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Alibaba Cloud OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Alibaba Cloud is #11 ranked solution in top Infrastructure as a Service Clouds. IT Central Station users give Alibaba Cloud an average rating of 6 out of 10. Alibaba Cloud is most commonly compared to Microsoft Azure:Alibaba Cloud vs Microsoft Azure. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a comms service provider, accounting for 26% of all views.
What is Alibaba Cloud?

Alibaba Cloud offers a comprehensive suite of cloud computing services to support growing enterprises worldwide, including data storage, relational databases, big-data processing, and content delivery networks.

Buyer's Guide

Download the Infrastructure as a Service Clouds (IaaS) Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: November 2021

Alibaba Cloud Customers

Schneider Electric, BorderX Lab, Royal Philips, Catchpoint, Conversant, Blogmint

Alibaba Cloud Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Alibaba Cloud pricing:
  • "I'm not sure about the exact pricing, but let's just say if it cost a dollar for Amazon AWS, it was closer to 70 to 80 cents for Alibaba Cloud."
  • "I don't know the exact cost. It is cheaper than AWS."
  • "We cut our costs significantly by migrating our infrastructure to the cloud. Alibaba Cloud employs a pay-as-you-go model, so that minimizes many costs for us."

Alibaba Cloud Reviews

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VD
CEO at a tech company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Top 5
A flexible and affordable cloud solution, but customer support could be better

Pros and Cons

  • "Flexibility and costs were probably the most important thing for us. The cost was one of the big factors for choosing Alibaba Cloud relative to other cloud solutions, especially in Asia"
  • "The majority of the tools and processes, in general, have a lot of room for improvement."

What is our primary use case?

We used it to collect data from medical devices and then for analytics in the cloud using AI bots and so on.

What is most valuable?

Flexibility and costs were probably the most important thing for us. The cost was one of the big factors for choosing Alibaba Cloud relative to other cloud solutions, especially in Asia. There were a lot of people, especially within China, who wanted it to stay within China. They did not want to get out of China. So having access to companies like Tencent or Alibaba was almost mandatory. It wasn't even a question.

Alibaba also provides a lot of flexibility in terms of tools that are similar to AWS. Alibaba also offers a lot of flexibility compared to Google Cloud, where you can only use Google's Tools. Alibaba has more user-friendly tools and solutions, more compute solutions than anyone else. Compute instances or types of compute instances were a really useful tool for us.

What needs improvement?

The majority of the tools and processes, in general, have a lot of room for improvement. I think, in general, things are there, but they're not good enough. Customer support could also be better. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I was dealing with Alibaba Cloud for about three and a half years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Relative to Amazon, Alibaba isn't as stable, not as mature, and you have to find a lot of solutions on your own sometimes to make things work. They're not quite there yet, but they're getting better over time. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Alibaba Cloud is scalable. The scalability is definitely there.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer support has a lot of room for improvement. There's just general documentation, general customer support, and general maturity of the processes are all lacking when compared to Amazon or Google. Sometimes if you need to call technical support, it's also hard to get the right people, or the people you have on the line don't have the right knowledge. It's just not as smooth and not as easy as it should be.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very straightforward. It's like learning to ski. The initial bit is easy, but then it gets relatively difficult because of lack of support, lack of documentation, or generally the language. Sometimes the documentation is only in Chinese, and you're like, "okay, what do I do now?"

If you need to pick up the phone and talk to someone, it's not always the easiest thing to do with Alibaba. Unless you have local staff with Chinese-speaking people, it becomes a bigger barrier. 

The number of people you need to maintain the system is more or less constant depending on what you're supporting and how much work needs to be done. We would use an extra 10% of people in the team to support Alibaba solutions because of the issues we were having with them. But then again, the system itself is between 20-30% cheaper than Amazon. So, it made up for the extra workforce we needed to use the solution.

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

I'm not sure about the exact pricing, but let's just say if it cost a dollar for Amazon AWS, it was closer to 70 to 80 cents for Alibaba Cloud.

What other advice do I have?

Relative to Albibaba'ss competitors, they're not as good. I would advise anyone interested to look at the stability of the solution and the documentation and make sure you are familiar with it. Having somebody who has worked on Alibaba Cloud onboard is always useful just to have some knowledge because certain things are not quite obvious. If you haven't worked on them before, then a very simple thing can cost you a lot of time and money.

If you have someone who's worked at those solutions before, you'll be able to deal with it quickly. If you have an insight, a customer service person you're familiar with, then you have a good person to support you. That would be really good because that person can make your company's life a lot easier in terms of solving problems when you run into something.

On a scale from one to ten, I would give Alibaba Cloud a six.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Alibaba
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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VB
Lead Software Engineer at a computer software company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 10
Feature-rich and scalable but needs better stability and support for services

Pros and Cons

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

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.
Find out what your peers are saying about Alibaba, Microsoft, Google and others in Infrastructure as a Service Clouds (IaaS). Updated: November 2021.
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CY
System Engineer at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 10
Good pricing and security, but lacks decent performance

Pros and Cons

  • "The cost of hosting the solution is very reasonable. It's quite inexpensive."
  • "From a performance point of view, Huawei and Azure are faster. Alibaba isn't as good."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for the access it provides. Users can access it from anywhere, including their homes if they need to.

What is most valuable?

The cost of hosting the solution is very reasonable. It's quite inexpensive.

The solution is very secure.

What needs improvement?

We use Azure and Huawei as well, and, from an ease of use perspective, those two are much better. Alibaba should work to make the solution simpler like them.

The interface could be more user-friendly.

From a performance point of view, Huawei and Azure are faster. Alibaba isn't as good.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for one year. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

From what I have seen and how I have used the solution, I find it to be quite stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution has been scalable for us. However, I haven't personally tried to scale it too much, so I can't gauge exactly how scalable it could be.

How are customer service and technical support?

We've never contacted technical support directly. Typically, if I run into issues, I go to Google and see what I can find online.

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

We currently also use Huawei and Azure. We use each of these interchangeably.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup isn't too difficult if you are a technical person. However, Azure, for example, is much easier to set up. There's a bit of complexity with Alibaba. We have issues with translation from English to Chinese, for example.

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

The price of the solution is quite good and is one of the main reasons we still use it.

What other advice do I have?

We're just a customer. We don't have a relationship or affiliation with Alibaba.

I wouldn't recommend Alibaba. I think other companies should just use Azure instead, as it's a much simpler solution.

I'd rate it six out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
VH
Solution Consultant at a comms service provider with 201-500 employees
Consultant
Flexible and reliable with highly responsive technical support

What is our primary use case?

We moved our internal system from the physical server to an Alibaba Cloud instance. And we use a PPM system or some internal system like Salesforce that we migrated over from the physical server to the cloud instance.

What is most valuable?

I think Alibaba Cloud is user-friendly.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using Alibaba Cloud for more than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Alibaba Cloud is a reliable solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I think Alibaba Cloud is a flexible solution for us. We can easily add more resources or open another instance at any time. 

How are customer service and support?

Alibaba support is responsive. When we create tickets in…

What is our primary use case?

We moved our internal system from the physical server to an Alibaba Cloud instance. And we use a PPM system or some internal system like Salesforce that we migrated over from the physical server to the cloud instance.

What is most valuable?

I think Alibaba Cloud is user-friendly.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using Alibaba Cloud for more than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Alibaba Cloud is a reliable solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I think Alibaba Cloud is a flexible solution for us. We can easily add more resources or open another instance at any time. 

How are customer service and support?

Alibaba support is responsive. When we create tickets in the Alibaba portal, they usually respond online or call me in five minutes.

How was the initial setup?

Alibaba Cloud's initial setup is somewhat complex.

What was our ROI?

We cut our costs significantly by migrating our infrastructure to the cloud. Alibaba Cloud employs a pay-as-you-go model, so that minimizes many costs for us.

What other advice do I have?

I rate Alibaba Cloud nine out of 10. Many Chinese enterprises are migrating their infrastructure to the cloud, so Alibaba is the preferred cloud platform in China, and the second choice is AWS. Chinese users generally prefer Alibaba because we can get support easily, and they always respond faster.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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Balaji T
Manager Project Management at a computer software company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Should have better integration, but is stable, scalable and has easy installation

What needs improvement?

The solution should have more integration. 

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Alibaba Cloud for under two years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is scalable. 

How are customer service and support?

Technical support numbers around 30 people. Contacting technical support is not one of my responsibilities, so I cannot comment on it. 

How was the initial setup?

The installation is easy. As I was not involved in the installation, I do not recall how long it took. One would have to ask the people who were involved in this. Yet, it should take no more than 30 minutes. 

What about the implementation

What needs improvement?

The solution should have more integration. 

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Alibaba Cloud for under two years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is scalable. 

How are customer service and support?

Technical support numbers around 30 people. Contacting technical support is not one of my responsibilities, so I cannot comment on it. 

How was the initial setup?

The installation is easy.

As I was not involved in the installation, I do not recall how long it took. One would have to ask the people who were involved in this. Yet, it should take no more than 30 minutes. 

What about the implementation team?

At most, one or two managers are responsible for the deployment and maintenance. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

When comparing solutions such as GCP, which is the same as Alibaba Cloud, and others such as Amazon AWS and Azure, Alibaba Cloud is the preferred solution in China. 

What other advice do I have?

The solution is cloud-based. 

I would not recommend the solution to others. 

I give Alibaba Cloud a low rating of four to five out of ten. 

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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