Pay-As-You-Go

Last Updated: Oct 30, 2017

Pay-As-You-Go is a billing method that Alibaba Cloud uses to charge based on the amount of actually used resources.

Pay-As-You-Go allows you to activate and release resources at any time and you can purchase resources on demand without buying many devices, which can lead to a cost reduction of 30% to 80% compared with traditional host investment.

Applicable resources

Currently, the Pay-As-You-Go billing method is applicable to the following ECS resources:

  • ECS instances, including CPU configuration and memory capacity
  • Images
  • System disks and/or data disks

If you create an ECS instance of the Pay-As-You-Go billing method, the Instance Cost displayed in the bottom of the instance creation page is the total fee of the preceding three types of resources.

To activate resources of the Pay-As-You-Go billing method, you must know the following:

  • Resource configuration change: You can change the instance types, including CPU configuration and memory capacity, after you create an instance.
  • Billing method change: Instances, system disks, and data disks support switching from Pay-As-You-Go to Subscription. For details about the procedure, refer to Switch from Pay-As-You-Go to subscription in the User Guide of ECS.

Payment methods

You can use credit cards to pay for the resources of the Pay-As-You-Go billing method. Refer to Configure your account in Account Management documents to bind your account to your credit cards.

Billing cycle

The billing cycle varies depending on the resource types. The minimum charge for the lifecycle of an ECS instance (from creation to release) is 0.01 US$.

Item Instances + Images System disks Data disks
Billing cycle One second One second One second
Billing unit US$/hour US$/40GB/hour US$/GB/hour

Settlement Cycle

  • Payments for resources of the Pay-As-You-Go billing method are settled together with other post-paid products under your account.

  • Generally, if the cumulative monthly consumption amount of your account is less than 1,000 USD, fees will be deducted on the first day of the following month.

  • If you have a quota agreement with Alibaba Cloud, fees are deducted when the cumulative consumption amount of your account exceeds the quota.

    Cumulative consumption amount Due date (T) Fee deduction day Description
    Cumulative monthly consumption amount less than 1,000 USD The first day of the following month T, T+7, and T+14
    • In the event of deduction failure on the due date (T), fees will be deducted again on the day T+7 and the day T+14.
    • If fee deduction fails three times, the instance will be out of service on the day T+15. In this case, the instance stops running but data is retained. Billing stops when the instance is out of service.
    • When your instance is out of service, you must open a ticket to clear the overdue payment. After the overdue payment is cleared, you must relaunch the instance before the day T+30. Otherwise, the instance will be released automatically.
    • If the overdue payment fails to be cleared before the day T+30, the instance will be released and data cannot be recovered.
    Agreed quota On the day when the quota is exceeded
  • Example: The following flowchart shows the settlement cycle for a Pay-As-You-Go ECS instance. Assume that the due date is March 1.
    ECS_Pay-As-You-Go_SettlementCycle

Instructions of settlement

  • Settlement period: Fees are settled based on the actual active duration of the ECS resources.

    • For ECS instances: The actual active duration is the time during which the ECS instance runs properly, starting from when the ECS instance is activated to when it is released or expires. If the instance is out of service during the active duration due to overdue payment, billing stops until the payment is cleared.
    • For system disks and/or data disks: The actual active duration is the time during which disks run properly, starting from when the disks are activated to when they are released.
  • Release rules

    • If payment for an ECS instance is overdue, usage of Pay-As-You-Go cloud disks is restricted, and the cloud disks cannot process I/O read and write requests properly, affecting the normal running of the ECS instance. The impact includes but is not limited to reduced performance of application read/write, serious timeout of some operations, and power-off or restart failure for some operating system versions.
    • ECS instances configured with the automatic release time are automatically released at the specified time.
    • Notification of release: In the event of service expiration or overdue payment, the system will notify you by email.

FAQ

When Pay-As-You-Go ECS instances are out of service or stop running, will there be fees incurred?

No fees will be incurred after Pay-As-You-Go ECS instances are out of service, but fees are still charged for stopped ECS instances in accordance with billing rules. The Out of Service status means the Pay-As-You-Go ECS instance is automatically suspended because of service expiration or overdue payment. The Stopped status means you click Stop in the ECS console during the normal running of your Pay-As-You-Go ECS instance to shut down the instance. Pay-As-You-Go ECS instances that have been stopped will be out of service in the event of service expiration or overdue payment.

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