When a subscription Elastic Compute Service (ECS) instance expires, the instance stops providing services. To continue using the instance, you must renew it within the specified period. Otherwise, instance resources such as vCPUs, memory, and disks are released and their stored data is permanently lost. This topic describes the renewal feature of ECS instances.

Overview

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

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

The following table describes features related to the renewal of a subscription instance.
Feature Description References
Manual renewal Instances can be manually renewed in the ECS console at any time before the instances are automatically released. Manually renew an instance
Auto-renewal
  • After the auto-renewal feature is enabled for an instance, the instance is automatically renewed before it expires. You can enable this feature for instances to prevent them from being automatically released and reduce management costs.
  • If the auto-renewal feature is disabled for an instance, you can configure the instance not to be renewed. Then, when the instance expires, it is stopped and an expiration notification is sent to you only once. You can modify the renewal settings at any time before the instance is stopped.
Renewal and configuration downgrade If the configurations of your instance exceed your requirements, you can renew the instance and downgrade its configurations within 15 days before the instance expires or when the instance has expired and not been automatically released. Downgrade the configurations of an instance during renewal
You can use one of the following methods to renew a subscription instance during the different phases of the instance lifecycle. Renewal methods for instances on the International site (alibabacloud.com)
Note You can enable the auto-renewal feature for a subscription instance before the instance expires. Alibaba Cloud first attempts to deduct the instance renewal payment on the third day before the instance expires. If this deduction attempt fails, Alibaba Cloud attempts to deduct the payment again up to four times on the following days until all the allowed deduction attempts fail or until the payment is deducted: the day before the instance expires (T-1), the day when the instance expires (T), the seventh day after the instance expires (T+6), and the fifteenth day after the instance expires (T+14).
Applicable timeframe Renewal method Applicable scenario Result
Before the instance expires Manual renewal The instance is renewed and its configurations are not changed. The new billing cycle starts from the original expiration date.
Auto-renewal The instance is renewed and its configurations are not changed. The renewal operation is performed by the system based on your settings to ensure business availability.
Within 15 days before the instance expires Renewal and configuration downgrade The instance is renewed and its configurations are downgraded. For example, you can downgrade the instance type, modify the public bandwidth configurations, or change the billing method of data disks.
After the instance expires but before the instance is automatically released Renewal and configuration downgrade The instance is renewed and its configurations are downgraded. For example, you can modify the public bandwidth configurations or change the billing method of data disks. The new billing cycle starts from the renewal date.
Manual renewal The instance is renewed and its configurations are not changed. The new billing cycle starts from the renewal date.
Note If the auto-renewal feature is enabled for an instance, the instance remains in the Running state for 15 days after the instance expires. If you manually renew the instance during this period, the new billing cycle starts from the original expiration date.

Manual renewal

You can use the manual renewal method to postpone the expiration date of an instance but cannot modify the instance configurations. When you manually renew an instance, the base public bandwidth of the instance is renewed, whereas the temporarily upgraded public bandwidth is not.

You can manually renew an instance before it is automatically released. The following rules apply to the new billing cycle:
  • When you manually renew an instance that is in the Running state, the new billing cycle starts from the original expiration date.
  • When you manually renew an instance that has expired, the new billing cycle starts from the renewal date.
Note If the auto-renewal feature is enabled for an instance, the instance can continue to run for 15 days after it expires.
You can select one of the following renewal durations when you manually renew an instance:
  • One month, two months, three months, four months, five months, six months, seven months, eight months, and nine months
  • One year

Auto-renewal

When the auto-renewal feature is enabled for an instance, the renewal payment is automatically deducted based on the corresponding rules. Alibaba Cloud first attempts to deduct the amount of the payment from the coupons in your account. If the coupons in your account are insufficient to cover the payment, Alibaba Cloud deducts the remaining amount of the payment from your account balance.

Before an instance expires, you can enable auto-renewal on the instance buy, Instances, or Renew page. The following table describes the available renewal durations.
Method for enabling auto-renewal Available renewal duration
On the instance buy page The duration for which your instance is renewed by auto-renewal is determined by the original subscription duration of your instance. The auto-renewal duration cannot be changed on this page.
  • When you purchase an instance for a duration of one month, two months, three months, or six months, the auto-renewal duration is one month.
  • When you purchase an instance for one year, the auto-renewal duration is one year.
Note You can modify the auto-renewal duration on the Instances or Renew page.
On the Instances page You can set the renewal duration to one month or one year.
On the Renew page You can set the renewal duration to one month, two months, three months, six months, or one year.
When you enable the auto-renewal feature, take note of the following items:
  • The first auto-renewal date and billing cycle are calculated based on the expiration date of the instance.
  • You can select the auto-renewal duration for your instance. For example, if you select three months, ECS renews your instance for three months each time before it expires until you disable auto-renewal.
  • If you have manually renewed an instance before the renewal payment is deducted, the auto-renewal operation is performed during the current billing cycle.
  • If the renewal payment cannot be deducted, the system sends a notification to the email address that is bound to your account. Check your email and handle the messages in a timely manner to ensure that your business remains available.
After auto-renewal is enabled for an instance, the instance is automatically renewed before it expires. The following rules apply:
  • Alibaba Cloud sends an email reminder on the seventh day before the instance expires (T-7).
  • Alibaba Cloud first attempts to deduct the payment for the next billing cycle from your bank card, PayPal, or Paytm (India) account on the third day before the instance expires (T-3). If this deduction attempt fails, Alibaba Cloud attempts to deduct the payment again up to four times on the following days until all the allowed deduction attempts fail or until the payment is deducted: the day before the instance expires (T-1), the day when the instance expires (T), the seventh day after the instance expires (T+6), and the fifteenth day after the instance expires (T+14).
    • At 08:00:00 on a deduction day (UTC+8), Alibaba Cloud performs auto-renewal on all expired ECS instances in succession. This causes the actual renewal time to be in the range of 08:00:00 (UTC+8) to 18:00:00 (UTC+8).
    • If the payment can be deducted before the fifteenth day after the instance expires (T+14), the next billing cycle of the instance starts on the day when the instance expires.
    • If all five deduction attempts fail, the instance enters the Stopped state on the sixteenth day after the instance expires (T+15). After the instance enters the Stopped state, you cannot log on to or connect to the instance. In this case, you must manually renew the instance. If the instance is not manually renewed within 15 days after it enters the Stopped state, the instance is released and its data is permanently lost.
Assume that you purchased an instance at 10:00:00 on November 8, 2017. The instance has a subscription duration of one month and the auto-renewal feature was enabled for the instance. The instance was set to expire at 00:00:00 on December 9, 2017. The following figure shows the operations performed to automatically renew the instance for the first time. For information about state changes after subscription resources expire, see Subscription.

Renewal and configuration downgrade

You can renew an instance and downgrade its configurations during the following periods of time:
  • Within 15 days before the instance expires
  • After the instance expires but before the instance is automatically released
The following table describes the configurations that can be downgraded when you renew an instance.
Configuration Description
Instance type You can downgrade the instance type.
Note When you renew an instance that has expired and not been automatically released and downgrade the configurations of the instance, you cannot change the instance type.
Public bandwidth You can modify the public bandwidth configurations.
  • If the instance uses the pay-by-bandwidth billing method for network usage:
    • Downgrade the public bandwidth.
    • Change the billing method to pay-by-traffic and set a peak bandwidth.
  • If the instance uses the pay-by-traffic billing method for network usage:

    Modify the peak bandwidth.

Billing method of data disks You can change the billing method of data disks from subscription to pay-as-you-go.
You can select one of the following renewal durations when you renew an instance and downgrade its configurations:
  • One month, two months, three months, four months, five months, six months, seven months, eight months, and nine months
  • One year