Auto Scaling is free of charge. However, you are charged for the resources or cloud services that are associated with Auto Scaling.

Overview of the resources and cloud services that are associated with Auto Scaling

The resources and cloud services that are associated with Auto Scaling include Elastic Compute Service (ECS), Elastic Container Instance, Server Load Balancer (SLB), ApsaraDB RDS, CloudMonitor, and Message Service (MNS).

ECS

  • Auto Scaling allows you to manually add subscription, pay-as-you-go, and preemptible ECS instances to scaling groups. Auto Scaling also automatically creates pay-as-you-go and preemptible ECS instances. For more information, see Overview.
  • The following table describes the billing methods for ECS instances and the billing rules for ECS resources when ECS instances are in different states. For more information, see Economical mode.
    Billing method Instance status Billing rule
    Subscription Running and Stopped You are charged for ECS resources such as images, cloud disks, public bandwidth, and snapshots based on the billing method of each resource.
    Pay-as-you-go (including preemptible instances) Running You are charged for ECS resources, such as images, cloud disks, public bandwidth, and snapshots based on the billing method of each resource.
    Stopped
    • If the Economical Mode feature is disabled, you are charged for ECS resources, such as images, cloud disks, public bandwidth, and snapshots based on the billing method of each resource.
    • If the Economical Mode feature is enabled, the following billing rules apply:
      • Images, cloud disks, and snapshots are retained, and you are charged for the retained resources.
      • If public IP addresses are allocated to ECS instances, you are not charged for the public bandwidth after the public IP addresses are released. If elastic IP addresses (EIPs) are allocated to ECS instances and the EIPs are still associated with the ECS instances after the Economical Mode feature is enabled for the instances, you are charged for the EIPs.

Elastic Container Instance

The elastic container instances that you use in Auto Scaling can be preemptible instances or pay-as-you-go instances. For more information, see Overview.

SLB, ApsaraDB RDS, CloudMonitor, and MNS

Auto Scaling does not automatically create SLB instances, ApsaraDB RDS instances, CloudMonitor resources, and MNS resources. However, you can associate Auto Scaling with these cloud resources. Before you associate Auto Scaling with cloud resources, you must prepare the resources in the SLB, ApsaraDB RDS, CloudMonitor, or MNS console or by calling API operations.

Billable items

The following table describes the billable items that are associated with Auto Scaling.
Associated service or resource Billing description References
ECS instances If Auto Scaling automatically creates ECS instances in scaling groups or you manually add ECS instances to scaling groups, you are charged for the following items:
  • Instance types
  • Images
  • Elastic Block Storage (EBS) devices
  • Public bandwidth
  • Snapshots
Elastic container instances If Auto Scaling automatically creates elastic container instances in scaling groups or you manually add elastic container instances to scaling groups, you are charged for the following items:
  • Elastic container instances
  • Image caches
  • Temporary storage space
Note You may need to use the network and storage services that are provided by Alibaba Cloud.
SLB instances Before you can associate an SLB instance with a scaling group, you must create the SLB instance in the SLB console. You are charged for the SLB instance. Pay-as-you-go
ApsaraDB RDS instances Before you can associate an ApsaraDB RDS instance with a scaling group, you must create the ApsaraDB RDS instance in the ApsaraDB RDS console. You are charged for the ApsaraDB RDS instance. Billable items, billing methods, and pricing

Expiration or overdue payment

If the associated resources or services expire or you have overdue payments in your Alibaba Cloud account, the status of the instances in your scaling group changes. The following table describes solutions to the issue of expired resources or services or overdue payments.

Note If instances in scaling groups in the China site (aliyun.com) or in the international site (alibabacloud.com) are stopped, Auto Scaling immediately removes the instances from the scaling groups or releases the instances. Make sure that you have sufficient balance in your Alibaba Cloud account to ensure service availability.
Associated service or resource Billing method Expiration or overdue payment Solution
ECS instances Subscription
  • Expiration: If your ECS instances expire and you do not renew your ECS instances at the earliest opportunity, your ECS instances enter the Expired state 15 days after the expiration. Auto Scaling immediately removes ECS instances that enter the Expired state. ECS instances that are removed from scaling groups cannot provide services. For more information, see Changes in resource states after a subscription instance expires.
  • Overdue payment: If you have overdue payments in your Alibaba Cloud account, you cannot purchase new ECS instances, upgrade instance configurations, or renew instances. Auto Scaling also cannot create ECS instances.
Note ECS instances that are billed on a mixed basis refer to subscription ECS instances that provide pay-as-you-go services. ECS instances that are billed on a mixed basis are stopped 15 days after the expiration. Auto Scaling immediately removes stopped ECS instances from scaling groups.
To ensure service availability, we recommend that you enable the auto-renewal feature. Before you enable the auto-renewal feature, make sure that your Alibaba Cloud account has sufficient balance. After you enable the auto-renewal feature, you can retain all resources.
ECS instances Pay-as-you-go
  • If you have an overdue payment in your Alibaba Cloud account, ECS instances are stopped 15 days after the payment is overdue. You are not charged for stopped ECS instances. Auto Scaling considers stopped ECS instances unhealthy.
  • If you have overdue payments in your Alibaba Cloud account, Auto Scaling cannot create ECS instances. Auto Scaling automatically removes or releases unhealthy ECS instances. For more information, see Overdue payments.
    • If ECS instances that are automatically created are stopped or ECS instances that are manually added to scaling groups and are managed by the scaling groups are stopped, Auto Scaling considers the ECS instances unhealthy and releases the unhealthy ECS instances.
    • If ECS instances that are manually added to scaling groups but are not managed by the scaling groups are stopped, Auto Scaling considers the ECS instances unhealthy and removes the ECS instances from the scaling groups.
    Note By default, Auto Scaling does not release pay-as-you-go ECS instances whose payments are overdue.
We recommend that you top up your Alibaba Cloud account and settle the outstanding bills at the earliest opportunity. This way, ECS instances can be recovered and provide services in scaling groups. For more information, see Start an instance.
Elastic container instances Pay-as-you-go If you have an overdue payment in your Alibaba Cloud account, Auto Scaling immediately releases elastic container instances in scaling groups. For more information, see Overview. We recommend that you top up your Alibaba Cloud account and settle the outstanding bills at the earliest opportunity.
SLB instances Subscription and pay-as-you-go SLB instances do not immediately stop providing services after they expire or are overdue. However, we recommend that you renew your SLB instances at the earliest opportunity to ensure service availability. For more information, see Overdue payments.
Note For pay-as-you-go instances, you need to only pay for the resources that you used based on the actual service time. To ensure that you have sufficient balance, top up your Alibaba Cloud account in the Alibaba Cloud Management Console.
ApsaraDB RDS instances Subscription and pay-as-you-go You can unlock or recreate an expired or overdue ApsaraDB RDS instance within the specified retention period. For more information, see Expired and overdue ApsaraDB RDS instances.

FAQ about the billing rules of Auto Scaling

The following section provides answers to some commonly asked questions about the billing rules of Auto Scaling.

Am I charged for using Auto Scaling?

No, you are not charged when you use Auto Scaling. You are not charged when you activate Auto Scaling or create scaling groups. However, you are charged for the resources of other Alibaba Cloud services that you use in Auto Scaling, such as ECS, Elastic Container Instance, SLB, and ApsaraDB RDS.

Why are ECS instances or elastic container instances that have overdue payments immediately released?

Auto Scaling provides the health check feature. If ECS instances or elastic container instances do not run as expected, Auto Scaling considers the instances unhealthy. In this case, Auto Scaling automatically removes and releases unhealthy ECS instances or elastic container instances. For more information, see Instance lifecycles.

If you have overdue payments in your Alibaba Cloud account, all pay-as-you-go and preemptible ECS instances or elastic container instances in scaling groups are stopped. Auto Scaling considers stopped instances unhealthy and releases the unhealthy instances.
Warning Make sure that you have sufficient balance in your Alibaba Cloud account. For information about the status changes of ECS instances or elastic container instances that have overdue payments, see Expiration or overdue payment.

Am I charged for ECS instances or elastic container instances in scaling groups that are in the Disabled state?

Yes, you are charged for ECS instances or elastic container instances in scaling groups that are in the Disabled state. Scaling groups are free of charge. If you disable a scaling group but the ECS instances or elastic container instances in the scaling group still exist, you are charged for the instances.