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FAQ about ECS Bare Metal (EBM) Instance

Last Updated: May 02, 2018

What is ECS Bare Metal (EBM) Instance?

An ECS Bare Metal (EBM) Instance combines the strengths of physical machines and ECSs, and delivers powerful and robust computing capabilities. With the Virtualization 2.0 technology developed by Alibaba Cloud, business applications can directly access the processor and memory of the EBM Instance without any virtualization overhead.

EBM Instance has the same processor features (such as Intel VT-x) and resource isolation advantages as physical machines, which makes it ideal for the deployment of traditional non-virtualized applications on the cloud.

What are the essential differences between EBM Instance and traditional virtual machines and physical machines?

For the differences between EBM instances, traditional virtual machines, and traditional physical machines, see ECS Bare Metal Instance and Super Computing Cluster servers.

What are the technical innovations of EBM Instance?

By virtue of the independently developed chips, Hypervisor system software, and the redefined server hardware architecture, Alibaba Cloud builds a world-leading innovative computing architecture that deeply integrates the features of physical and virtual machines.

EBM Instance is a new type of ECS that can seamlessly connect with any other computing products of Alibaba Cloud, such as storage, network, and database products. EBM Instances are fully compatible with the image system of ECS instances, so that you can build resources flexibly based on the actual business scenario.

What value can EBM Instance bring to customers?

An EBM Instance delivers customer value through technical innovations. Specifically, it realizes the following design objectives:

  • Any stack on Alibaba Cloud
    An EBM Instance combines the performance strengths and complete features of physical machines and the ease-of-use and cost-effectiveness of cloud servers. It can effectively meet your demanding requirements for high-performance computing and help you build new hybrid clouds. Thanks to the flexibility, elasticity, and all the other strengths it inherits from both virtual and physical machines, it is enabled with the re-virtualization ability. As a result, offline private clouds can be seamlessly migrated to Alibaba Cloud with no concern about the performance overhead brought about by nested virtualization, providing a new approach for you to move businesses onto the cloud.

  • Exclusive computing resources
    As a cloud-based elastic computing product, the EBM Instances outshines the performance and isolation of contemporary physical machine and enables exclusive computing resources without virtualization performance overheads and feature loss. EBM Instances support 8, 16, 32, and 96 CPU cores and ultrahigh frequency. By taking an EBM Instance with 8 cores as an example, it supports an ultrahigh frequency of up to 3.7 to 4.1 GHz, providing better performance and responsiveness for gaming and financial businesses than similar products.

  • Encrypted computing
    For security, the EBM Instances use a chip-level trusted execution environment (Intel® SGX) in addition to the physical server isolation to guarantee that the encrypted data is only allowed for computing in a safe and trusted environment, providing improved security for the customer data on the cloud. This chip-level hardware security protection provides a safe box for the data of cloud users and allows users to control all the data encryption and key protection procedures.

  • Super Computing Cluster
    Alibaba Cloud also released Super Computing Cluster (SCC) based on the EBM Instance to address high-performance computing demands. In the cluster, nodes are connected by Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) networks featuring high bandwidth and low latency, guaranteeing the high parallel efficiency posed by applications requiring high-performance computing. Meanwhile, the RoCE (RDMA over Convergent Ethernet) may rival an Infiniband network in terms of connection speed, and supports more extensive Ethernet-based applications. The combination of the SCC built on the EBM Instance and other Alibaba Cloud computing products such as the ECS and GPU servers provides the Alibaba Cloud elastic high-performance computing (E-HPC) platform with parallel computing resources that can emulate a supercomputing center, making supercomputing on the cloud a reality.

How is the network performance of the EBM Instance?

The network performance of the EBM Instance depends on the instance specifications. Higher-level specifications mean higher network performance. For the network performance of instances with different specifications, see Instance type families.

What disk categories do the EBM Instance support? How many data disks can be attached?

The EBM Instance supports Ultra Cloud Disks and SSD Cloud Disks. An EBM Instance can attach up to 16 data disks.

How can I create an EBM Instance?

For more information, see Create an EBM Instance.

What system images does the EBM Instance support?

The EBM Instance supports Linux and Windows mainstream image versions.

The supported Linux images include:

  • CentOS 7.2/7.3/7.4/6.9/6.8 64-bit
  • Ubuntu 14.04/16.04 64-bit
  • Debian 8.9/9.2 64-bit
  • OpenSUE 42.3 64-bit
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP2 64-bit
  • Aliyun Linux 17.1 64-bit

The supported Windows images include:

  • 2016 Data Center Edition 64-bit Chinese Edition
  • 2016 Data Center Edition 64-bit English Edition
  • 2012 R2 Data Center Edition 64-bit Chinese Edition
  • 2012 R2 Data Center Edition 64-bit English Edition

Does the EBM Instance support configuration change and downtime migration?

Currently, the EBM Instance does not support configuration change. When a hardware failure occurs in the EBM Instance, failover is supported and data remains in the cloud disk.