Step 2. Create an instance

Last Updated: Oct 10, 2017

This document describes how to create an ECS instance by using an existing image. If you want to create a custom image from a snapshot of a system disk, and then use the custom image to create an ECS instance, see Create an instance by using a custom image in the User Guide of Elastic Compute Service.


Before you start creating an ECS instance, complete the following tasks:


To create an ECS instance, follow these steps:

  1. Log on to the ECS console.

  2. On the left-side navigation pane, click Instances.

  3. On the Instance List page, click Create Instance.

  4. On the purchase page, you can choose Starter Package, which is designed mainly for new starters. For more information about this package, click here.

    1. Choose Pricing Model: You can choose either Subscription or Pay-As-You-Go as the billing method of your instance. See Purchase an ECS instance in the Purchase Guide for the differences between both billing methods.
    2. Choose the Datacenter Region and Zone: The region and zone cannot be changed after the instance is created. When choosing a region and zone, consider the following:

      • Generally, if the region where your instance is located is close proximity to your customers, they will experience shorter network latency and faster download speed when using your service.
      • Some features, such as the number of zones, instance types, storage types, and network service pricing, vary by region. Select an appropriate region to meet your business needs.
      • ECS instances in regions outside mainland China do not support interchange between Linux and Windows systems.
      • If you are creating multiple instances for an application,
        • If it requires shorter network latency, we recommend that you create the instances in the same zone.
        • If it has higher requirements for disaster recovery, we recommend that you create the instances in different zones of one region.
      • Instances in different regions cannot communicate with each other over intranet.
    3. Instance Type: The availability of instance types varies by region. See Instance generations and type families in Product Introduction for scenarios of each instance type.

      • If you want to create an ECS instance based on gn4 or gn5, see Create a gn4 instance or Create a gn5 instance in User Guide for more information.
      • When used with SSD cloud disks, I/O optimized instance delivers improved storage performance.
      • To use the Windows OS for website building and Web environment deployment, you must select the instance type with at least 2 GiB memory.
      • The instance type with 1 core and 1 GiB of memory does not support running MySQL.
    4. Choose Network Type, including:

      • Network Type: By default, the network type is Virtual Private Cloud (VPC). You can select your own VPC and VSwitch. If you do not have one, use the default VPC and VSwitch.

        If you can select Classic Network, you have to select a security group that meets your business needs.

      • Network Billing Type: Billing by Data Transfer. With this billing method, charges are determined by the amount of the data transferred to an instance every hour (usually calculated by GB). The traffic price varies by region. Check the Internet traffic fee on the bottom of the page.
      • Network Bandwidth Peak: To help prevent high charges from sudden traffic spikes, you can specify a peak bandwidth for the Instance.
        Network typeInternet access?Network bandwidth peak
        • If no Elastic IP (EIP) address is used, set the peak bandwidth to a non-zero value and an Internet IP address will be bound to your instance. The address cannot be changed or unbound.
        • If an Elastic IP (EIP) address is used, set the peak bandwidth to 0 Mbps.
        NoSet the peak bandwidth to 0 Mbps.
        ClassicYesSet the peak bandwidth to a non-zero value. An Internet IP address will be bound to your instance and you cannot change or unbind it.
        NoSet the peak bandwidth to 0 Mbps.

        If you place your ECS instance behind a Server Load Balancer instance, you do not have to purchase bandwidth for the ECS instance. However, we recommend that you purchase a small amount of bandwidth for the ECS instance for you to connect to it to perform management tasks.

    5. Choose the Operating System.

      • Public Image: It contains the image of operating system officially provided by Alibaba Cloud. On top of this, you will need to install the related software and configure the application environment based on your specific requirements.
      • Custom Image: It is generated based on the user system snapshot, including the initial system environment, application environment, and related software configuration. Selecting custom images to create ECS can save your time for repeated configuration.
      • Shared Image: It is a custom image shared by an Alibaba Cloud account. Alibaba Cloud does not guarantee the integrity and security of such shared images, and you must bear any risks associated with using these shared images.
      • Marketplace Image: It is a custom image provided by either Alibaba Cloud or ISVs on the Alibaba Cloud Marketplace. Marketplace images contain the operating system image and software applications. To meet additional business needs, you must configure the application environment.
      • Bear the following points in mind when selecting an image:
        • Not all images support instance custom data. See Instance custom data for supported images.
        • An image based on Windows OS:
          • By default, the Windows 2003/2008 system allows remote connection of up to 2 sessions. For more connections, you must buy Remote Desktop Licensing (RD Licensing) service from Microsoft separately at your expense.
          • Windows OS is suitable for running Windows programs, such as .net.
          • Windows OS supports SQL Server and other databases, which must be independently installed.
        • An image based on Linux OS:
          • Linux OS is the most popular server operating system built with robust security and stability.
          • Linux OS is suitable for high-performance Web server and other server applications, and supports common programming languages such as PHP and Python, and MySQL and other databases (must be independently installed).
          • CentOS is recommended.
          • SSH key pairs are only supported by Linux OS.
    6. Choose Storage: You have to select cloud disks for the system disk and/or data disks.

      • Cloud disk types vary by region. See Disk parameters and performance test for differences of cloud disk features.
      • System Disk is required. It is for installing the operating system.
      • Data Disk is optional. The data disks that you add here will be released with the instance and cannot be detached from the instance. You can create a cloud disk independently.
      • You can add up to 16 data disks, blank or from a snapshot, based on business needs.

      If you selected an instance type with ephemeral storage, such as i1, d1, and d1ne, the ephemeral storage configuration will be displayed in this section. You cannot change the configuration. For more information about ephemeral storage of instance types, see Instance generations and type families in Product Introduction.

    7. Security Setting. You can set authentication method based on the operating system.

      Operating system Authentication method
      Linux SSH key pairs or password
      Windows Password
      • You have two choices: Set authentication method now or later.
      • If you want to set the authentication method later, after the instance is created, reset the password or bind an SSH key pair in the ECS console.
    8. Set User Data, optional. If your instance type and image meet the requirements for the instance custom data, you can add the data.

    9. Purchase Plan. You have to configure:

      • Subscription Type: If you are creating an ECS of the Subscription billing method, you have to set Subscription Type to either 1 Month or 1 Year. If you do not want to manually renew your instance after it expires, select Auto-renew to activate automatic renewal. For more information, see Auto-renewal in Purchase Guide.
      • Instance Name: We recommend that you specify a name for the instance for efficient management.
      • Number of Instances: You can create up to 10 instance of the Pay-As-You-Go billing method at the same time, but no quota for instances of the Subscription billing method.
    10. Overview and cost. Check the overview and cost information to make sure that the selected configuration details are correct.

    11. Click either Add to Cart (if you decide to continue shopping) or Buy Now (if you want to confirm the purchase).

    12. On the Confirm order page, confirm the order information, and then,

      • For an instance of the Subscription billing method, click Place Order, make payment, and then activate the instance.
      • For an instance of the Pay-As-You-Go billing method, click Activate, and then activate the instance.

When the instance is activated, you can go to the ECS console to check the instance details, such as the instance name, Internet IP address, and internal IP address (for Classic network) or private IP address (for VPC network).

After the procedure

After you create an instance, for security of your instance, we recommend that you perform security compliance inspection and configuration on:

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