Alibaba Cloud ECS instances are virtual machines (IaaS - Infrastructure as a Service). To create one you need to have an Alibaba Cloud Account. If you don't have an Alibaba Cloud account, you can create one by clicking here.

Go to https://www.alibabacloud.com and login to see the console.
The below is how the console looks like and search for Alibaba Cloud ECS product on the left side. Click on  "Create Instance". You can choose two modes of Billing

  1. Subscription - You will do an upfront payment for the machine
  2. Pay-as-you-Go - You will be billed for the amount of hours you have used

You can select the Region and Zone. I prefer to keep the zone as "Random" as I don't have any requirement.

Alibaba Cloud ECS - Region Selection

You need to choose the instance type based on your requirement. I prefer "Current Generation" > "x86 Architecture"(Architecture) > "General Purpose"(Category). You can choose the machine with lesser configuration if you want to.

Alibaba Cloud ECS - Instance Type

Next, you need to select the Image. There are four options to choose from
1. Public Image
2. Custom Image
3. Shared Image
4. Marketplace Image

Alibaba Cloud ECS - Marketplace Images

Storage:
There are two options to choose from
1. Ultra Cloud Disk - Hybrid of SSD & HDD
2. SSD Disk - Pure Solid State Drive Disk

Alibaba Cloud ECS - System Disk Selection

Next, you need to select the network type VPC & VSwitch, and if you don't choose one, it will select the default ones for you.

Alibaba Cloud ECS - VPC Selection

You can select the Network Billing Method. You can choose the bandwidth based upon your requirement and the public IP. If you plan to use this instance in the private network, you can switch off the public IP.

Alibaba Cloud ECS - Network Billing Method

Now we select the security group. If we don't have one, it will choose a default one which contains the basic rules for accessing the instance from a public network.

Alibaba Cloud ECS - Security Group

Now you need to select the authentication mode based on your preference, You have multiple options like keypair, password & set later (You can create the instance, but you can access via VNC or reset password then)

Alibaba Cloud ECS - LogOn Credentials

Next is some metadata about the instance as below

Alibaba Cloud ECS - Instance Metadata

Finally, you will be taken to the preview screen, where you can verify all the parameters and agree to the terms and conditions, Click on "Create Instance".

Alibaba Cloud ECS - Preview Screen
Alibaba Cloud ECS - Terms of Service

You can see the instance is created successfully.

Alibaba Cloud ECS - Instance Created Successfully

You can navigate back to the console and find the instance public/internet IP Address to connect to the instance remotely.

Instance Details