ECS Storage
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This course introduces you to Alibaba’s Elastic Compute Service, or ECS, one of the most common services within the Alibaba platform. It is a high-performance, stable, reliable, and scalable compute service that allows you to deploy virtual servers within your Alibaba Cloud environment. Most people will require some form of ECS Instance running within their environment as a part of at least one of their solutions.

This course covers the following components:

  • ECS Concepts
  • ECS Instances
  • ECS Images
  • ECS Storage
  • ECS Snapshots
  • ECS Security Groups and
  • ECS Networks

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Intended Audience

This course is designed for IT professionals who are just starting out in the world of Alibaba Cloud and want to know more about the ECS service it offers.


To get the most from this course, you should already have some basic knowledge of cloud computing. If you would like to brush up on your knowledge before taking this course, please consider taking our What is Cloud Computing? course.


The next section we will cover is ECS Storage. Block Storage is a high-performance, low latency block storage service. It supports random or sequential read and write operations. Block Storage is similar to a physical disk, you can format a Block Storage device and create a file system on it to meet the data storage needs of your business.

ECS Storage provides architecture-based Cloud disks for your operating system disks and data disks.

Cloud Disks are based on the Apsara distributed file system called “Pangu”. Three redundant copies are stored on different physical servers under different switches in the datacentre. This provides high data reliability in the case of a failure.

Currently, there are 3 types of Cloud Disk:

  • Ultra Disk: Cloud disks with high cost-effectiveness, medium random IOPS performance, and high data reliability.
  • Standard SSD: High-performance disks that feature consistent and high random IOPS performance and high data reliability.
  • Enhanced SSD: ESSDs are ultra-high performance disks based on the next-generation distributed block storage architecture. Each ESSD can deliver up to 1 million of random IOPS and has low latency.

For more information, see Block Storage FAQs on the Alibaba document site.

The 2 functions of Cloud Disks are as follows:

As a System disk, by default the system disk has the same life cycle as the ECS instance to which it is mounted, and is released along with the ECS instance. (This auto release function can be changed.) Shared access to system disks is not allowed. System disk sizes can be 20GB and 500GB. This is dependent on the operating system being provisioned. Linux and FreeBSD systems default to 20GB. CoreOS systems default to 30GB. And Windows systems default to 40GB.

Data disks: Data Disks can be created separately or at the same time as an ECS instance. Data disks created at the same time as an ECS instances have the same life cycle as the corresponding instance, and are released along with the instance by default. And again, this auto-release function can be changed. Data disks created separately can be released separately or at the same time as the corresponding ECS instance. And like the System disk shared access to a data disk is not allowed. Data Disks sizes can be between 20GB and 32TB and up to 16 Data Disks can be attached to a single ECS Instance. Cloud Disks can be mounted to any instance in the same zone, but cannot be mounted to instances across zones.


Overview - ECS Concepts - ECS Instances - ECS Images - ECS Snapshots - ECS Security Groups - ECS Networking - ECS Demo

About the Author

David has been a trainer with QA for over 12 years and has been training cloud technologies since 2017.  Currently certified in Microsoft and Alibaba cloud technologies David has previously been a system and Network administrator amongst other roles.    

Currently, he is a Principle Technology Learning Specialist (Cloud) at QA. He loves nothing more than teaching cloud-based courses and also has a passion for teaching PowerShell scripting.

Outside of work, his main love is flying Radio control airplanes, and teaching people to fly them.