Alibaba cloud is the No. 1 in the domestic industry in the competition for the cloud computing market. It has a great reputation. However, I’m a little glad that I didn’t choose Alibaba cloud after the recent it house incident. Tencent cloud computing is the second largest in the industry, and it has Tencent as a powerful backer. The types and quality of cloud service products are good.
Last month, Alibaba cloud announced the price reduction at the cloud habitat conference. Yesterday, Tencent cloud also launched a full range of price reduction activities, which provided a substantial price reduction discount for all products in the year and month package. Alibaba and Tencent continue to compete in the field of cloud computing. Both sides want to bring high growth of users and seize market share through price advantage.
This is naturally a good thing for cloud computing users, but if the price completely affects the purchase decision of enterprise or individual users, then it is likely that the purchased products will not meet the demand, so they will be forced to migrate. The author’s point of view is very simple. Before considering the price factor, we should first evaluate the product performance, service and other aspects.
Before choosing my own cloud server, I also hesitated between Tencent cloud and Alibaba cloud, and made some simple comparisons between the two products. The comparison results will be briefly shared below. When comparing each product, this paper first compares the performance of the product through a series of standardized tests, and then evaluates the latest favorable price factors of the product. As for the two products whose performance is better and whose price performance ratio is higher, data is still needed.
For the introduction of the testing tools and methods used in this article, please refer to the supporting article: cloud computing product performance testing guide. The script for the object store section can be viewed in the GitHub project. During reading, if you think the specific comparison process is too long, you can directly jump to the conclusion of this article to see the comparison conclusion.
Tencent cloud and Alibaba cloud are both typical IAAs service providers, with a wide range of products. Limited to time and cost, it is impossible to compare all products one by one, only to selectively compare some basic products and services.
According to AWS web application reference architecture, a highly available and scalable website needs to use at least the following cloud computing resources: cloud server, cloud database, object storage service, load balancing, content distribution, etc. Therefore, we mainly compare the three basic products of cloud server, cloud database and object storage in this paper.
Website reference architecture: take AWS service as an example.
The English abbreviation of the comparison product will be used in the following when referring to the corresponding product.
Cloud server is the most basic product provided by all cloud computing service providers. Generally, vendors will divide the level and specification of ECS according to the allocated resources. However, due to the differences in the basic hardware, architecture and tuning technology, there may be large performance differences between cloud servers with similar configurations.
If you want to understand and compare the differences between cloud servers of different manufacturers, the best way is to run benchmark. Before the performance test, we will create two cloud servers with the same configuration in two places to ensure the comparability between the test results. The method of payment is volume based, and the cost of testing with yearly and monthly package server is high.
Tencent cloud and Alibaba cloud require a certain amount of balance in the account for the ECS charged by volume: Tencent cloud does not seem to have the minimum recharge requirement, just recharge 10 yuan; Alibaba cloud requires at least 100 yuan in the account.
The specific configuration of the test ECS is as follows:
It is pointed out here that since the Alibaba cloud ECS cloud disk is at least 40g, and Tencent cloud CVM default Linux system gives 20g as a gift, in order to have comparability between the two prices later, adjust the CVM cloud disk to 40g.
In addition to the different default size of the system disk, the test ECS is configured with the same specification in terms of CPU, memory, operating system, etc. The configuration of this specification is also the recommended configuration for the deployment of small and medium-sized websites, which should be able to meet the needs of most users. Due to the long process of performance testing, this paper only briefly introduces the tools used and the indicators concerned. I will introduce the specific test steps in the cloud computing product performance test guide.
Before testing ECs, I referred to many related evaluation articles and finally decided to use the following tools and indicators:
For a detailed description of the tools and indicators used, please move here: cloud computing product performance test guide.
The performance test results geekbench will upload the test results to its own website. The visit address of the test results in this article is as follows:
The results of each index are summarized as follows:
From the data point of view, Tencent cloud’s CVM scores are higher than Alibaba cloud’s ECS under the two comprehensive test tools of UnixBench and geekbench.
In terms of CPU latency and memory performance, ECS is slightly better, but it has little advantage. In terms of disk I / O performance, Alibaba cloud’s performance is close to the 500 IOPs introduced when the instance configuration is started. But compared with Tencent cloud, CVM disk random read / write IOPs (input / output per second, or read / write times) are around 4000.
In fact, the gap between the two in disk I / O performance is so large. I was surprised at the beginning. I thought the test command input was wrong, but after repeated test and confirmation, it can be confirmed that the data is not wrong. At the same time, I learned from customer service that the maximum performance index of CVM disk I / O can reach 4000, but I didn’t promise to keep that performance all the time. It is understandable that with the increase of tenants, the maximum performance index is likely to decline gradually.
Finally, it should be noted that although we use well-known benchmarking tools, the specific data may not accurately describe the performance of the cloud server. Because the performance of ECS is related to the usage of neighboring tenants, which varies according to the usage of other tenants, the above data is only for reference.
Consider the price factor and finally we will add the price factor. Alibaba cloud announced a substantial price reduction of cloud products at the cloud habitat conference, and Tencent cloud recently announced a round of price reduction during the double 11, so we can see the cost performance of the two after the price reduction based on the above performance test results.
The price information in the above figure is taken from the price displayed when the instance was created on November 4.
From the perspective of monthly fee, Tencent cloud CVM is a little more expensive than ECs, but considering its performance score, it will feel that the price is more than the price. However, in terms of the preferential price for the next two or three years, the cost of CVM is lower than that of the corresponding term of ECs. If the price reductions of the two companies are the same, the price should be that Alibaba cloud has been cheaper, right?
Indeed, the reason lies in the difference in the price reduction rate between the two: Alibaba cloud is the highest 3-year 50% discount for China’s regional instances, and there is no such high discount for bandwidth and system disk, only 8.5% discount.
By contrast, CVM is a real full line price reduction, with a 50% discount for instance, bandwidth and system disk costs in three years.
Therefore, the price performance ratio of Tencent cloud CVM purchased in this period is higher than that of Alibaba cloud ECs, especially after 2-3 years.
Cloud database comparison
We then compare the two basic cloud databases: CDB and RDS.
At present, virtualization technology has made great progress, which can virtualize physical machine into multiple cloud servers, and minimize the loss of overall performance. Therefore, the poor performance and slow response of the website may not be the poor writing of your application code. The bottleneck is probably the performance of the cloud database. Therefore, choosing the cloud database performance of the cloud service provider is also an important factor to decide the purchase decision.
Since MySQL is the most commonly used database on the network, Tencent cloud and Alibaba cloud are both based on MySQL, so we choose MySQL for this evaluation, version 5.6.
At present, the two cloud databases for test preparation only provide one configuration type, namely, high IO Version (CDB) and dual machine high availability Version (RDS). Therefore, in this test, it is impossible to use a set of cloud databases with exactly the same configuration, and only servers at the same price level can be used instead.
For the above reasons, we create the lowest version of cloud database (CDB and RDS) in Tencent cloud and Alibaba cloud respectively.
The specific configuration is as follows:
In terms of the type and memory size of the official partition, this should be a set of comparable instances. In addition, in order to reduce the impact of the network during the test, we continue to use the instance created when comparing the ECs to run the test code.
There are many performance testing tools for MySQL cloud database, such as mysqlap. In this paper, sysbench is chosen.
Sysbench is a modular, cross platform, multi-threaded benchmark tool, which is mainly used to evaluate and test the database load under various system parameters. It can also be used to test CPU performance, disk I / O performance and other indicators. We use the OLTP benchmark provided by it, which supports MySQL database by default.
Please refer to the cloud database section of the cloud computing product performance test guide for the installation and test methods of sysbench. In this paper, random read-write and random read-only tests are carried out.
The output results of OLTP test are as follows:
Tencent cloud CDB: sysbench random read-only test results
The data we need to pay attention to includes the total number of transactions completed by the test, that is, read / write requests in the figure, which represents the throughput of the database; and the average request time, which is the value corresponding to AVG in the per request data in the figure, which represents the delay of the database request.
Only one test tool is used for performance test results, and there are not many types of tests, so soon we can get the test results, extract the data we need, and get the comparison data in the figure below.
It can be seen from the results that the database read / write request throughput of Tencent cloud CDB is much higher than that of RDS, about 6-7 times of the latter, and the response time of the request is also very fast, within 10ms. The performance of the high I / O version is really strong.
Considering the price factor, we finally consider the price factor of both.
The latest two preferential prices are compared as follows:
The above price information is from the price displayed when the instance was created on November 4. The regions are: CDB Guangzhou, RDS South China 1
As for the other cost source – network traffic cost, if two corresponding ECs are used, the intranet traffic between the ECS and the cloud database should be free. So the problem of traffic cost can be ignored.
From the above figure, we can see that there is little difference between the two companies in the monthly price, but in terms of the price reduction range, the preferential price of Tencent cloud CDB is very high: the preferential price of two or three years (40% or 30% discount) is half of that of RDS; the purchase period of one, two or three years is in the same price segment, and the price of two years is lower than that of one year.
If the web application requires a large number of fast database read operations, the price performance of configuring two CDB high IO versions is higher than that of selecting RDS when the purchase period is two or three years.
If the database request is within the RDS test result and the service life is not long, you can consider using RDS.
In addition, it should be noted that although the version of CDB is introduced as high I / O version, according to the official product documents, each CDB instance has done real-time dual machine hot standby, so the performance in usability should not be too poor (we have not tested this).
Object storage service comparison
The comparison of object storage services is a bit cumbersome, and there is no benchmark tool that is easy to use. Before preparing for the test, I found that Intel company has opened a special tool for testing cloud object storage, called cosbench. Unfortunately, it only supports the services of foreign cloud manufacturers such as Amazon S3, but not Tencent cloud and Alibaba cloud. Of course, it seems that you can implement the corresponding adapter by yourself, but for this relatively simple evaluation in this article, it’s a bit too much trouble.
Therefore, when comparing the object storage service, I used the python SDKs provided by the two companies to write the test script to count the time consumption of three tasks: upload, download and delete. Note that high concurrency is not tested here.
In order to control the impact of the network environment on the test results, I test on the ECS in the same region of Tencent cloud and Alibaba cloud, which is not only convenient to test, but also ensures the accuracy and effectiveness of the test results. The object storage buckets I created in both of them are located in South China, so I created a ECS instance in the corresponding region.
At the same time, in order to simulate the actual user’s use scenario as much as possible, we choose three levels of files: 50kb, 2MB and 50MB for testing. Generally, the size of network pictures is about 50K – 2MB. The efficiency of picture data storage can be tested through these two levels of files. Another 50MB level is used to test large file storage performance.
Specifically, we generate by DD command:
10000 50kb files
1000 20MB files
100 50MB files
During the test, the upload / download / delete time of files and other indicators are counted, and the average value (unit: ms) is taken. When testing the download of small files, the files are not saved to disk, which avoids the disk becoming a performance bottleneck.
Performance test results due to a large number of test files, the whole test script may take more than an hour to run down. The final test results for COS and OSS (both single file averages) are as follows.
50kb small file
In the category of 50kb small files, Alibaba cloud OSS performs well in uploading and deleting, while Tencent cloud cos takes less time in downloading small files.
2MB small file
With the increase of file size, Tencent cloud cos began to surpass OSS in the two indicators of upload and download time, and the gap was calculated by multiple. However, OSS is still around 10ms in deletion time.
50MB large file
Because there is a big difference between the upload, download and delete time of 50MB files, I changed the vertical axis to be logarithmic readable when drawing the chart, which is convenient for reading. The actual data tested in this paper are shown in the following table:
When uploading large files, the performance difference between OSS and COS is particularly prominent.
To sum up:
When Alibaba cloud OSS processes file uploads, the performance gradually declines with the increase of file size; the download time is not much different from cos; the file deletion time is better than cos, but the larger the file, the corresponding increase in time.
Tencent cloud cos has outstanding performance in file upload, especially for large files; it also performs well in download time; although file deletion is not as good as OSS in general, the deletion time of each type of file remains at the same level.
If the three indicators are combined, Tencent cloud cos performs better than Alibaba cloud OSS.
Considering the price factor, let’s look at the price factor and compare it with an imaginary website example.
Suppose a website has 1.5 TB of stored data (picture, audio, video), 600 GB of traffic per month, about 3 million PV per month, 6 million read requests and 300000 write requests per month (average daily request of 210000).
We use the above website data to calculate the price of OSS and COS through the official price calculator (COS, OSS).
Because Tencent cloud cos currently only provides volume based billing mode, the comparison billing mode is volume based.
The results are as follows:
Alibaba cloud OSS metered price (South China is selected as the region): 616.7 yuan / month.
Tencent cloud cos billing price by volume: 593.4 yuan / month.
CDN is not included in the price calculation above. However, both of them mentioned that the price will be lower if CDN acceleration or back to source is set.
The reason why Tencent cloud won in the above billing comparison may be related to its free quota. At present, every cos user has 50g free storage space, 10g free traffic, 1 million free read requests and 100000 free write requests every month. Alibaba cloud launched a free OSS quota in 2015, but it has not.
Conclusion so far, we have completed the evaluation and comparison of Tencent cloud and Alibaba cloud’s three basic cloud computing products, taking into account the performance indicators and price factors. The specific evaluation results are summarized as follows:
ECS: with the same configuration, the overall performance of Tencent cloud CVM is much higher than that of Alibaba cloud ECS; the monthly fee of CVM is slightly higher than that of ECS (3 yuan), but the price reduction is larger than that of ECS this time, and the price performance ratio of CVM purchased over one year is higher.
Cloud database: due to the different categories of the two, CDB and RDS with the lowest level configuration are tested. CDB leads significantly in two performance indicators of throughput and delay. At the same time, the price reduction is also greater than RDS, so it can be said that the cost performance of CDB is much higher than RDS.
Object storage: Tencent cloud COS and Alibaba cloud OSS have scores respectively in the upload, download and delete indicators of large and small files. OSS performs well in file deletion, but it is inferior in large file upload. The performance of COS in various indicators is remarkable.
Therefore, only from the perspective of the cost performance of these three products, Tencent cloud’s price reduction further increases the advantages of its products. If I choose a cloud computing service provider in this price war, I will choose Tencent cloud. And that’s what I used to do when i migrated the site.
However, to evaluate a cloud computing company, in addition to performance and price, many other indicators (such as availability, reliability, etc.) should be taken into account (the differences among them may be small). The evaluation of the latter involves more complex operations, which is not covered in this paper. The choice I made above is mainly based on performance and price.
Due to the limited time, it is not possible to test the products of other domestic cloud computing manufacturers together. Welcome interested friends to test the cloud computing products they use according to the methods described in this article, and share the results to me for your reference. I also hope this article can help you to purchase satisfactory cloud computing products.
If there are any errors in this article and the supporting evaluation guide, please correct them.