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Last Updated: Oct 26, 2018

This article compares database services provided by Microsoft Azure and Alibaba Cloud to help you understand the key similarities and differences between the two services. This article offers useful information for when you plan to migrate your business from Microsoft Azure to Alibaba Cloud or deploy a multi-cloud environment involving both Microsoft Azure and Alibaba Cloud.

The following table lists database services that are categorized to various database types. For the database of each type, Alibaba Cloud provides a variety of products and solutions to satisfy your business requirements. This article describes only the key types of databases.

Database type Microsoft Azure Alibaba Cloud
Relational databases Azure SQL Database
Azure Database for MySQL
Azure Database for PostgreSQL
Azure Database for MariaDB
SQL Server on Virtual Machines
ApsaraDB RDS for MySQL
ApsaraDB RDS for SQL Server
ApsaraDB RDS for PostgreSQL
ApsaraDB RDS for PPAS
ApasaraDB for POLARDB
Distributed Relational Database Service (DRDS)
Document-oriented databases Azure Cosmos DB ApsaraDB for MongoDB
In-memory cache databases RedisCache ApsaraDB for Redis
ApsaraDB for Memcache
Time series databases Time Series Insights High-performance Time Series Database (TSDB)
Data migration Azure Database Migration Service Data Transmission Service (DTS)

Relational databases

Database types and versions

Alibaba Cloud and Microsoft Azure support the following types and versions of relational database services.

Database type Microsoft Azure Alibaba Cloud
MySQL 5.6 and 5.7 5.5, 5.6, and 5.7
SQL Server All versions 2008 R2, 2012, 2016, and 2017
PostgreSQL 9.5, 9.6, and 10 9.4 and 10
PPAS (fully compatible with Oracle) Not supported 9.3 and 10
MariaDB 10.2 ApsaraDB RDS for MariaDB TX


Feature Function Microsoft Azure relational database Alibaba Cloud relational database
Region Multiple zones (cross-zone disaster recovery) Supported Supported
Billing method Subscription Supported Supported
Pay-As-You-Go Supported Supported
Read scaling and read/write splitting Read-only instances Supported (up to 1) Supported (up to 15)
Read/write splitting Not supported Supported
Performance and monitoring Intelligent optimization Not supported Supported
Custom alarms Supported Supported
Maximum monitoring frequency One minute Five seconds
IOPS monitoring Supported Supported
Security SQL audit Supported Supported
Run log download Supported Supported
Point-in-time recovery Supported Supported
Full backup Supported Supported
Partial backup (database-level or table-level backup) Not supported Supported
Access control SSL, TDE, firewall policy, and DDoS defense. SSL, TDE, whitelist, and DDoS defense.
Migration Online data migration Not supported Supported
Data change notification Not supported Supported

NoSQL databases

Database types and versions

Database Name Type Azure Alibaba Cloud
ApsaraDB for MongoDB Document-oriented 3.2 and 3.4 (Preview) 3.2 and 3.4
Redis Key-value Basic, Standard, and Premium 2.8 (compatible with 3.X) and 4.0
Memcached Key-value Not supported Based on Redis 2.8

Features of document-oriented databases

Features Azure Cosmos DB ApsaraDB for MongoDB
Cross-zone disaster recovery Not supported Supported
Cross-region disaster recovery Supported Supported
Horizontal scaling Supported Supported
Read/write splitting and load balancing Not supported Supported
Access control Supported Supported
Audit log Supported Supported
Auto backup Supported Supported
Clone and restore Supported (Need to contact customer service) Supported

Features of Redis databases

Features Azure Redis Cache ApsaraDB for Redis
Security and encryption Access control, SSL, and disk encryption Whitelist, SSL, and DDoS defense
Hot upgrade Supported Supported
Online migration Not supported Supported
High availability Supported Supported
Backup and restore Supported Supported
Monitoring Supported Supported