When a subscription instance expires, the instance stops providing services. To continue using the instance after it expires, you must renew it within the designated period. Otherwise, instance resources such as vCPUs, memory, and disks are automatically released and the stored data is permanently lost. This topic describes the methods of ECS instance renewal.

Renewal overview

The renewal feature is only applicable to subscription ECS instances. Pay-as-you-go instances do not need to be renewed, but you must ensure that you have sufficient balance in your linked bank card, PayPal, or Paytm (India) account to cover the related costs.

If you renew the instance before it expires, the instance continues to work as expected and all its resources are retained. For information about the status of an instance after it expires, see Subscription.

You cannot cancel a renewal order for a subscription instance after the payment is made. To renew an instance, use one of the following methods:
  • Manual renewal: Manually renew the instance in the ECS console before the instance is automatically released. For more information, see Manual renewal.
  • Auto renewal: After the auto renewal feature is enabled, the instance is automatically renewed before it expires. You can enable this feature on instances to reduce management costs and prevent instances from being released. For more information, see Auto renewal.
  • Renew and downgrade: If the current ECS instance configurations exceed your requirements, you can downgrade the instance configurations when you renew the instance to reduce costs. The new configurations take effect starting from the next billing cycle. For more information, see Renew and downgrade.
These three methods have the following differences, as shown in the following table.
Renewal method Change configurations Renewal time
Manual renewal Not supported Before the ECS instance is automatically released.
Auto renewal Not supported Renew the instance five times on the following days:
  • The 3rd day and the 1st day before expiration
  • The expiration day
  • The 7th day and 15th day after expiration
Renew and downgrade Supported
  • Within 15 days before the ECS instance expires.
  • Within 15 days after the ECS instance expires, but before the instance is automatically released.

For example, if you have a subscription instance that is set to expire on April 30, 2019, you can downgrade the specifications of the instance and renew the instance between April 16, 2019 and April 30, 2019. If you do not renew the instance during this time period, it enters the To Be Released state. If the instance enters this state, you can still renew the instance between May 1, 2019 and May 15, 2019. If you do not renew the instance, it is automatically released on May 16, 2019.

Manual renewal

The renewal duration options are:
  • One month, two months, three months, four months, five months, six months, seven months, eight months, and nine months
  • One year

Manual renewal only renews the basic Internet bandwidth of an instance, but not its temporarily upgraded Internet bandwidth. For information about how to upgrade the basic Internet bandwidth, see Upgrade configurations of Subscription instances.

The status of a subscription ECS instance after expiration depends on whether the auto renewal feature is enabled. The following table describes the effect of manual renewal for instances under different statuses:
Whether auto renewal is enabled Time period after expiration Instance status Effect of manual renewal
Not enabled Within 15 days after expiration The instance is shut down. If the instance is manually renewed, the start of the next billing cycle will be the day of renewal.

For example, if your instance was shut down at 00:00:00 on May 10, 2017, but you successfully renewed it for one month at 08:09:35 on May 23, 2017, the billing cycle for this renewal is from 08:09:35 on May 23, 2017 to 00:00:00 on June 24, 2017.

15 days after expiration The instance and its resources are being released or unbound. Manual renewal cannot be performed.
30 days after expiration The instance and its resources have been released or unbound. Manual renewal cannot be performed.
Enabled Within 15 days after expiration The instance is working properly. If the instance is manually renewed, the start of the next billing cycle will be the day the instance expired.

For example, if your instance is set to expire at 00:00:00 on April 25, 2017, but you successfully renewed it for one month on May 9, 2017, the billing cycle for this renewal is from April 25, 2017 to 00:00:00 on May 25, 2017.

15 days after expiration The instance is shut down. If the instance is manually renewed, the start of the next billing cycle will be the day of renewal.

For example, if your instance was shut down at 00:00:00 on May 10, 2017, but you successfully renewed it for one month at 08:09:35 on May 23, 2017, the billing cycle for this renewal is from 08:09:35 on May 23, 2017 to 00:00:00 on June 24, 2017.

30 days after expiration The instance and its resources are being released or unbound. Manual renewal cannot be performed.

Auto renewal

Auto renewal cannot be enabled on expired instances.

You can enable auto renewal on the Create Instance or Renew page. The renewal period options are as follows:
  • When you enable auto renewal on the Create Instance page:
    • If the subscription of the instance that is created is one month, two months, three months, or six months, the instance automatically renews itself every month after the subscription ends. This continues until you cancel auto renewal.
    • If the subscription of the instance that is created is one year, the instance automatically renews itself every year after the subscription ends. This continues until you cancel auto renewal.
  • If you enable auto renewal for an existing instance on the Renew page, you can set the auto renewal period to one month, two months, three months, six months, one year, two years, or three years. When the subscription period ends, the instance will renew for the period you select and you are billed for the new cycle. The instance will then continue to automatically renew for the period you select until you cancel auto renewal. For example, if you select three months, the instance will renew every three months until you cancel auto renewal.
    Note You can modify the auto renewal period for an existing instance at any time on the Renew page.
After auto renewal is enabled, the instance will be automatically renewed before it expires.
  • Alibaba Cloud sends an email reminder on the 7th day before the instance expires (T-7).
  • Alibaba Cloud deducts the payment for the next billing cycle from your bank card, PayPal, or Paytm (India) account on the 3rd day before the instance expires (T-3). If the payment deduction fails, Alibaba Cloud will attempt to deduct the payment again up to five times until the deduction is successful, on the following days: the 1st day before the instance expires (T-1), the expiration day (T), the 7th day after the instance expires (T+6), and the 15th day after the instance expires (T+14).
    • At 08:00:00 (UTC+8) on the deduction day, Alibaba Cloud performs auto renewal on all the ECS instances that are set to expire in succession. This causes the actual renewal time to be between 08:00:00 (UTC+8) and 18:00:00 (UTC+8).
    • If the payment is deducted before T+14, the instance will start the next billing cycle from the day the instance is set to expire.
    • Otherwise, the instance will be in the expired state from T+15. Instances in the expired state cannot be logged on to or remotely connected to. If the instance has expired, you can only manually renew the instance. If the instance is not manually renewed within 15 days after it enters the expired state, the instance will be released and its data will be permanently lost. For more information, see Manual renewal.
    • If the payment for auto renewal fails, Alibaba Cloud will send you an email reminder. Check whether you have received any reminder to avoid unexpected expiration of instances.
    • If manual renewal has been completed before auto renewal, auto renewal will take effect starting from the next billing cycle.
Assume that you purchased an instance at 10:00:00 November 8, 2017, with a subscription period of one month and auto renewal enabled. The instance is set to expire at 00:00:00 December 9, 2017. The following figure describes the actions performed in the first auto renewal round. For information about status changes that occur after subscription resources expire, see Subscription.

Renew and downgrade

You can use the Renewal and Downgrade feature to complete the following tasks:
  • Downgrade the specifications of a subscription instance.
  • Change the billing method of data disks from subscription to pay-as-you-go.
  • Change the billing method of Internet bandwidth and set the bandwidth value.
The renewal duration options are:
  • One month, two months, three months, four months, five months, six months, seven months, eight months, and nine months
  • One year
When you use the Renewal and Downgrade feature, the following limits apply:
  • After you renew and downgrade an instance, the new configurations take effect starting from the next billing cycle. The current configurations continue until the end of the current billing cycle.
  • If you perform the following operations during the renewal, you must restart the instance by using the ECS console or by calling the RebootInstance operation within the first seven days of the new billing cycle to make the new configurations take effect. If you restart the instance on the seventh day of the new billing cycle, the instance continues to use the original configurations for the first six days.
    • Change the instance specifications.
    • Change the bandwidth value of a classic network-type instance from 0 Mbit/s to a non-zero value for the first time.
      Note For a VPC-type instance, if you change its bandwidth from 0 Mbit/s to a non-zero value for the first time, you do not need to restart it.
  • After you downgrade an instance when renewing it, you cannot perform the following operations within the rest of the current billing cycle: