What is ECS

Last Updated: Dec 24, 2017

Elastic Compute Service (ECS) is a type of computing service that features elastic processing capabilities. ECS has a simpler and more efficient management mode than physical servers. You can create instances, change the operating system, and add or release any number of ECS instances at any time to fit your business needs.

An ECS instance is a virtual computing environment that includes CPU, memory, and other basic computing components. An instance is the core component of ECS and is the actual operating entity offered by Alibaba Cloud. Other resources, such as disks, images, and snapshots, can only be used in conjunction with an ECS instance.

The following figure illustrates the concept of an ECS instance. You can use the ECS console to configure the instance type, disks, operating system, and other affiliated resources for your ECS instance.
ECS _ Overview


ECS has the following advantages over traditional servers and virtual hosts:

  • Stability
    ECS has 99.95% service availability and 99.9999999% data reliability. It also supports switchover, data snapshot backup and rollback, and system performance alarms.

  • Disaster recovery
    Each data segment has multiple copies, which guarantees rapid restoration when one data segment is physically damaged.

  • Security
    ECS supports security groups, Anti-DDoS, multi-user isolation, and password cracking defense.

  • Multiline access
    ECS is based on the optimal routing algorithm of the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP). Multiline BGP data centers guarantee smooth and balanced access throughout the geographic region. Backbone data centers guarantee high output bandwidth and dedicated bandwidth.

  • Low cost
    Large one-time payments are not required. Flexible payment options and Pay-As-You-Go let you cope with business changes.

  • Control
    As an ECS user, you have the permission of a super administrator. This allows you to completely control the operating system of ECS instances, resolve system problems using the management terminal, and perform operations such as environment deployment and software installation.

  • Ease of use
    A variety of operating systems and applications are supported. Images can be deployed with the click of a button. You can quickly replicate the environment to multiple ECS instances for easy scaling. You can also create ECS instances in batches using custom images and disk snapshots.

  • API
    API invocation management allows configuration of access to one or multiple servers with the security group feature, making development more convenient.


ECS supports the following features:

  • Flexible instance configuration
    Supports multiple instance generations, three instance type families, and dozens of instance types (ranging from 1-core 1 GiB to 56-core 480 GiB).

  • Multiple regions and zones
    Allows instance creation in all regions, some of which have multiple zones.

  • Abundant image resources
    Provides various image resources, including public images, custom images, and shared images, allowing quick operating system deployment and applications without installation.

  • Numerous operating systems
    Supports multiple Windows and Linux operating systems.

  • Multiple storage methods
    Provides three types of data storage disks (Basic Cloud Disks, Ultra Cloud Disks, and SSD Cloud Disks) and I/O-optimized instances.

  • Robust network and security

    • Supports two network types (Classic Network and VPC), allowing network management in different dimensions.
    • Supports two types of IP addresses (public and private IP addresses), allowing for intranet interconnection and Internet access.
    • Allows free activation of Alibaba Cloud Security products and provides network monitoring.
  • Convenient management
    Provides multiple management methods, including the console, VNC, and APIs, ensuring complete control.

  • Flexible payment
    Provides flexible payment methods (Subscription and Pay-As-You-Go).

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