This topic describes basic concepts, purchase procedures, billing, common operations, and tutorials to help you get started with Elastic Compute Service (ECS).

ECS basics

ECS is an IaaS offering by Alibaba Cloud and provides high-performance, reliable, and scalable computing capacity in the cloud. ECS eliminates your need to invest in IT hardware up front, so that you can deploy applications efficiently. ECS allows you to scale up and down as your requirements change.

Select an ECS instance type

ECS instance family

Best practice for purchasing ECS instances

Billing methods for ECS

You can choose an appropriate billing method based on the ECS resource types. Pay-as-you-go and subscription are the two main billing methods. You can also choose a cost-effective billing method such as preemptible instances and savings plans based on your business needs.

Note
Billing method Description
Pay-as-you-go A billing method that allows you to use ECS resources and pay for them afterwards. You are billed based on the resources that you actually used.

Pay-as-you-go is applicable to applications or services that experience traffic spikes, such as temporary scaling or interim testing.

Subscription A billing method that allows you to use ECS resources only after you pay for them. You are billed based on the subscription cycle in the order.

Subscription is applicable to services that run for 24 hours a day and seven days a week, such as web services. You must pay for subscription resources before you can use them.

Preemptible instances Preemptible instances are on-demand instances that make use of spare computing resources and offer some discounts. Prices of preemptible instances fluctuate based on the changes in supply and demand.

Preemptible instances are ideal for stateless scenarios such as scalable web services, image rendering, big data analytics, and large-scale parallel computing.

Reserved instances Reserved instances are independently billed coupons that can be used to offset the bills of pay-as-you-go instances.

Reserved instances cannot be used independently and must be used together with pay-as-you-go instances.

Savings plans A savings plan is a discount plan that allows you to receive billing discounts in exchange for a commitment to use a consistent amount of resources (measured in USD per hour) over a one-year or three-year period.
  • General-purpose savings plans: are suitable for business with stable resource usage, such as system upgrades or cluster deployment, where instances may be created and released from time to time but the overall usage is relatively stable.
  • ECS compute savings plans: are suitable for business with stable resource usage, such as system upgrades or cluster deployment, where instances may be created and released from time to time, but the overall usage is relatively stable.
  • ECS elastic savings plans: are suitable for business with periodic resource usage changes, such as livestreaming or food delivery services. Resource consumption bursts only in a specific period of time.

Quick start with ECS

ECS console (express version)

ECS console (detailed version)

CLI

SDK

Example on how to create and connect to an ECS instance

The following figure demonstrates how to create and connect to an ECS instance by using the ECS console.

Common operations on ECS

ECS provides a wide range of features to allow you to perform operations. The following table displays common operations that can be performed on ECS.
Operation References
Purchase ECS instances Create an instance by using the wizard
Batch configure sequential names or hostnames for multiple instances Batch configure sequential names or hostnames for multiple instances
Upgrade to a larger instance type with more vCPUs and more memory Upgrade the instance types of subscription instances
Reset the logon password of an ECS instance Reset the logon password of an instance
Release ECS instances Release an instance
Connect to a Windows instance
Connect to a Linux instance
Resize data disks by extending their capacity Overview
Replace the image or the operating system of an instance
Upload files and data from an on-premises computer to ECS instances Upload files to ECS instances
Back up ECS data for data restoration
Create an image from an ECS instance and use the image to create more ECS instances
Allow access on ports of ECS instances Add a security group rule
Associate an elastic IP address with an ECS instance to access the Internet Associate an EIP with an instance
Categorize and manage ECS resources
View the monitoring data of an instance including CPU utilization, memory usage, network bandwidth, and disks usage View the monitoring information of an instance
Build a website on an ECS instance Summary of website building methods

Developer tools

If you are familiar with network service protocols and one or more programming languages, we recommend that you use the ECS API to manage your cloud resources and develop your applications. For more information, see Introduction.

You can use OpenAPI to dynamically generate SDK code based on your needs.

Feedback

If you have any questions and suggestions pertaining to ECS, you can use the following methods to provide feedback and obtain technical support.
  • Online help: You can use Live Chat to obtain online manual help.
  • Ticket: You can submit a ticket to obtain technical support.
  • Feedback on documentation: If you find errors in the documentation, including broken links, content issues, and API problems, you can click Feedback in the floating menu on the right side of the page to report the errors.