Alibaba Cloud Review

Feature-rich and scalable but needs better stability and support for services

What is our primary use case?

We provide the capability to do some stuff on Alibaba. We provide a portal to some other users so that they can use our portal and provision services on Alibaba. We deploy on Alibaba Cloud. 

AWS has a Terraform template. Similarly, Alibaba has a ROS template. By using the ROS template, you can provision or avail services from Alibaba. We basically use the main infrastructure component, for example, ECS, which is a VM. We also have load balancers and some databases, such as ApsaraDB, MySQL, MS SQL, and PostgreSQL.

What is most valuable?

Feature-wise, it provides many features. ECS, VM, SP, bucket object storage, and databases are the most valuable.

What needs improvement?

From the improvement point of view, there are lots of issues that we are facing. In all the areas, it seems like it is not mature. For example, a customer wants to provision some VM that has many configurations. If I want to show the price to the customer, it is very challenging. The SDK that Alibaba has provided is very limited. We can have the pricing for VM, but we cannot have pricing for RDS databases or some other services. This is a big concern area for us. 

They should put more effort into the SDKs or APIs that they provide, for example, pricing APIs or pricing SDK. They do not provide support for most of the services they provide. For example, if I want to get the price of MongoDB, that SDK is not available from Alibaba. Similarly, robust API support is required for S3, which is OSS or Object Storage, so that we can read the data in a faster manner, for example, in chunks.

We have raised many issues with the Alibaba support team, and they have been fixing the issues after we report them.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for around six months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

From the stability point of view, it is not mature.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable. It is still in development, and only our development team, with six or seven engineers, is using it at present.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We have also been using other clouds, such as AWS and Azure, but my team is actually focusing on Alibaba.

How was the initial setup?

It is easy to deploy. It takes one or two days.

What about the implementation team?

I deployed it myself.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I don't know the exact cost. It is cheaper than AWS.

What other advice do I have?

Feature-wise, it has multiple features, but stability-wise, it is not very stable at present. If you are in the development phase and have some time, you can use Alibaba. If you face any issues, you can report to Alibaba. They will take data and work on it. It is a little cheaper than other providers.

I would rate Alibaba Cloud a seven out of ten. I am a little disappointed with this solution.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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