Over a million developers have joined DZone.

A Comparison Between Pricing Models of AWS EC2 and Alibaba ECS

DZone 's Guide to

A Comparison Between Pricing Models of AWS EC2 and Alibaba ECS

In this single-factor faceoff, we take a look at the similarities and differences between the pricing offerings of Amazon's and Alibaba's cloud platforms.

· Cloud Zone ·
Free Resource

Introduction to AWS EC2 and Alibaba Cloud ECS

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) provides compute capacity in the cloud. It is one of the oldest cloud computing services and 64% of cloud applications today are running on AWS EC2 service according to latest statistics.

Alibaba Cloud ECS is relatively new and promises simplicity and blazingly fast performance to its customers. Alibaba Cloud has about 2,300,000+ customers all over the world at the present time and this number is continuously increasing as Alibaba keeps increasing its data centers around the world.

In this blog we are going to focus on the comparison between the pricing models of both AWS EC2 and Alibaba ECS. You can also find a more elaborate comparison between some of the famous public cloud service providers here.


"Pay-As-You-Go" for ECS and Per-Second Billing for EC2

Both ECS and EC2 offer options for paying for your instances per second. This is the best payment model for scenarios where you want to strictly pay for only the exact number of resources and the exact amount of usage of that resource.

Prices Vary from Region to Region

AWS and Alibaba Cloud both have globally-distributed data centers across major regions. A region is a specific global location, like the Asia Pacific, South America, and the Middle East. Each region can further have multiple data centers called Availability zones, or simply Zones. Pricing of the instance varies from region to region for both AWS and Alibaba.

Price Varies for Each Instance Type and OS

Both EC2 and ECS offer several categories, also called families, of instances based on the specifications. The main families are compute-optimized, memory-optimized and I/O-optimized. 


Additional Pricing Model for EC2: On-Demand

This is one of the initial pricing models offered by AWS EC2 where you pay per hour. Once your instance is in a running state you are charged for one hour of consumption, regardless of whether the instance was stopped 5 minutes later, so the minimum costing parameter in this case is an hour.

Additional Pricing Model for EC2: Spot Instances

Spot instances provide you the cheapest option of purchasing instances with a disadvantage of unplanned interruption by AWS. When you buy a spot instance you actually reserve an instance out of the free capacity available in that region. So, whenever AWS runs out of capacity or the price of a spot instance increases from what you are currently paying, AWS will interrupt your server. You can decide if the interruption will stop or terminate your instance as per your need.

Difference Between "Subscription for ECS" and "Reserved Instances for EC2"

The reserved instances purchasing option provided by EC2 allows the user to reserve a compute capacity (Instances) for a year or three year.  This reduces the cost up to 75% compared to On-Demand instances. So, you have to pay for the next 1 year or 3 years up front, and then use your servers for the selected number of years. However, the subscription pricing model of ECS allows you to subscribe to your instance only for 1 month or 1 year.

Pricing for Linux Type Instance

Alibaba has the same price for all flavors of Linux OS that it offers with ECS instances. However, the price of AWS EC2 instances for each Linux type are different. For example, the rates of RHEL are higher as compared to SLES and Amazon Linux.


AWS EC2 is the oldest of the public cloud platforms and has evolved the pricing model providing users with a number of different buying options and flexibility depending on their needs. Alibaba ECS is relatively new in the public cloud market and is focused on keeping working experience with ECS easy and super simple. This is the reason they have introduced limited purchasing options that save the user from spending too much time on analyzing pricing models and quickly move with the infrastructure development that closely meets their needs.

aws ,aws ec2 ,alibaba cloud ,pricing models ,cloud

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

{{ parent.title || parent.header.title}}

{{ parent.tldr }}

{{ parent.urlSource.name }}