Alibaba Cloud vs Hetzner

Alibaba Cloud
Hetzner
Last updated on

We have tested 10 VPS plans from Alibaba Cloud and Hetzner. This page is a summary and comparison of all test results for those 2 providers.


Alibaba Cloud

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

It has datacenters in:
  • Australia
  • China
  • Germany
  • Indonesia
  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • SIngapore
  • UK

Hetzner

Hetzner was founded in 1997.
It is headquartered in Germany.
It offers Web, Dedicated and VPS hosting products.

It has datacenters in:
  • Finland
  • Germany

VPS Plans

Plan Name Monthly Price CPU cores Memory (GB) Disk Space (GB) Data Transfer (GB) Latest trial
Hetzner CX11 €2.99 1 2.0 20 20000 Feb 25 2019
Alibaba Cloud 1GB 1 core $4.50 1 1.0 40 1000 Feb 10 2019
Hetzner CX21 €4.90 2 4.0 40 20000 Jul 11 2019
Hetzner CX31 €8.90 2 8.0 80 20000 Sep 30 2019
Alibaba Cloud ecs.t5-lc1m1.small $10.08 1 1.0 40 10000 Nov 16 2018
Alibaba Cloud ecs-t5-c1m1-large $14.13 2 2.0 20 10000 Sep 07 2019
Hetzner CCX11 €19.90 2 8.0 80 20000 Dec 14 2018
Alibaba Cloud ecs.n4.large $28.84 2 4.0 40 0 Jun 17 2019
Hetzner CCX21 €34.90 4 16.0 160 20000 Apr 29 2019
Alibaba Cloud ecs.c5.large $43.00 2 4.0 20 1000 Apr 08 2019

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?

Plan Name Web Perf Raw CPU Power Perf Stability Disk IO Perf Network Perf
Hetzner CX11
€2.99
D D D C C
Alibaba Cloud 1GB 1 core
$4.50
C E B E E
Hetzner CX21
€4.90
B B B B C
Hetzner CX31
€8.90
D C B C D
Alibaba Cloud ecs.t5-lc1m1.small
$10.08
C F E E E
Alibaba Cloud ecs-t5-c1m1-large
$14.13
B C E D E
Hetzner CCX11
€19.90
A B B B B
Alibaba Cloud ecs.n4.large
$28.84
B C B E E
Hetzner CCX21
€34.90
B A A B C
Alibaba Cloud ecs.c5.large
$43.00
B C B E E
Show Price Weighted Grades   

VPS Instance Provisioning Time

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

All VPS provisioning times

Alibaba Cloud Hetzner
Number of instance creations in sample 5 5
Provisioning time in seconds 76s 36s

In Depth...

The grades above are based on the following test results.


Web Response Times

We ran a database intensive web application with ~100,000 hits per day for several days on cloud servers from Alibaba Cloud and Hetzner. This is the average response time measured locally on the VPS for each plan we tested.



Local Response Time per Plan

Lower is better

Provider Plan Average response time
Hetzner CX11 84.0ms
Hetzner CX21 75.0ms
Hetzner CX31 89.0ms
Hetzner CCX11 55.0ms
Hetzner CCX21 67.0ms
Alibaba 1GB 1 core 84.0ms
Alibaba ecs.t5-lc1m1.small 68.0ms
Alibaba ecs-t5-c1m1-large 63.0ms
Alibaba ecs.n4.large 66.0ms
Alibaba ecs.c5.large 65.0ms

During the Web Test, we collect response time metrics, CPU metrics and database performance 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 Performances

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



Rate of operations

Higher is better

Provider Plan Operations per second
Hetzner CX11 365.9
Hetzner CX21 691.2
Hetzner CX31 666.5
Hetzner CCX11 687.7
Hetzner CCX21 1299.0
Alibaba 1GB 1 core 317.5
Alibaba ecs.t5-lc1m1.small 328.4
Alibaba ecs-t5-c1m1-large 654.2
Alibaba ecs.n4.large 759.2
Alibaba ecs.c5.large 556.0

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 Hetzner.


Remote Timings

During the entire duration of the web performance test, we collected web response times from 5 different locations in the world. The chart below reports the connection establishment time + TLS handshake latency from all 5 locations. (That excludes the time spent on the server that is already measured in web response times above and it also excludes the DNS resolution time since it is not dependent on the provider).


Remote Latency per Plan

Lower is better

Provider Plan Average remote request duration
Hetzner CX11 522.8ms
Hetzner CX21 510.2ms
Hetzner CX31 523.0ms
Hetzner CCX11 514.4ms
Hetzner CCX21 508.0ms
Alibaba 1GB 1 core 504.4ms
Alibaba ecs.t5-lc1m1.small 335.0ms
Alibaba ecs-t5-c1m1-large 350.8ms
Alibaba ecs.n4.large 495.6ms
Alibaba ecs.c5.large 508.0ms

Detailed remote timings measurements including connection time, TLS handshake time, and response time can be compared for Alibaba Cloud and Hetzner on the Remote Timings Comparison page.


Network Transfers

We have performed large file transfers from the Alibaba Cloud and Hetzner 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

Provider Plan Network Download Speed
Hetzner CX11 1022.4Mbps
Hetzner CX21 675.1Mbps
Hetzner CX31 800.0Mbps
Hetzner CCX11 1078.7Mbps
Hetzner CCX21 951.9Mbps
Alibaba 1GB 1 core 317.7Mbps
Alibaba ecs.t5-lc1m1.small 80.9Mbps
Alibaba ecs-t5-c1m1-large 104.7Mbps
Alibaba ecs.n4.large 110.6Mbps
Alibaba ecs.c5.large 109.9Mbps

Network Transfers measurements including download and upload speeds can be compared for Alibaba Cloud and Hetzner 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.


Average number of operations per hour

Higher is better

Provider Plan Average ops/hour
Hetzner CX11 2861.0
Hetzner CX21 5483.9
Hetzner CX31 2714.6
Hetzner CCX11 4751.9
Hetzner CCX21 7970.7
Alibaba 1GB 1 core 1435.6
Alibaba ecs.t5-lc1m1.small 957.9
Alibaba ecs-t5-c1m1-large 3721.1
Alibaba ecs.n4.large 3189.7
Alibaba ecs.c5.large 4873.6

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


Features and Usability

Features not included in the VPS price of the plan will be marked as missing but they may be available for the fee.

Hetzner Review Alibaba Cloud Review
Hourly Billing  Yes Yes
DDOS Protection  Yes Yes
Backups  No Yes
Control Panel  Custom Custom
SSH Keys Setup  Yes Yes
Total Number of Datacenters  3 19
Number of Datacenter Continents  1 4


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