How does Alibaba Cloud Free trial work?

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Alibaba Cloud offers a free trial credit that allows you to experience some of their cloud services before committing to paid plans. In this article, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know so you can make use of Alibaba Cloud’s free trial credit to deploy servers and applications on their platform.

Creating Alibaba Cloud Account

To start using Alibaba Cloud, you need to sign up for an account by going to their website. This is the first step you need to complete if you want to benefit from the Alibaba Cloud trial credit. It’s important to note that there are two types of accounts you need to understand. And each of these accounts has certain benefits and limitations, especially when it comes to the free trial credits as explained below;

  • Individual account: This is a personal account created by an individual user on Alibaba Cloud. You can use this account as an individual user to access various cloud services, such as virtual machines, storage, and databases, and manage resources through a web-based console or API. An individual Alibaba Cloud account can be used for personal projects, testing, and development, or small-scale production applications.

  • Enterprise account: This account is designed for businesses and organizations that need to manage multiple cloud resources and services in a unified way. It allows organizations to have greater control and flexibility over their cloud infrastructure by providing a centralized management console that can be used to manage multiple user accounts, projects, and resources. Businesses can create and manage multiple sub-accounts for different departments or teams, assign different levels of access and permissions to these accounts, and manage billing and usage across all accounts. This makes it easier for businesses to manage their cloud resources, ensure compliance with regulatory requirements, and optimize their cloud spending.

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Requirements for setting up an Alibaba Cloud account

If you’re planning to create an Alibaba Cloud account, you need to understand a couple of requirements needed. Some requirements will also depend on the type of account you plan to create. For an individual account, the process is a lot easier compared to setting up an enterprise account which may require a couple of official documents for verification purposes.

And so, here is everything you need to know;

  • Email Address and Mobile Phone Number

To create an Alibaba Cloud account, you need to have a valid email address and mobile phone number. You’ll use these to verify your account and receive important notifications from Alibaba Cloud. Your email address is what you will be using to log in, so, you need to make sure it’s valid and you’re capable of accessing its inbox.

On the other hand, Alibaba Cloud makes it mandatory to add a phone number when signing up. This phone number is basically used for verification purposes but also for 2-Factor authentication. This means that whenever logging into your Alibaba Cloud, a unique verification code will always be sent to your phone number.

  • Payment Method

Alibaba Cloud also requires that you put in a payment method such as a credit card or PayPal account during the process of signing up for an account. This is also to verify your identity and prevent fraud. Alibaba Cloud may charge a small amount to your payment method to confirm its validity. But this fee they charge on your card is returned after confirming the validity of your preferred payment method. You also need to understand that adding your payment card to Alibaba Cloud doesn’t mean they will be charging you money when you’re benefiting from their free trial offerings. Of course, they can charge you if you choose to go with premium plans as not all services offered by Alibaba Cloud are eligible for the free trial. There is a limited catalog of them that fall in this category and so you need to specifically be cautious to avoid getting charged, especially if you’re not ready for it.

  • Company or Personal Information

When creating your Alibaba Cloud account, you’ll need to provide basic information about your company or yourself, including your name, address, and country of residence. If you’re creating an account for a company, you’ll need to provide additional information, such as the company name and business registration number. This is usually a mandatory requirement for enterprise accounts.

  • Verification

After providing your email address, phone number, and payment method, Alibaba Cloud will send you a verification code to confirm your account. You may also need to provide additional verification, such as a copy of your ID or business license, depending on your location and the services you’re using.

  • Terms and Conditions

Before creating your account, you’ll need to agree to Alibaba Cloud’s terms and conditions, including its privacy policy and user agreement. Be sure to read these carefully before proceeding.

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How the Alibaba Cloud free trial works

Immediately after signing up for Alibaba Cloud, you will be eligible to access the free trial credit on the platform. But it’s important to note that both the individual and enterprise Alibaba cloud accounts have relatively different offerings when it comes to Aliababa’s free trial scheme.

Both the individual and enterprise accounts are only allowed to deploy one eligible resource once, and they can’t make any redeployment or execute secondary deployments to enjoy more credit. For example, when you create your first Virtual Machine using the available free trial credit and then delete it, you can’t deploy another VM using the free credit offering scheme. In fact, when you attempt to deploy another Virtual Machine under the assumption of using the free trial credit, you will be required to pay.

So, based on Alibaba’s terms and conditions, the trial credit is valid only when you deploy an eligible service once and you can’t deploy it again.

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Alibaba Cloud services eligible for free trial credit

Just like any massive cloud computing platform, Alibaba Cloud offers countless services in its catalog. But not all of them are eligible for the free trial credits. Here are the services you can use for free under their terms and conditions;

Elasitc compute Service

Alibaba’s Elastic Compute Service (ECS) is a cloud computing service that allows users to deploy virtual machines of various types on the platform. The ECS platform offers a range of instance types and sizes, so users can choose the right combination of computing power, memory, and storage for their specific needs. ECS instances can be launched and configured quickly, and they can be customized with a variety of operating systems, applications, and development tools.

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As for the free trial credit, it allows new users, to try out Alibaba’s Elastic Compute Service under certain limitations depending on the type of account you’re using. The limitations and restrictions include putting a cap on the number of instances that can be launched and the amount of data transfer that can be used.

For example, the table below shows the Elastic Compute Service plans an individual account can deploy or configure under Alibaba’s free trial offering scheme;

Instance TypeCPURAMDisk SpaceBandwidthTrial Terms
ecs.t5-c1m1.large 2cores 2GB40GB1Mbps–Three months free for new users
–Renew From $11.99/month
ecs.t5-lc1m1.small1 core1GB40GB1Mbps–One year free for new users
–Renew From $8.48/month

On the other hand, it’s important to note that the ECS free trial credit assigned to individual accounts is different from the one offered to enterprise users. For example, the following table shows the ECS plans eligible for the free trial for enterprise accounts only

Instance TypeNumber of Eligible InstancesCPURAMDisk SpaceBandwidthTrial Terms
ecs.c6.large22 cores 4GB100GB5Mbps–Three months free for new users
–Follow-up benefits after the free trial

The free trial credit is typically valid for a certain period of time, ranging from a couple of months up to one year. It can be used to create and run ECS instances without incurring any costs

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Alibaba Cloud Database Services

Alibaba Cloud offers various database services some of which are available for free trial as seen in the table below:

Service NameInstance TypeStorageNodesTypeReplicasTrial PeriodEligible Accounts
ApsaraDB for Redis1 GB Community EditionN/AN/AHigh Availability21 MonthIndividual
Tair1 GB Performance-enhancedN/AN/AHigh Availability21 MonthEnterprise
ApsaraDB for MongoDBMongoDB 4.0/4.2 1C2G20GB3N/AN/A–1 Month (Individual)
–2 Months (Enterprise)
PolarDB2C8GN/AN/AGeneral-purposeN/AAlways FreeIndividuals
PolarDB2C8GN/AN/ADedicatedN/AAlways FreeIndividuals
ApsaraDB RDS for MySQLMySQL 1C1G20GBN/AN/AN/A–1 Month (Individual)
–2 Months (Enterprise)
ApsaraDB RDS for PostgreSQLPostgreSQL 2C4G20GBN/AN/AN/A–1 Month (Individual)
–2 Months (Enterprise)

Networking & CDN Services

The following Alibaba Cloud Networking services are offered for the free trial scheme:

  • Server Load balancer

This service allows the distribution of traffic among multiple instances to prevent a single point of failure. Now, individual users are given $15 credit and enterprises are given $15 credit to use the Alibaba Cloud Load Balancer service.

  • Global Accelerator

The Alibababa Global Accelerator service is used to accelerate internet applications globally to improve user experience. Only Enterprise users are eligible to use this service under the free trial scheme.

  • CDN Data Transfer

Individual users are eligible to transfer up to 1TB of data for both incoming and outgoing traffic. And the trial period runs up to one year. Enterprise users are not eligible for the free trial version of Alibaba’s CDN service.

  • Cloud Enterprise Network

Alibaba Cloud Enterprise Network allows a global private network, allowing users to connect to the Alibaba Cloud network products located in different regions. Individual users are given 2-5 Mbps bandwidth for a one-month trial period.

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  • Virtual Private Cloud

Alibaba VPC service allows users to deploy applications within a Virtual Private Cloud, which is a virtual network in charge of traffic transfer and routing. This service is available to use for free forever and users are not charged.

  • Alibaba Cloud Public DNS

The Alibaba Cloud Public DNS is in charge of DNS traffic configuration and management. Users are allowed to make 10 million monthly requests, beyond this rate, they’re supposed to pay.

There are tens of Alibaba cloud services that are eligible for the free trial credit scheme. And listing all of them here would be so exhausting. And so, we’ve decided to single out a few critical services that are likely to be used by common users. If you want to learn more about all Alibaba services, you can follow this link here

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