When a subscription instance expires, the services it provides may be affected. To continue using the instance, you must renew it within the designated period. Otherwise, instance resources such as vCPUs, memory, and disks are released and their stored data is lost permanently. This topic describes the renewal feature of ECS instances.

Overview

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

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

You cannot cancel a renewal order for a subscription instance after the payment is made. The following section describes features related to instance renewal:
  • Manual renewal: You can manually renew the instance in the ECS console at any time 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 to reduce management costs and prevent instances from being automatically released. For more information, see Enable auto-renewal.
  • Renewal and configuration downgrade: If current configurations of the ECS instance exceed your requirements, you can downgrade instance configurations when you renew the instance to minimize costs. New configurations take effect starting from the next billing cycle. For more information, see Downgrade the configurations of an instance during renewal.
  • Non-renewal: You can choose not to renew an instance upon expiration. In this case, the instance is stopped upon expiration and you will receive an expiration notification only once. You can modify the renewal settings at any time before the instance is stopped.
The following table lists the differences among three renewal methods.
Renewal method Configuration change Renewal time
Manual renewal Not supported. Before the ECS instance is automatically released.
Auto-renewal Not supported. From the third day before the instance expires.
If automatic payment deduction fails on the first attempt, Alibaba Cloud will continue attempting to deduct the payment until either the deduction is successful or the instance expires. Alibaba Cloud will attempt to renew the instance on the following days:
  • The day before expiration
  • The expiration day
  • The seventh day and fifteenth day after expiration
Renewal and configuration downgrade Supported.
  • Within the 15 days before the ECS instance expires.
  • After the 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 are able to renew the instance and downgrade the instance configurations from April 16, 2019 to April 30, 2019. If you fail to renew the instance during this period, the instance enters the Expired and Being Recycled state upon expiration. You are still able to renew the instance and downgrade the instance configurations from May 1, 2019 to May 15, 2019. If you do not renew the instance during this period, it is automatically released on May 16, 2019.

Manual renewal

When you manually renew an instance, only the base public bandwidth of the instance is renewed. The temporarily upgraded public bandwidth is not renewed. For information about how to upgrade the base public bandwidth, see Upgrade configurations of subscription instances.

You can select one of the following renewal periods 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
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 on instances in different states:
Auto-renewal Time period after expiration Instance state Effect of manual renewal
Disabled Within the 15 days after expiration The instance is stopped. After the instance is manually renewed, its next billing cycle starts from the day that the instance is renewed.

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

15-29 days after expiration The instance and its resources are released or unbound. Manual renewal cannot be performed.
30 days after expiration The instance and its resources were released or unbound. Manual renewal cannot be performed.
Enabled Within the 15 days after expiration The instance works properly. After the instance is manually renewed, its next billing cycle starts from the day that it expired.

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

15-29 days after expiration The instance is stopped. After the instance is manually renewed, its next billing cycle starts from the day that the instance is renewed.

For example, if your instance was stopped at 00:00:00 on May 10, 2017 but you renewed it for one month at 08:09:35 on May 23, 2017, the new billing cycle of the instance 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 released or unbound. Manual renewal cannot be performed.

Auto-renewal

You can enable auto-renewal on the Create Instance, Instances, or Renew page. Auto-renewal cannot be enabled for subscription ECS instances that are expired. A subscription instance will be automatically renewed for a specific period of time if auto-renewal is enabled for the instance on one of the following pages:
  • When you enable auto-renewal on the Create Instance page:
    • If the instance subscription period is one month, two months, three months, or six months, ECS automatically renews the instance for one month whenever the subscription ends until you disable auto-renewal.
    • If the instance subscription period is one year, ECS automatically renews the instance for one year whenever the subscription ends until you disable auto-renewal.
  • When you enable auto-renewal for existing instances on the Instances page, you can set the auto-renewal period to one month or one year. You can also modify the auto-renewal period for an existing instance on the Instances page.
  • When you enable auto-renewal for existing instances on the Renew page, you can set the auto-renewal period to one month, two months, three months, six months, or one year. You can also modify the auto-renewal period for an existing ECS instance on the Renew page.

When the subscription period ends, ECS will renew the instance for the period that you selected until you disable auto-renewal. For example, if you select three months, ECS will renew the instance for three months each time before it expires until you disable auto-renewal.

After auto-renewal is enabled, the instance will be automatically renewed before it expires.
  • Alibaba Cloud sends an email reminder on the seventh 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 third day before the instance expires (T-3). If the payment deduction fails, Alibaba Cloud will continue attempting to deduct the payment again up to four times on the following days until the deduction succeeds: the day before the instance expires (T-1), the day that the instance expires (T), the seventh day after the instance expires (T+6), and the fifteenth day after the instance expires (T+14).
    • Starting from 08:00:00 (UTC+8) on the deduction day, Alibaba Cloud performs auto-renewal in succession on all ECS instances that are set to expire. This means that the actual renewal time can be anytime between 08:00:00 (UTC+8) and 18:00:00 (UTC+8).
    • If the payment is deducted before T+14, the next billing cycle of the instance starts on the day the instance is expired.
    • If the instance fails to be renewed during the five preceding deduction attempts, the instance will enter the Stopped state on 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 the 15 days after it enters the Stopped state, the instance is released and its data is lost permanently.
    • If the auto-renewal payment deduction fails, Alibaba Cloud will send you an email reminder. To avoid instances from being unexpectedly stopped, check whether you have received a reminder.
    • If you have completed manual renewal before the auto-renewal payment deduction is made, auto-renewal will not be performed for the current billing cycle.
Assume that you purchased an instance at 10:00:00 on November 8, 2017, with a subscription period of one month and auto-renewal enabled. The instance is set to expire at 00:00:00 on December 9, 2017. The following figure shows the actions performed in the first auto-renewal round. For information about status changes that occur after subscription resources expire, see Subscription.

Renewal and configuration downgrade

You can use the renewal and configuration downgrade feature to complete the following tasks:
  • Downgrade the instance type of a subscription instance.
    Note If you perform the renewal and configuration downgrade operation after the instance expires but before the instance is automatically released, the instance type cannot be changed.
  • Change the billing method of data disks from subscription to pay-as-you-go.
  • Change the billing method for network usage.
  • Adjust the public bandwidth.
You can select one of the following renewal periods 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
When you use the renewal and configuration downgrade feature, take note of the following items:
  • After the instance is renewed and its configurations are downgraded, the new configurations will take effect starting from the next billing cycle. Current configurations continue until the end of the current billing cycle.
  • If you perform the following operations when you renew an instance and downgrade its configurations, you must restart the instance within the first seven days of the next billing cycle for the new configurations to take effect. If you restart the instance on the seventh day of the new billing cycle, the instance will use the configurations before the downgrade for the first six days.
    Notice To restart an ECS instance, you must use the ECS console or call the RebootInstance operation. You cannot restart an instance from within the operating system.
    • Change the instance type.
    • Change the public bandwidth value of a classic network-type instance from 0 Mbit/s to a non-zero value for the first time.
  • After you renew an instance and downgrade its configurations, you cannot perform the following operations within the remainder of the current billing cycle: