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    Top Cloud Providers: Alibaba Cloud vs. AWS

    A cloud provider is a third-party company that establishes public clouds, manages private clouds or provides pay-per-use cloud computing services such as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). 

    Cloud providers enable organizations:

    • To reap the benefits of scalability and flexibility
    • Frees them from the physical constraints of on-premises servers
    • Offers customization by configuring servers according to preference
    • Provides responsive load balancing that can seamlessly respond to changing demands
    • Offers the reliability of numerous data centers with multiple redundancies. 

    When compared to on-premises information technology (IT) computing services, cloud providers can help reduce business process costs and allow more time for development operations (DevOps), as they provide cloud management and IT management (infrastructure, platforms, and software) capabilities. 

    When choosing a cloud provider, here are some things to consider:

    • Business health and processes – financial health, organization, governance, planning and risk management, trust, business and technical knowledge and compliance audit.
    • Administration support – Service Level Agreements (SLAs), performance reporting, resource monitoring and configuration management and billing and accounting.
    • Technical capabilities and processes – Ease of deployment, management and upgrade, standard interfaces, event management, change management and hybrid capability.
    • Security practices – security infrastructure, security policies, identity management, data backup and retention and physical security.  

    Let’s explore all you need to know about Alibaba Cloud and Amazon Web Services (AWS). 

    Also read: Implementing IT Service Management Changes with CloudOps

    Alibaba Cloud Overview

    Founded in 2009, Alibaba Cloud is globally recognized for technological innovation in cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI). Alibaba Cloud provides proven performance and reliability, comprehensive security and compliance solutions and stable and dependable cloud computing and data processing capabilities.  

    Alibaba Cloud Features

    • Alibaba Cloud provides its services in over 200 countries and regions and is among the top three cloud providers globally. 
    • The cloud service provider offers more than 100 products for elastic computing, networking and content delivery network (CDN), database, storage, security, analytics, AI, hybrid cloud, container and middleware, developer services and Internet of Things (IoT).
    • Elastic computing products include Elastic Compute Service, Simple Application Server, Container Service for Kubernetes and Elastic GPU Service.
    • Networking and CDN products include Content Delivery Network (CDN), Server Load Balancer, Cloud Enterprise Network and Global Accelerator. 
    • Database products include PolarDB, ApsaraDB RDS for MySQL, AnalyticsDB for PostgreSQL and Database Backup.
    • Storage products include Object Storage Service, Tablestore, Hybrid Backup Recovery and Log Service.
    • Security products include Anti-DDoS, Web Application Firewall, IDaaS and Sensitive Data Discovery and Protection. 
    • Alibaba Cloud provides networking, cloud migration, security and compliance, content delivery, data analytics and AI, enterprise service and application, containers, hybrid cloud and IoT optimized solutions to save time when running and scaling distributed applications, machine learning (ML) and AI.
    • The cloud service provider’s hybrid cloud solution is built with manageability, reliability, and interoperability in mind and is optimized to help organizations take full advantage of hybrid cloud infrastructure in several business scenarios. 
    • Alibaba Cloud protects against 5 billion attacks per day, blocks 2,000 Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks on a daily basis, provides 700,000 Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates worldwide and fixes 7.34 million vulnerabilities annually.  

    Pricing: Alibaba Cloud provides flexible pricing options – you can opt for pay-as-you-go billing or save by subscription billing. The Alibaba Cloud free trial includes access to over 50 products, in-depth technical guides and tutorials.  

    AWS Overview

    AWS logo

    AWS is a globally recognized cloud computing leader that provides more than 200 fully-featured products for a variety of technologies, industries and use cases, reliable, secure and extensive global cloud infrastructure and a pay-as-you-go approach for pricing. 

    AWS is a flexible and highly scalable cloud computing environment that enables you to leverage the latest technologies to innovate rapidly.

    AWS Features

    • AWS offers extensive global cloud infrastructure and has 81 Availability Zones within 25 geographic regions globally. The cloud service provider has announced plans for further expansion
    • The AWS Solutions Library provides a collection of pre-vetted cloud-based solutions for technical and business problems, including analytics and data lakes, ML, serverless computing, storage, migration, networking and content delivery and IoT.
    • AWS offers over 200 cloud-based products, including enterprise applications, security, IoT, cloud management tools, developer tools, mobile, networking, analytics, database, storage, compute and containers to help you construct sophisticated applications with increased reliability, flexibility and scalability.  
    • Analytics products include Amazon Elasticsearch Service, Amazon Redshift, Amazon QuickSight, AWS Data Pipeline and AWS Glue.
    • Compute products include Amazon EC2, Amazon Lightsail and AWS Lambda.
    • Containers products include Amazon Elastic Container Registry, Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) and Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS). 
    • Database products include Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon Keyspaces (for Apache Cassandra), Amazon RDS, Amazon Redshift and Amazon Database Migration Service. 
    • AWS provides training and certification for developers, data scientists, solution architects and technical and business leaders. 
    • The AWS hybrid cloud solutions, VMware Cloud on AWS and AWS Outposts provide a streamlined experience across AWS and on-premises environments. 
    • AWS is secure and compliant and provides comprehensive security capabilities, auditing, rich controls and broad security accreditations.  

    Pricing: The AWS Free Tier enables you to explore over 100 products. The cloud provider offers a pay-as-you-go approach for pricing, Savings Plans, and volume-based discounts. 

    Alibaba Cloud vs. AWS

    We compiled a list of features to compare Alibaba Cloud and AWS: 

    FeaturesAlibaba Cloud AWS
    User Management
    Security and Compliance
    Developer Services
    Enterprise Integration
    Operations Management
    Big Data Enablement
    Architecture Flexibility
    Resilience
    Pricing Flexibility
    Ability to Understand Needs
    Integration and Deployment
    Service and Support
    Overall Capability Score

    Alibaba Cloud supports various scenarios to meet the needs of your organization at different stages of development. The cloud service provider offers more than 100 products designed for complex and dynamic environments and hundreds of optimized configuration processes to save time and effort when running and scaling distributed applications, AI and ML. 

    AWS offers a plethora of cloud-based solutions and products to help organizations move quickly, lower IT costs, and scale on demand. The cloud provider is engineered for the most demanding requirements and is secure, compliant, and scalable. AWS offers flexible pricing plans and a feature-strewn free trial. 

    Compare and contrast both cloud service providers and opt for a solution that most accurately meets the present and future needs of your organization. That being said, we recommend AWS.

    Read next: Compare Top Cloud Computing Providers of 2021

    Surajdeep Singh
    Surajdeep Singh has been working as an IT and blockchain journalist since 2018. He is a contributor to publications including IT Business Edge, Enterprise Networking Planet & Smart Billions and works as a consultant at Drofa Communications Agency.

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