Why A Comparison Of Alibaba Cloud vs. AWS Is Impossible At Present

03.06.19
CloudHealth Tech Staff

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Compiling a comparison of Alibaba Cloud vs. AWS is impossible due to Alibaba Cloud’s wide spread of prices for the same services, and the limited availability of services in some regions. Although comparisons will become easier as Alibaba Cloud extends its global presence, they should not be relied upon at present to choose between the two Cloud Service Providers.

Why A Comparison Of Alibaba Cloud vs. AWS Is Impossible At Present

Compiling a comparison of Alibaba Cloud vs. AWS is impossible due to Alibaba Cloud’s wide spread of prices for the same services, and the limited availability of services in some regions.

In 2015, Simon Hu,the President of Alibaba Cloud, said in an interview that the company’s goal was to overtake Amazon Web Services (AWS) “in customers, technology, or worldwide scale” within four years. At the time, the company had only just begun to expand outside China, and it was still a year away from opening its first data center in Europe.

With the four-year deadline fast approaching, the target looks a little ambitious despite Alibaba Cloud roughly doubling revenues from IaaS cloud services each year. The company is set to generate more than $3 billion from cloud computing in 2018, but that still puts it a long way behind AWS —  which is forecast to record revenues from cloud computing in excess of $25 billion this year.

Although Alibaba Cloud will likely remain behind AWS in terms of customers and worldwide scale by the end of 2019, the two companies could be very closely matched when it comes to technology. Both are pumping billions of dollars into research and development which means a comparison of Alibaba Cloud vs. AWS by the end of next year could throw up some interesting results.

Comparisons of Alibaba Cloud vs. AWS 2018

Until the two giants of the Eastern and Western Hemispheres release the efforts of their technological investments, comparisons of Alibaba Cloud vs. AWS are impractical. Not only does AWS lead the way in the number of services being offered, new updates are released every day. Furthermore, many of Alibaba Cloud’s services aren’t yet available in Europe, the U.S., or the Middle East.

With respect to pricing, regional price differences make it impossible to compile an Alibaba Cloud vs. AWS cost comparison. The same Elastic Compute Service can cost twice as much in some Alibaba Cloud regions as in others, while the cost of SSD storage can vary from $15.30 per 100 GB to $24.50 per 100 GB on Alibaba Cloud depending on what part of the world data is stored in.

Gartner’s comparison of Alibaba Cloud vs AWS in 2018 is based on customer reviews and is probably the best analysis out there. Though it isn’t a sound basis for selecting one Cloud Service Provider over another, it does provide some “peer insights” into what customers of each Cloud Service Provider think:

Alibaba Cloud vs. AWS Comparison based on Gartner Peer Insights

Score Awarded Out of 5 for:

Alibaba Cloud

Amazon Web Services

Product Capabilities

4.5

4.6

Compute

4.3

4.7

User Management

3.8

4.3

Network

4.1

4.5

Security & Compliance

4.1

4.5

Scaling

4.3

4.6

Developer Services

4.1

4.3

DevOps Enablement

4.1

4.3

Management Tools

4.2

4.3

Enterprise Integration

4.1

4.3

Pricing Flexibility

4.5

4.0

Ease of Deployment

4.3

4.3

Quality of Technical Support

4.3

4.4

Taking Advantage of Alibaba Cloud Promotions

As Alibaba Cloud extends its global presence, the company is trying to attract business by offering special promotions typically consisting of free trials, specially priced starter packages, and time-limited discounts on premium services. In many cases, taking advantage of the promotions can be worthwhile in order to save money, experience what Alibaba Cloud has to offer, and conduct your own Alibaba Cloud vs AWS comparison.

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