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Simple Application Server:What is Simple Application Server?

Last Updated:Oct 27, 2022

Simple Application Server is a compute service that is designed for single-server scenarios. The service provides cloud-based and lightweight servers that are easy to set up and manage. You can use Simple Application Server to deploy and manage applications, resolve domain names, implement security management, and perform O&M operations. You can easily deploy and use simple application servers.


Simple Application Server uses the computing, storage, and network resources of Elastic Compute Service (ECS) together with Alibaba Cloud Marketplace images and public images. This allows you to deploy applications with just a few clicks. Simple Application Server is suitable for new users of cloud computing services, individual developers, or small or medium-sized enterprises that want to deploy simple applications on servers.

Simple Application Server provides the following benefits:

  • No need for hardware such as on-premises physical hosts

  • Easy-to-use operation experience, delivery within minutes, and rapid deployment

  • Cloud computing resources provided in the form of cost-effective plans to deliver robust performance

  • Security protection features such as firewalls, HTTPS access, internal network isolation, and data backup

  • O&M features such as resource monitoring, self-diagnostics, and operation logs

  • Support for Alibaba Cloud Marketplace images (application images), public images (OS images), and the application image management feature

  • Industry-standard API that improves ease of use and compatibility

For more information about Simple Application Server, see Benefits and Scenarios.


The following figure shows the architecture of Simple Application Server. When you create a simple application server, you can select an application image or OS image based on your business requirements. You can also select a plan to define the server specifications. After you create the server, you can use other Alibaba Cloud services to build development environments or applications on the server in an efficient manner. image

Simple Application Server is based on the following functional components and services:

  • Plans

    Simple Application Server packs computing, storage, and network resources into plans to simplify configurations. The following table describes the resources.

    Resource type


    Computing resources

    Simple application servers use ECS instance types that provide consistent performance and are suitable for low-load scenarios in which small web and lightweight applications are used.

    You may require other instance types that have sufficient CPU power to handle high-load tasks, for example, you want to deploy large applications or encode videos. In these cases, we recommend that you use ECS instances. For more information, see Instance family.

    Storage resources

    Simple Application Server uses standard SSDs as storage devices to ensure consistent read and write performance.

    When you purchase a plan, you can view the category of the disk that is included in the plan. You can also attach a data disk to a simple application server. For more information about the performance of standard SSDs, see EBS performance.

    Network resources

    Each plan of Simple Application Server includes a data transfer quota and a public bandwidth quota to allow external resources to access the servers over the Internet. By default, each simple application server is assigned a public IP address.

  • Images

    Simple Application Server provides the following image types:

    • Application images: contain applications, the initialization data of the applications, and the runtime environments and operating systems that are required by the applications. After you create a simple application server from an application image, you can use preset applications or customize applications based on your business requirements. Application images provide ready-to-use applications. This way, you do not need to upload or install applications.

    • OS images: contain only operating systems to start servers and do not contain application data or environment configurations. After you create a simple application server from an OS image, the server runs on an OS with no installed applications. You can install applications on the server based on your business requirements.

    You can create custom images by using simple application servers. For more information, see Overview of custom images.

  • Related services

    To set up and manage applications in an efficient manner, you can use Simple Application Server together with the following Alibaba Cloud services:

    • Virtual Private Cloud (VPC): By default, simple application servers that belong to the same account and reside in the same region are deployed within the same VPC. These servers can be connected to and communicate with each other over the internal network. An internal bandwidth is shared among simple application servers within a single VPC. Bandwidth stability cannot be ensured for communications over the internal network. For more information about VPCs, see What is a VPC?

    • Alibaba Cloud DNS: resolves domain names and points them to the IP addresses of simple application servers. For more information, see Bind and resolve domain names.

    • SSL Certificate Service: ensures that external resources can access simple application servers over secure HTTPS protocol. For more information, see Enable HTTPS-encrypted access.


Plans and data disks of simple application servers use the subscription billing method. Excess data transfers beyond plans are billed on a pay-as-you-go basis. For more information, see Overview.

Product comparison

Compared with 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 individual developers and students. For more information, see Comparison between Simple Application Server and ECS.