Compared with Elastic Compute Service (ECS), Simple Application Server is easy to configure and allows you to quickly get started and deploy simple applications or websites. Simple Application Server is more suitable for users such as developers and students. This topic compares Simple Application Server and ECS in multiple aspects.

Service comparison

The following table compares Simple Application Server and ECS.

Item Simple Application Server ECS
Intended users Developers and students. Individual or enterprise users who have specific technical development skills.
Scenarios Simple applications that are not frequently accessed:
  • Website building
  • Knowledge management
  • Learning in the cloud
  • E-commerce platform construction
  • Forum communities
  • Development environment configuration
All scenarios. Typical scenarios include:
  • Common web applications
  • Online games
  • Big data analysis
  • Deep learning
  • Quick start

    Simple Application Server provides pure OS images and various application images. You can use application images to build websites or O&M environments. Simple Application Server can be integrated with common cloud services such as domain name resolution and HTTPS access services.

  • Flexible configuration change

    You can upgrade plans of simple application servers. You can migrate data from simple application servers to ECS instances. This allows you to efficiently manage resources.

  • Simple O&M

    Simple Application Server supports basic O&M operations. For example, you can perform remote logon, monitor servers, configure simple firewalls, back up and migrate data, and manage applications and operation logs.

  • Cost-effective plans

    Simple Application Server provides resource plans for cloud computing, which helps you minimize costs.

  • ECS provides a wide range of instance types that can be upgraded or downgraded based on your business requirements.
  • ECS supports multiple billing methods.
  • ECS provides various API operations.
  • ECS provides scaling capabilities. Instances and bandwidths can be upgraded and downgraded, and disks can be resized.
  • ECS provides comprehensive security solutions and industry solutions.
  • Virtualization software and secondary virtualization are not supported.
  • Sound card applications are not supported.
  • Simple Application Server has limits on the service interconnection feature. For more information, see Regions and network connectivity.
  • You can mount only one data disk to a simple application server. You can perform this operation only when you create the server.
  • IPv6 addresses are not supported.
  • Advanced features that are supported by ECS such as deployment sets, Resource Orchestration Service (ROS), Auto Scaling, tags, and resource groups are not supported.
For more information about the limits on Simple Application Server, see Limits.
  • Only ECS Bare Metal Instance families and Super Computing Cluster (SCC) instance families support secondary virtualization. Other ECS instance families do not support virtualization software and secondary virtualization.
  • Sound card applications are not supported.
For more information about the limits on ECS, see Limits.
Billing You can purchase plans and data disks by using the subscription billing method. Data transfers that exceed the subscription plans are billed based on the pay-as-you-go billing method. ECS supports the subscription and pay-as-you-go billing methods, and supports preemptible instances. You can use the pay-as-you-go billing method together with reserved instances, savings plans, and storage plans. This helps you reduce costs over a long period of time.
  • A virtual private cloud (VPC) is automatically created when you create a simple application server. After the simple application server is created, a public IP address is automatically assigned to the server. You cannot change the public IP address.
  • A simple firewall is configured for network access control.
  • Bandwidths are specified within plans. You cannot customize bandwidths.
  • Simple Application Server supports the service interconnection feature. For more information, see Manage service interconnection.
ECS allows you to plan and manage networks based on your business requirements in different scenarios. Examples:
  • You can use features such as VPCs and vSwitches to plan private networks.
  • You can use features such as security groups and access control lists (ACLs) to control traffic.
  • You can use features such as elastic IP addresses (EIPs) and NAT Gateways to connect ECS instances to the Internet.
Images Simple Application Server supports only OS images, application images, and custom images. You can use these images in various scenarios. ECS provides various images, such as public images, custom images, shared images, and Alibaba Cloud Marketplace images. You can use these images to deploy and manage application environments.

In scenarios such as high concurrency websites, video encoding and decoding, massively multiplayer online (MMO) games, and complex distributed cluster applications, we recommend that you use ECS. ECS provides more instance types, such as general-purpose instance types, compute-optimized instance types, big data instance types, ECS Bare Metal Instance types, GPU-accelerated, FPGA-accelerated, or NPU-accelerated heterogeneous computing instance types. For more information about ECS instance types, see Instance families.