The No Fees for Stopped Instances (VPC-Connected) feature allows some ECS resources to be recycled while retaining ECS instances, reducing upkeep costs. It does not stop billing for all resources.

Prerequisites

The No Fees for Stopped Instances (VPC-Connected) feature is applicable to ECS instances that meet the following requirements:

  • The network type of the instances is VPC.
  • The instances are pay-as-you-go instances.

    You can change the billing method of an instance from subscription to pay-as-you-go. For more information, see Switch the billing method from Subscription to Pay-As-You-Go.

  • The instance family is not bound with local disks.

    Instance families that are bound with local disks, such as d1, d1ne, i1, i2, i2g, ga1, and gn5, do not support No Fees for Stopped Instances (VPC-Connected). For more information, see the Local storage (GiB) column in Instance families.

The No Fees for Stopped Instances (VPC-Connected) feature is disabled by default. For information about how to enable this feature, see the Enable the No Fees for Stopped Instances (VPC-Connected) feature section.

Applicable resources

This feature recycles some resources while retaining ECS instances to reduce the overall costs.

  • The No Fees for Stopped Instances (VPC-Connected) feature is applicable to the following resources:
    • ECS instances (including vCPUs and memory)
    • Fixed public IP addresses and bandwidth
  • The No Fees for Stopped Instances (VPC-Connected) feature is not applicable to some ECS resources. The following list provides some examples of these resources:
    • System disks
    • Data disks attached to ECS instances
    • Elastic IP addresses (EIPs) and bandwidth
    • Images
    • Snapshots

Triggering conditions

After the No Fees for Stopped Instances (VPC-Connected) feature is enabled, it is triggered only when the instance is stopped by one of the following methods:

  • Operations in the ECS console. For more information, see Stop an instance.
  • API requests initiated by using Alibaba Cloud CLI or SDKs. For more information, see StopInstance.
  • Overdue payments.
Notice If you stop an ECS instance by running a command from within the operating system, the No Fees for Stopped Instances (VPC-Connected) feature is not triggered.

If an ECS instance is in the start period, the No Fees for Stopped Instances (VPC-Connected) feature cannot be triggered. The start period is the time it takes for a new instance that is started for the first time to enter the Running state from the Stopped state. For more information, see ECS instance lifecycle.

Impacts

After the No Fees for Stopped Instances (VPC-Connected) feature is triggered for an ECS instance, the ECS instance (including vCPUs and memory) and its fixed public IP address are recycled. These resources no longer incur fees. However, the following risks exist:

  • The resources that are stopped are recycled. The instance may fail to restart due to insufficient resources. In this case, you can try again later or switch to another instance type. For more information, see Change configurations of Pay-As-You-Go instances.
    Note We recommend that you start the instance in advance to avoid service interruptions due to insufficient resources.
  • Because the fixed public IP address has been recycled, the public IP address may change after the instance is restarted. However, the private IP address remains unchanged.
    Note If your application depends on a specific public IP address, we recommend that you disable the No Fees for Stopped Instances (VPC-Connected) feature or convert the fixed public IP address to an EIP. For more information, see Disable the No Fees for Stopped Instances (VPC-Connected) feature or Convert an ECS public IP address in a VPC to an Elastic IP Address.
  • For burstable instances, the current CPU credit balance is cleared and the instances stop earning CPU credits. After you restart the burstable instances, they begin to earn CPU credits again. For more information about CPU credits of burstable instances, see Earn CPU credits.
In some cases, you may need to restart your instances multiple times in a short amount of time. We recommend that you disable the No Fees for Stopped Instances (VPC-Connected) feature to ensure that the instances can be started and run normally. The scenarios are as follows:
For an instance that is stopped due to an overdue payment, if you clear the overdue payment within the specified time and reactivate the ECS instance, whether the fixed public IP address is retained based on the status of the No Fees for Stopped Instances (VPC-Connected) feature:
  • When the feature is enabled: After the instance is stopped due to an overdue payment, it enters the No Fees for Stopped Instances state. Its vCPUs, memory, and fixed public IP address are automatically released and the fixed public IP address may change after the instance is reactivated.
  • When the feature is disabled: After the instance is stopped due to an overdue payment, the billing of the instance is stopped. But the fixed public IP address is retained and remains unchanged after the instance is reactivated.
Note ECS instances do not remain in the Stopped state after your account has an overdue payment. For more information, see Pay-as-you-go.

Enable the No Fees for Stopped Instances (VPC-Connected) feature

The No Fees for Stopped Instances (VPC-Connected) feature is disabled by default to avoid unexpected impacts on your applications. Enable the No Fees for Stopped Instances (VPC-Connected) feature after you make sure that it is suitable for your applications. For more information, see Impacts.

The following operations describe how to enable the No Fees for Stopped Instances (VPC-Connected) feature for all applicable instances under your account and the instances will enter the No Fees for Stopped Instances state after they are stopped. For more information, see Prerequisites.

  1. Log on to the ECS console.
  2. In the Common Settings section of the Overview page, click Custom Settings.
    No Fees for Stopped Instances (VPC-Connected)
  3. Turn on No Fees for Stopped Instances (VPC-Connected).
  4. In the message that appears, read the note and click OK.
  5. In the Custom Settings dialog box, click OK.

Disable the No Fees for Stopped Instances (VPC-Connected) feature

The following operations describe how to disable the No Fees for Stopped Instances (VPC-Connected) feature for all applicable instances under your account and the instances will not enter the No Fees for Stopped Instances state after they are stopped.

If an ECS instance is in the No Fees for Stopped Instances state, its vCPUs, memory, and fixed public IP address are already recycled. Therefore, after the No Fees for Stopped Instances (VPC-Connected) feature is disabled, no fees are charged for the vCPUs and memory until these resources are reassigned after the instance is restarted. The status of the IP address is subject to the type of the IP address.
  • If the instance uses a fixed public IP address before it is stopped, a new public IP address is assigned to the instance.
  • If the ECS instance is associated with an EIP before it is stopped, the EIP remains unchanged.
  1. Log on to the ECS console.
  2. In the Common Settings section of the Overview page, click Custom Settings.
    No Fees for Stopped Instances (VPC-Connected)
  3. Turn off No Fees for Stopped Instances (VPC-Connected).
  4. In the message that appears, read the note and click OK.
  5. In the Custom Settings dialog box, click OK.

Configure a single instance to stop incurring fees after it is stopped

Regardless of whether the No Fees for Stopped Instances (VPC-Connected) feature is enabled, you can still configure the Stop mode when you stop a single instance. For more information, see Stop an instance.

  • If you select Retain Instance and Continue Charging After Instance Is Stopped, the instance enters the Keep Stopped Instances and Continue Billing state.
  • If you select No Charges After Instance Is Stopped, the instance enters the No Fees for Stopped Instances state.
No Charges After Instance Is Stopped

Reference

You can also use the scheduled startup and shutdown feature of Operation Orchestration Service (OOS) to automatically manage the startup and shutdown time of multiple ECS instances. You can combine this feature with the No Fees for Stopped Instances (VPC-Connected) feature to reduce costs. For more information, see Scheduled startup and shutdown.