Alibaba Cloud Vs. AWS- Which Is Right For Your Business?

Alibaba Cloud Vs. AWS- Which Is Right For Your Business

The cloud computing market reached the peak in recent years. AWS remains the leader because of its first-to-market benefits and also comprehensive portfolio, however other players are starting to provide equivalent offerings. Alibaba Cloud is fast gaining on the leaders and, driven essentially by the perception that it offers a better value proposition than AWS and the other top players, is now in fifth place overall. 

Most of the time, we focus on the comparison of “big three” providers: Amazon Web Services(AWS), Google Cloud Platform and microsoft azure. They are leading the cloud market but that’s not the whole story. In recent years, other secondary providers like Alibaba cloud have made their way into the market. Here we’ll see comparison between Alibaba cloud vs AWS. Before digging to the comparison, let’s have a look at each one in detail.

What Is Alibaba Cloud?

Since its inception in 2009, Alibaba cloud has been leading in cloud computing and AI and providing services to various enterprises, government organizations and developers of more than 200 countries. The company primarily focused on the Chinese market and then eventually spread to neighboring countries. It was not till 2015 that Alibaba cloud began to work globally with investment of $1 billion. Same year, it opened its first data center in US and launched in Europe a year later. Growth of Alibaba cloud is attributed in part to the rising chinese economy, as the chinese government continues digitalization and bringing its agencies online and into the cloud. Also, as the principal E-commerce system in china, Alibaba holds the status as “Amazon of Asia”. It’s difficult to imagine a cloud provider could gain such achievements, but company has its sights set on surpassing AWS to dominate the worldwide cloud computing market.

What Is AWS Cloud?

Amazon Web Services(AWS) is one of the most popular and broadly adopted cloud platforms. It offers more than 175 services from data centers globally. AWS has 77 availability zones where its servers are located. Those service regions are divided to let users set geographical limits on their services, while providing security by diversifying the physical locations in which data is held. Since 2006, AWS has provided secure and reliable services for all size companies. With AWS, users can requisition compute, storage, database and other internet-based services to power their business. As users need to pay just for what they use with no upfront capital costs and low operating costs, AWS becomes the most cost-effective way to deliver computational resources, stored data and other apps to end-users. 

Alibaba Cloud Vs. AWS-

1. Global Coverage And Stability-

Cloud infrastructure of Alibaba cloud is spread across 22 regions and 63 availability zones, with various availability zones in each region. Zones may have one or more data centers. Through a single dashboard, organizations can manage their instances even if these are spread across various locations. Alibaba cloud has a largest network in country china and has its own content delivery network( CDN) with more than 2800 nodes across 70 countries in six continents, ensuring fast and reliable access to your web app from anywhere. 

AWS takes advantage of widest coverage among cloud service providers, having twice the number of regions as the next largest provider. AWS serves more than 245 countries through a network of 24 regions and 77 availability zones with regions having some availability zones and data centers. Latest AWS innovations include Local Zones, that are ideal for high availability and fault tolerance in low-latency apps. 

2. Market Share-

According to the survey, AWS led the globe’s cloud computing market with 33% market share and Microsoft azure came in second place with 18%, Alibaba cloud came in fifth place just a fer percentage points behind third and fourth placers Google Cloud Platform and IBM Cloud.

Market share for 2021 shows a continuation of the upward demand for cloud computing during pandemic, because many businesses shift their workloads to the cloud. Cloud computing demand increases significantly, Alibaba cloud grows even more rapidly, though it probably won’t overtake AWS as world’s top-cloud-provider anytime soon. All things considered, it’s already the Asia-Pacific market leader as of May 2021.

3. Storage-

Alibaba ECS provides object, file and block storage products, including object storage system(OSS), Elastic block storage (EBD), and file Storage NAS. One can retrieve and store your data to and from the cloud with OSS. To avoid missing and data corruption in case of adverse events, OSS stores three copies of your files and objects. Over SSL data transfer takes place and data itself is encrypted for extra security. OSS is integrated with the rest of Alibaba Cloud and storage is completely scalable. SLA of Alibaba assures you of more than 99.9% availability and reliability.

AWS also has file, object and block storage products. These are Amazon simple storage service (S3), Amazon elastic file system, Amazon FSx for windows File server, Amazon FSx for Lustre, and Amazon Elastic Block Store. For faster web computing amazon S3 is designed and it is accessible for developers. One of the amazing features is its simple user interface(UI) that allows easy storage, retrieval and access to your data whatever will be your location.  S3 storage containers come in the form of buckets and one can store up to 5TB data. One can download your data any time and also can give you access to your data. 

Amazon EC2 and Alibaba ECS allows to pay only for what you use. So you can start with just the right amount of storage at minimal pricing and add to it as the app grows. Both are scalable and so you should not worry about their capabilities to handle your workloads if you use them. However, while Alibaba has storage services that compare well with AWS, the latter actually has a more extensive product offering.

4. Security-

Aws and Alibaba comes with standard features like malware removal software. Proprietary web app firewall, malicious traffic filtering and automatic backups. Also, AWS has excellent data protection service, that provides encryption for all cloud-based data and traffic and protection against unauthorized access. One can improve security by managing various identities, permission levels, resource availability with AWS Identity services.

Whereas, Alibaba cloud is popular for its premium Anti-DDoS software and infrastructure. Most of the services only offer protection against DDoS attacks of specific magnitude, Alibaba cloud provides global protection because of its global traffic scrubbing policies. When you’re subject to a DDoS attack, malicious traffic will be diverted to scrubbing centers that are nearest to the source, so that your service availability isn’t influenced.

5. Alibaba Elastic Compute Service (ECS) vs. AWS Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)-

ECS(Alibaba Elastic Compute Service) is Alibaba Cloud’s IaaS offerings. This offers auto-scaling and auto-provisioning of ECS instances and different scenario-based instance types appropriate for small and large organizations. ECS offers dedicated host clusters for organizations that want servers reserved completely for their use and CPU alternatives like turning off hyperthreading. As per the report, Alibaba ECS is a leading IaaS provider in Asia-Pacific region.

Amazon EC2 or Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud is the IaaS offering from AWS. By using Amazon EC2, organizations can configure secure virtual servers on-demand and manage their storage without any extra cost. As per the developers point of view, Amazon EC2 gives organizations complete control over their computing resources that can be any of 300+ instance types. Based on data from Amazon’s health dashboards, Amazon EC2 experienced some downtime hours than its closest competitor in 2018. Amazon EC2 remains the world’s IaaS leader.

6. Price-

Alibaba cloud offers two payment options to customers: pay-as-you-go and subscription. Pay-as-you-go method allows payment for actual resources your company uses and is recommended for use cases where traffic can increase or decrease any time. Subscription option needs upfront payment over a specific billing period and it is best for long-term use in apps without inconsistent traffic levels.

Aws offers a pay-as-you-go pricing option, and your company gets volume-based offers when you use more services. Apart from this, reserved instances (RI) is also an AWS billing option that allows you to buy reserved capacity for needs and select among No Upfront, Partial Upfront and Full Upfront payment options. With this, one can save as much as 75% over pay-as-you-go method.

According to pricing, Alibaba cloud appears to acquire a particular advantage over AWS. But, Alibaba Cloud’s pricing options probably won’t be that much better when you represent the significant savings you can get from AWS RI.

Pros and cons of Alibaba Cloud-


  • It is growing rapidly and strongly
  • Various services are available
  • Best security features
  • Affordable pricing plans


  • New in US cloud market
  • Some of the website tools like pricing calculator are not advanced
  • Potential compliance issues

Pros and cons of AWS-


  • Various array of services and tools are available
  • Reliable encryption and security
  • Wide global coverage
  • Allows for flexibility and affordability


  • Confusing billing
  • AWS EC2 instances have limits
  • Aws doesn’t include enterprise-grade support by default and customers have to pay business tier support for this

Final Words-

These days, many businesses are adopting cloud services. And entrepreneurs might be confused to choose the best cloud service provider among a pool. The above comparison of Alibaba cloud vs AWS will surely help to choose the best one. If you are also thinking of adopting cloud computing for your business but confused about choosing the appropriate one, consult with solace experts. We are here to help you through consultation and adopting cloud services for your business. Connect with solace and get a free quote to adopt best cloud service as per your business needs.  You can also hire experienced AWS developers of Solace team for an effective web solution with cloud technology. We will be happy to help you.

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