caring pre-sales teams of Alibaba Cloud understand your every concern. We collected the most-asked questions to unriddle your questions.
Don’t worry. You will surely understand Alibaba cloud computing in just two minutes.

1. How should I choose an ECS configuration?
We advise that you select a suitable ECS configuration based on your actual business needs. If your business grows, you can upgrade your configuration online or add ECS servers for load balancing.  
Please confirm your business needs: 1. Website type; 2. Daily PV; 3. Homepage size; 4. Data capacity.
2. Can ECS be upgraded seamlessly? How are fees calculated?  
ECS (yearly/monthly subscription) supports custom online upgrades. The upgrade process is seamless, so you do not have to redeploy the environment or migrate data. The IP address will also remain the same. The operation is very simple and can be accomplished through the console. In addition, you only have to pay the difference in price for the actual duration of the upgrade.  
a) ECS supports online upgrading of CPU, memory (The ECS should be stopped before upgrading. The upgrade will take effect after the ECS is restarted) and bandwidth (seamless upgrades that do not require the server to be shut down or restarted; you can perform upgrades on a daily basis); Currently, you cannot downgrade after upgrading, but this may be done when you renew your subscription.  
b) ECS allows you to add new data disks.
3. Are the IP addresses independent? Can you specify or add IP addresses?  
One independent internet IP address and one independent intranet IP address will be automatically allocated to Alibaba Cloud ECS (when the public bandwidth > 0Mbps). The latter is usually used for communications between the servers, as well as between the servers and OSS/RDS. Normally, the IP address will not change. Currently, IP addresses cannot be specified, selected, or added for purchase.
4. What are the advantages of ECS over traditional IDCs?
a) Machine room network: Green machine rooms, DC servers, low PUE; Multiline BGP networks, dedicated bandwidth.
b) Ease of operation: Built-in mainstream operating systems (including genuine activated Windows versions), ability to switch operating systems online; The Web console can be used for online management.  
c) Disaster recovery and backup: 99.95% of service availability, 99.999% of data reliability; Multiple copies of each data segment are saved. If an individual segment is damaged, the data can be quickly restored; User-defined snapshots support data rollback and recovery; Automated downtime migration, fast and automatic fault recovery; System performance alarms.  
d) Security and reliability: Effective prevention of MAC spoofing and ARP attacks; Effective defense against DDoS attacks, flow cleaning and black holes; Provides port intrusion scans, trojan scans, vulnerability scans, defense against password cracking, and other additional services; Security group rule protection; Multi-user isolation.
e) Flexible scaling: Custom images can be used to quickly create ECS, and 100 ECSs can be started or released within 10 minutes; Configurations can be upgraded online; Bandwidth can be increased/decreased freely; Server Load Balancers empower quick and easy application scaling.  
f) Cost-saving: Low cost threshold for use; No large one-time investment required; Pay-as-you-go and flexible payment options allow you to flexibly respond to business changes.  
5. What are the differences between ECS and light ECS? How should I choose between them?  
a) Light ECS shares the resource exclusivity advantage with ECS, while providing simple and convenient management like virtual hosts;  
b) ECS has super administrator privileges while light ECS does not support remote desktop login and other management permissions;  
c) Light ECS can only support one site.
6. How many websites can be placed on a single ECS?  
A single ECS can be registered for five different websites. The number of domain names is unlimited. Because only five Beian SNs are assigned to a single server, if you have submitted website registration applications for all the five Beian SNs bound to your ECS IP address and need to register more websites, we suggest you buy another ECS.
7. Is ECS protected against attacks?  
Alibaba Cloud provides the Alibaba Cloud Security service. Combined with the powerful data analysis capabilities of the Alibaba Cloud computing platform, this offers one-stop security services, such as detection of security vulnerabilities and webpage trojans for medium and small websites, as well as host intrusion detection and protection against DDoS attacks for ECS users. The servers can defend against up to 5 Gbps of DDoS attack traffic. When a cyber attack occurs, our monitoring system can automatically detect it and clean the abnormal traffic for you. If the attack traffic is very large, black hole processing will be processed for you to protect the security of your servers.
8. How should I select an operating system?  
Windows: The system contains a genuine copy that can be activated; It is suitable for running applications developed in the Windows environment, such as .NET; It supports SQL Server and other databases (separate installation is required); It is manageable through remote desktop login.  
Linux: Linux is the most popular server-side OS; It allows remote access to your ECS instance through SSH; It is suitable for high-performance server applications such as web applications, and supports common programming languages such as PHP and Python and databases such as MySQL (separate installation is required).  
a) Alibaba Cloud Linux (compatible with RedHat): Please install software online with YUM. To use YUM source in Red Hat, purchase commercial support for Red Hat.  
b) CentOS: Please install software online with YUM.  
c) Ubuntu: Please install software online with Aptitude.  
d) Debian: Please install software online with the apt-get command.
9. Does automated backup of ECS occupy server spaces?  
ECS supports automated backup. Multiple copies of each data segment are saved. If an individual segment is damaged, the data can be quickly restored. The automated backup is independent from the server and will not take up server spaces.
10. Can the OS be changed or added/upgraded? Will the IP address change if I change the OS? Will the data on the data disks be reset?  
a) ECS (yearly/monthly subscription) supports OS change without additional charges required; However, the addition or upgrading of OS is not supported, but the OS can be patched;  
b) The OS IP address will not change if the OS is changed;  
c) When the OS is changed, the data saved on the system disk will be lost. We suggest you back up the personal data on the system disk to a data disk or through other methods; The data on data disks will not be affected.
11. Can load balancing be performed for an ECS?  
Load balancing can be performed on ECS. You can active the server load balancing service free of charge if you have two ECS servers under one cloud account. However, you must ensure web server configuration and website code consistency. The Server Load Balancer service connects multiple ECS servers to form an application service cluster. In this structure, the application system's service capabilities can be horizontally scaled.
12. How many custom images with different data can be created under one Alibaba Cloud account?  
You can use custom images to quickly create servers. A maximum of ten custom images can be created under a single Alibaba Cloud account. Even when the ECS used for creating a custom image expires or the data is released (that is, the system disk used for the snapshot expires or is released), the created custom image will not be affected.
13. Can a database be built on an ECS?  
Yes, you can build databases directly on an ECS. We recommend using high-performance RDS for back-end databases. RDS uses an out-of-the-box approach and is compatible with MySQL and SQL Server relational databases. In addition, it provides online database resizing, backup and rollback, performance monitoring, and analysis functions. Using RDS with ECS doubles I/O performance and allows communication via intranet, thus avoiding network bottlenecks.
14. Does Alibaba Cloud provide free environment configuration and data migration services?  
The migration service requires that the source server OS be the same as the OS on the ECS instance purchased from Alibaba Cloud. For example, migration is possible from Windows to Windows or Linux to Linux, but not from Windows to Linux or Linux to Windows.  
Scope of free migration service:  
1. Migrating original data (database data, attachments, program files) to your purchased ECS instance or Alibaba Cloud RDS;  
2. Licensed software installation and environment configuration synchronization.  
3. Troubleshooting (excluding program debugging).  
Scope of free installation: Licensed software installation and environment configuration synchronization.

We look forward to your reply to this post to tell us your confusions during ECS purchase, suggestions for our pre-sales services, the content you deem necessary to be covered on the website, or poor experience you have from our services or processes. Our customer service staff will answer your inquires and improve our services.