Alibaba Cloud vs Microsoft Azure

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We have tested 6 VPS plans from Alibaba Cloud and Microsoft Azure. We'll show which one is best based on a detailed performance analysis, on features and prices.


Alibaba Cloud

Alibaba

Alibaba Cloud was founded as a VPS provider in 2009.
It is headquartered in China.
It offers VPS, Database, Storage and Networking hosting products.

It has datacenters in:
  • Australia
  • China
  • Germany
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • Philippines
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Thailand
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

Microsoft Azure

Azure

Microsoft Azure was founded as a VPS provider in 2008.
It is headquartered in the USA.
It offers VPS, Database, Storage and Networking hosting products.

It has datacenters in:
  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • China
  • France
  • Germany
  • India
  • Norway
  • Singapore
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Switzerland
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

VPS Plans

Plan Name Monthly Price CPU cores Memory (GB) Disk Space (GB) Data Transfer (GB) Latest trial
ecs.c8y.small $24.45 1 2.0 40 0 Jun 02 2024
B2als v2 $27.44 2 4.0 28 0 Sep 06 2023
ecs.c6e.large $41.32 2 4.0 40 0 Jan 02 2023
D2plds v5 $56.06 2 4.0 75 0 Mar 04 2023
ecs.c7a.large $58.32 2 4.0 40 0 Oct 16 2023
D2ls_v5 $62.05 2 4.0 28 0 Apr 18 2024

Compare specs for all plans from all providers

Performance Grades

To summarize the performance of each VPS plan, we generated grades based on the various tests that were run: web, sysbench, endurance and remote timing tests. Each grade focuses on one aspect of the VPS speed or stability (cpu, disk IO, network IO...) and is made of one or more metrics measured during the tests.

Grades are evenly distributed between A and F. A is best, F is worst.

Follow the letter links to find the test results backing the grade.

How are grades calculated?

Screen all VPS from Alibaba Cloud and Microsoft Azure
Plan Name Web Perf Raw CPU Power Perf Stability Disk IO Perf Network Perf
ecs.c8y.small
$24.45
C E A F F
B2als v2
$27.44
B D E F C
ecs.c6e.large
$41.32
C D C F F
D2plds v5
$56.06
E D B F C
ecs.c7a.large
$58.32
C D B F F
D2ls_v5
$62.05
C D D F C
Show Price Weighted Grades   

Features and Datacenters

This list is a subset of the features each provider may offer.

Microsoft Azure Alibaba Cloud
Backups  Yes Yes
Block storage  Yes Yes
Object storage  Yes Yes
Load balancer  Yes Yes
DDoS protection  Yes Yes
Hourly Billing  Yes Mixed
SSH Keys Setup  Yes Yes
Total Number of Datacenters  40 24
Number of Datacenter Continents  5 4
Compare more Alibaba Cloud and Microsoft Azure Features

CPUs

These are the CPUs we have seen in Alibaba Cloud and Microsoft Azure instances in the past 18 months.

Alibaba Cloud Microsoft Azure
All Alibaba Cloud CPUs by plan All Microsoft Azure CPUs by plan
AMD EPYC 7T83 64-Core Processor
Intel(R) Xeon(R) Platinum 8269CY CPU @ 2.50GHz
unknown
AMD EPYC 7763 64-Core Processor
Intel(R) Xeon(R) Platinum 8370C CPU @ 2.80GHz
Neoverse-N1

Performance Consistency

The provider consistency score shows how much variation can be expected between 2 servers of the same type at the same provider. A high consistency score (>65) means the performance of all servers of the provider is consistent over many trials and many plans.

Providers who don't have enough data yet at VPSBenchmarks don't have a consistency score.

Alibaba Cloud Microsoft Azure
Consistency Score 48 43

Screenshots


VPS Instance Provisioning Time

This is the average time it took to create an instance for Alibaba Cloud and Microsoft Azure from instance order to instance accepting connections.

All VPS provisioning times

Alibaba Cloud Microsoft Azure
Number of instance creations in sample 3 3
Average provisioning time 45s 55s

Performance in Depth...

These are some of the test results that are used to determine the grades above.

Web Response Times

We ran a database intensive web application at various levels of load on cloud servers from Alibaba Cloud and Microsoft Azure. This is the average response time measured locally on the VPS for each plan we tested.



Local Response Time per Plan

Lower is better


Maximum HTTP Load

We ran a database intensive web application at various levels of load on cloud servers from Alibaba Cloud and Microsoft Azure. This is the maximum rate of HTTP requests that each server handled without timing out.



Maximum HTTP request rate

Higher is better


During the Web Test, we collect response time metrics, rate metrics and CPU metrics. All of those are measured locally on the VPS running the web server. All metrics can be compared on the Web Performance Comparison page.

Sysbench CPU Performance

We ran the full suite of Sysbench tests on VPS plans of Alibaba Cloud and Microsoft Azure. These are the Sysbench CPU test results:



Rate of operations

Higher is better


Sysbench Disk IO Performance

We ran the full suite of Sysbench tests on VPS plans of Alibaba Cloud and Microsoft Azure. These are the Sysbench Disk IO Random Read test results:



Rate of operations

Higher is better

Sysbench test results are also available for random disk IO tests, sequential disk IO tests and memory tests.
Review and compare all Sysbench numbers on the Sysbench Comparison page for Alibaba Cloud and Microsoft Azure.

Network Transfers

We have performed large file transfers from the Alibaba Cloud and Microsoft Azure VPS and we measured the speed of downloads and uploads.

The transfers involve multiple files, 10 threads and last for at least 10 seconds at maximum speed. The transfers are repeated 3 times from different servers and only the fastest transfer is reported here.


Download Speed per Plan

Higher is better

Network Transfers measurements including download and upload speeds can be compared for Alibaba Cloud and Microsoft Azure on the Network Transfers Comparison page.

Sustained CPU Endurance Tests

We pushed the CPU of those VPS plans hard for 24 hours straight.

This test shows how fast the VPS can go for long periods of time, how stable the performance is and it also gives clues on how overallocated the VPSs may be.

Throughput variations of the endurance test over 24 hours. The coefficient of variation is the standard deviation of the test throughput divided by its average value. Low variations mean that resources allocated to the server were stable for the duration of the test and there was little contention.


Ops/hour coefficient of variation

Lower is better

Review and compare endurance test results for Alibaba Cloud and Microsoft Azure on the Sustained CPU Endurance Comparison page.

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