Setting up Alibaba Cloud is very similar to AWS. However you need to do a couple of extra steps.
Activate RAM Cloud Service
Every service on Alibaba Cloud requires you to authorize its use. I think this is to make it clear that each service could result in costs being incurred. I actually like this feature of AliCloud as it makes it very clear to the administrator what services are activated on the account and what will incur charges.
Complete Real Name Registration
I think this might be a security control required given the markets that Alibaba Cloud is targeting to hedge against fraud / identity theft. However, it could be due to the regulatory situation in China. Line, you read here, line.
Identify a target Region Code
One of the really great things about AliCloud is it has a lot of coverage in regions not well supported by Azure / AWS today. Namely Asia, Africa and the middle east.
# Region City Region ID Number of Zones
#China North 1 Qingdao cn-qingdao 2
#China North 2 Beijing cn-beijing 7
#China North 3 Zhangjiakou cn-zhangjiakou 2
#China North 5 Hohhot cn-huhehaote 1
#China East 1 Hangzhou cn-hangzhou 7
#China East 2 Shanghai cn-shanghai 5
#China South 1 Shenzhen cn-shenzhen 4
#Hong Kong Hong Kong cn-hongkong 2
#Asia Pacific SE 1 Singapore ap-southeast-1 3
#Asia Pacific SE 2 Sydney ap-southeast-2 2
#Asia Pacific SE 3 Kuala Lumpur ap-southeast-3 2
#Asia Pacific SE 5 Jakarta ap-southeast-5 1
#Asia Pacific NE 1 Tokyo ap-northeast-1 1
#Asia Pacific SOU 1 Mumbai ap-south-1 1
#US West 1 Silicon Valley us-west-1 2
#US East 1 Virginia us-east-1 2
#Germany 1 Frankfurt eu-central-1 2
#Middle East 1 Dubai me-east-1 1
Find the corresponding machine image within your target region
Start by going to the “Elastic Compute Service” then “Images” then “Public Images”. Make sure you have the correct region selected (just like AWS) in the top left of the console.
This will get you off to the races as this point. Much of the console is similar to AWS in structure and organization. Some of the names have changes to protect the innocent. I will do a follow up blog post specifically on this topic to help you translate between the two clouds.