kalveygroup.comCloud computing is a technology that has been worldwide and is currently very widely used by various companies. In cloud computing itself, there is an API that functions to manage cloud resources and also to launch your application. 

What is API?

FYI, API stands for Application Programming Interface, which bridges the exchange of data between 2 or more applications to interact with each other. The API itself has been widely used by developers for building web, desktop, mobile and smart device applications. 

Alibaba Cloud & API

Now, does Alibaba Cloud provide API services to communicate and perform resource management? Yes, you can do data management using Alibaba Cloud API. Alibaba Cloud itself has an SDK for developers, which we will cover in a future post. 

Why Alibaba Cloud API?

API allows developer to create applications that can be integrated with other systems, without requiring users to visit sites from other systems. With Alibaba Cloud API, you can develop applications that are integrated with Alibaba Cloud, with purposes such as creating new instances, managing instances, EBS, bandwidth and more without going to Alibaba Cloud sites every time you want to access your resources.

Alibaba Cloud API supports HTTP/HTTPS request. Common API methods that will be used when you are using Alibaba Cloud API is GET and POST. The method is simple to use, you just need to specify the endpoint, parameters and you will get your results.

In order to use Alibaba Cloud API, you will need AccessKey. A short information, AccessKey is a key equivalent to password, which is very unique and you won’t find same AccessKey because each AccessKey will be bound to only one user. We have created a detailed post about AccessKey which you can find it on What is Access Key in Alibaba Cloud and How to Generate AccessKey

Alibaba Cloud API Limitation

Alibaba Cloud API has several limitation, such as you can’t use Log Service with 32-bit Linux ECS Instances, or ECS doesn’t support multicast protocols. For more information about the limitation, you can check it on their website


Below is the common terms that will be used when we are using Alibaba Cloud API 

regionRegionIdAn Alibaba Cloud data center. After you create a resource, its region cannot be changed.
zoneZoneIdA physical location with independent power grids and networks within a region. Each region includes multiple zones. Resources in zones of the same region can communicate with each other over the internal network with faults isolated. The network latency for ECS instances within the same zone is low.
instanceInstanceIdA virtual machine virtualized from a physical server. It is the basic computing unit of ECS. For more information, see Instance families.
reserved instanceReservedInstanceIdA discount coupon that can be applied to pay-as-you-go instances (excluding preemptible instances) and provides a resource reservation for pay-as-you-go instances.
launch templateLaunchTemplateIdA template that contains configurations that you can use to create instances. A template can include configurations except for passwords. It can include a key pair, a Resource Access Management (RAM) role, an instance type, and network configurations.
auto provisioning groupAutoProvisioningGroupIdA group used by Auto Provisioning to schedule and maintain compute resources. Auto Provisioning is a service used to deploy an instance cluster that consists of preemptible and pay-as-you-go instances. Auto Provisioning facilitates the deployment of instance clusters across different billing methods, zones, and instance families.
imageImageIdA template that is pre-installed with an operating system and software configurations. System disks of new instances are the copies of images that are used to create the instances. You can use an image to create an instance or replace the system disk of an instance.
EBS deviceDiskIdA storage device for Alibaba Cloud ECS. EBS devices are classified into cloud disks and local disks based on their performance and use scenarios.
security groupSecurityGroupIdA virtual firewall to control inbound and outbound traffic for ECS instances. An instance must belong to one or more security groups.
SSH key pairKeyPairNameA combination of a public key and a private key. SSH key pairs are used to connect to ECS instances over the SSH protocol and are applicable only to Linux instances.
elastic network interfaceNetworkInterfaceIdA logical networking component that represents a virtual network card in a virtual private cloud (VPC). Elastic network interfaces (ENIs) are applicable only to ECS instances within VPCs and can be bound to or unbound from the instances.
snapshotSnapshotIdA point-in-time copy of a disk. Snapshots are taken for disks to restore disk data to a specific point in time. Snapshots can be used to restore disk data and create images.
tagTag.N.KeyA key-value pair. You can add tags to ECS resources for easy search and classification.
IP addressNatIPAddressThe public or private IP address of an ECS instance.
Cloud AssistantCommandIdA built-in tool for ECS that provides O&M and deployment services. Cloud Assistant can automatically run batch, PowerShell, or shell commands to perform tasks on multiple instances at a time without establishing individual connections to these instances.