This topic describes the billing and settlement rules for pay-as-you-go ECS resources. Pay-as-you-go allows you to pay for the amount of resources you actually use. You can purchase and release resources on demand, and scale up as your business grows. Pay-as-you-go helps reduce your costs by 30% to 80% compared with the investment of a traditional host.

Overview

Pay-as-you-go resources are billed based on the billing cycle and paid each hour. If you have a quota agreement with Alibaba Cloud, fees are deducted when the cumulative consumption of your account exceeds the quota. You must settle the payment at least once a month.

After creating a pay-as-you-go ECS resource, you can change its configurations. For more information, see Change configurations of Pay-As-You-Go instances and Change Internet bandwidth.

You can change the billing method of pay-as-you-go ECS resources you created. For more information, see Switch the billing method from Pay-As-You-Go to Subscription.

You can view your bills by using the following methods:
  • To view the fee calculation method, see Billing.
  • To understand how ECS resource status affects the billing duration, see Billing duration.
    Note If you stop an ECS instance but do not release related resources, fees continue to generate.
  • For information about settlement, see Settlement period.

Applicable resources

Currently, the pay-as-you-go billing method is available for the following ECS resources:
  • ECS instance
  • Images
  • Disks
  • Internet bandwidth (Pay-By-Bandwidth)
  • Snapshots
In addition to the instance type, you must also configure the block storage, image, and network type when you create an instance. The images and cloud disks created along with the pay-as-you-go ECS instance also use the pay-as-you-go billing method. However, you can select the billing method for network usage.
Note After creating a pay-as-you-go ECS instance, you can attach a separately created pay-as-you-go cloud disk to the instance. For more information, see Attach a cloud disk.

Snapshots start to incur fees after you create them.

You can view the total price of the preceding resources in the lower left part of the instance creation page.

Billing duration

If a pay-as-you-go ECS instance is out of service due to overdue payment, the billing of its resources is suspended. The billing resumes after you settle the overdue payment and reactivate the instance.

The following table describes the billing duration of each resource type on the prerequisite that you have no overdue payments.
Resource Billing duration
ECS instance The billing duration is affected by the network type of the instance.
  • For an ECS instance in a classic network, billing starts when the instance is created and stops when the instance is released.
  • For an ECS instance in a VPC, the billing duration depends on whether the No fees for stopped VPC instances feature is enabled.
    • If this feature is not enabled, billing starts when the instance is created and stops when the instance is released.
    • If this feature is enabled, billing starts when the instance is created or is restarted in the ECS console and stops when the instance is stopped by using the ECS console or when the instance is released. For more information, see No fees for stopped VPC instances.
      Notice If you stop the instance by switching off its operating system, you cannot enjoy the benefits provided by the No fees for stopped VPC instances feature.

You can purchase reserved instances to reduce your costs. For more information, see Reserved instance overview.

Images The billing starts when the instance is created and stops when the instance is released.
Cloud disks (system disks) The billing starts when the instance is created and stops when the instance is released.
Cloud disks (data disks) The billing starts when the data disk is created and stops when the data disk is released.
Internet bandwidth (Pay-By-Bandwidth) The billing starts when Internet bandwidth (Pay-By-Bandwidth) is enabled and stops when Internet bandwidth is disabled or the ECS instance is released.

For information about how to disable Internet bandwidth, see Change Internet bandwidth.

Snapshots The billing starts when a snapshot is created and stops when the snapshot is deleted.
Note If the fee for a pay-as-you-go ECS instance is less than USD 0.01 for the entire lifecycle of the instance, USD 0.01 is charged.

To avoid unexpected fees incurred when the active duration is exceeded, we recommend that you enable the automatic release feature. If automatic release is enabled, the billing stops when the resources are released. The stop time is accurate to seconds.

Billing

Pay-as-you-go ECS resources start to generate fees after being created. The resources are billed separately. You can calculate the total fee you need to pay for a certain period of time based on the configurations you choose. The following table describes the billing cycle of each ECS resource and the formula used to calculate their fees.
Resource Billing cycle Formula Unit price
ECS instance Second Unit price of the instance type × Billing duration For more information, see Instance Fee on ECS Pricing.
Note Local disks attached to an instance are billed together with the instance.
Images Second Image unit price × Billing duration You can view the price on the purchase page and in the Alibaba image marketplace.
Cloud disks (system disks) Second Disk unit price × Disk capacity × Billing duration For more information, choose Storage Fee > System Disk on ECS Pricing.
Note The price on the page is USD/100 GiB/hour. Divide it by 100 to obtain the unit price per GiB.
Cloud disks (data disks) Second Disk unit price × Disk capacity × Billing duration For more information, choose Storage Fee > Data Disk on ECS Pricing.
Note The price for a pay-as-you-go disk on the page is USD/100 GiB/hour. Divide it by 100 to obtain the unit price per GiB.
Internet bandwidth (Pay-By-Bandwidth) Second Bandwidth unit price × Bandwidth value × Billing duration

For more information, see Billing methods of Internet bandwidth.

Tiered pricing is used for fixed bandwidth. You can select a bandwidth value on the purchase page to view the changes in fees.
Snapshots Hour Snapshot unit price × Snapshot capacity × Billing duration

For more information, see Billing of snapshots.

For more information, see Snapshot Fee on ECS pricing.
Note
  • If the billing cycle is one second, the fee generated each second is added on to the bill. If an hourly price is displayed, you can divide the price by 3600 to obtain the price per second.
  • If the billing cycle is one hour, the fee generated every hour is added on to the bill. A usage duration less than an hour is calculated as an hour.
Assume that you created a pay-as-you-go ECS instance in the China (Qingdao) region and the resource usage duration is from 11:00:00 to 12:00:00 on August 8, 2019. with a subscription duration of three months.
Note The price is only for reference. For the exact price, visit the links in the preceding table.

Settlement period

The fees for pay-as-you-go resources are paid each hour. These fees are paid together with the fees incurred by other postpaid products under your account. If you have a quota agreement with Alibaba Cloud, fees are deducted when the cumulative consumption of your account exceeds the quota. In the case that the cumulative monthly consumption of your account is less than the quota, fees are deducted on the first day of the following month.
  • If your default payment method is bank card, the quota is USD 1,000.
  • If your default payment method is PayPal or Paytm (India) account, the quota depends on your ECS resource usage.

Fee deduction occurs on three days: due date (T), T+7, and T+14. In fee deduction fails on the due date (T), the system attempts to deduct fees again on the day T+7 and day T+14. If fee deduction fails for these three times, the instance goes out of service on the day T+15.

The resource status changes as follows in the event of an overdue payment:
  1. Within 15 days after the overdue payment, you can use existing ECS resources but cannot purchase new ECS instances, upgrade the instance, or renew the instance.
  2. Within 15 days after the instance is out of service, you must submit a ticket to settle the overdue payment and then reactivate the instance. Otherwise, the instance will be automatically released. For information about resource status, see Resource status when an ECS instance is out of service.
  3. More than 15 days after the instance is out of service, the pay-as-you-go ECS instances are released.

Resource status when an ECS instance is out of service

If all three deductions fail, the ECS instance is out of service. The following table describes the resource status if your ECS instance is out of service.

Resource Within 15 days after out-of-service More than 15 days after out-of-service
ECS instance The ECS instance is retained but it is out of service.

When a pay-as-you-go ECS instance is Out of service, it enters the Expired state and the billing stops. After the instance stops providing services, you cannot remotely connect to the instance, or access websites deployed on the instance. Service errors will occur.

The ECS instance is released.
Note If your ECS instance is released due to overdue payment, Alibaba Cloud will send you an email notification.
Images Images are unavailable. Images are unavailable.
Block storage
  • Cloud disks and data on them are retained, but the cloud disks cannot be used.
  • Local disks and data on them are retained, but the local disks cannot be used.
Note If the performance of cloud disks or local disks is limited, they cannot properly process I/O read and write requests. This affects the normal running of the ECS instance mounted to these disks, such as excessive time needed to perform operations and unpredictable power-off or restart failures for some operating systems.
  • Cloud disks are released and data on them cannot be restored.
    Note Cloud disks (data disks) created with pay-as-you-go ECS instances and pay-as-you-go cloud disks (data disks) created separately on the Disks page of the ECS console are released, regardless whether they are attached to the instance.
  • Local disks are released and data on them cannot be restored.
  • Shared block storage devices are automatically detached, but data on them is retained.
IP addresses
  • Instances in classic networks: Fixed public IP addresses are retained.
  • Instances in a VPC
    • Fixed public IP addresses are retained.
    • The EIP associated with the instance is not affected.
  • Instances in classic networks: Fixed public IP addresses are released.
  • Instances in a VPC
    • Fixed public IP addresses are released.
    • The EIP is disassociated from the instance.
Snapshots All snapshots are retained but automatic snapshots cannot be created. All snapshots will be deleted except for those used to create cloud disks or custom images.