Elastic Compute Service (ECS) instance metadata contains the information of ECS instances in Alibaba Cloud. You can view the metadata of running instances and configure or manage the instances based on their metadata.
Instance metadata types
The following table describes the types of instance metadata. For more information about the instance metadata items and their definitions, see Instance metadata items.
The basic metadata of an instance includes the following information:
The dynamic metadata of an instance includes only the identifier of the instance.
Each instance identifier consists of an instance identity document and an instance identity signature. Instance identifiers are generated in real time and are typically used to identify instances. This can provide an important trust foundation for application permission control and software activation. You can view the identifier of an instance based on the metadata of the instance.
You can also use the user data of instances to manage startups of the instances in a flexible manner. For more information, see Overview of ECS instance user data.
The instance metadata feature is supported only for instances that reside in virtual private clouds (VPCs).