This topic describes how you are billed for ECS images and provides examples on how to calculate image fees.

Overview

You may be charged for using Elastic Compute Service (ECS) images. The following table describes the billing information for different types of images.
TypeBilling rule
Public imagePublic images are provided by Alibaba Cloud. The following public images are offered at different prices:
  • Windows Server: Prices vary based on instance types. The prices are displayed when you create instances in the ECS console.
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux: Prices vary based on instance types.
    • Instances that have one to four vCPUs: USD 0.063/hour (pay-as-you-go), USD 43.00/month (monthly subscription), USD 501.00/year (yearly subscription).
    • Instances that have at least five vCPUs: USD 0.014/hour (pay-as-you-go), USD 95.00/month (monthly subscription), USD 1,099.00/year (yearly subscription).
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server: Prices vary based on instance types.
    • Instances that have one or two vCPUs: USD 0.064/hour (pay-as-you-go), USD 24.46/month (monthly subscription), USD 235.23/year (yearly subscription).
    • Instances that have three or four vCPUs: USD 0.127/hour (pay-as-you-go), USD 50.15/month (monthly subscription), USD 471.54/year (yearly subscription).
    • Instances that have at least five vCPUs: USD 0.152/hour (pay-as-you-go), USD 58.62/month (monthly subscription), USD 564.60/year (yearly subscription).
  • Other public images are free of charge.
Custom image
Custom images are created from instances or snapshots or imported from your computer. Billing for custom images consists of two parts:
  • Snapshot fee
    • Snapshots are automatically generated when you create a custom image. Snapshots are billed based on their size and storage duration.
    • Snapshots are generated in the destination region when you copy an image. Snapshots are billed based on their size and storage duration.

    For more information, see Snapshots.

  • Image fee
    • Image fee: If you use a custom image derived from a paid image, you are charged an image fee. For example, if you create a custom image from an instance that uses a paid image and then you create an instance from the custom image, you are charged for the custom image in addition to the snapshots.
      Note If the custom image is an imported custom image that runs a Windows operating system, you are charged an image fee based on the license type of the operating system. If the license type is Aliyun or Auto, you are charged for the custom image. If the license type is Bring Your Own License (BYOL), you are not charged for the custom image. For more information about license types, see the "What types of licenses can I use when I import custom images?" section in Image FAQ.
    • When you export a custom image, you are charged for OSS storage and the traffic generated for image download. For more information, see Billing overview.
Shared image

Shared images are shared with you by other Alibaba Cloud accounts. If you use a shared image that is derived from a paid image, you are charged an image fee for the shared image.

For example, if an Alibaba Cloud account shares with you a paid image and you use that image to create an instance, you are charged an image fee for the shared image.

Alibaba Cloud Marketplace imageAlibaba Cloud Marketplace images are provided by independent software vendors (ISVs). The prices are displayed on the product pages of Alibaba Cloud Marketplace images.
Community imageCommunity images are free of charge.

Billing methods

You must select an image when you create an ECS instance. The image has the same billing method and billing cycle as the instance. The following table describes the billing methods.
Billing methodBilling rule
Subscription: You must pay for an image before you can use it.Image fee
  • Unit price of the image: The unit prices are displayed when you use the image to create an instance.
  • Subscription duration: The hourly price is calculated based on the actual duration. The default subscription duration is 30 days.
Pay-as-you-go: This billing method allows you to use resources and pay for them later. Fees are automatically deducted from the balance of your Alibaba Cloud account.Images
  • Unit price of the image: The unit prices are displayed when you use the image to create an instance.
  • Billing duration: The billing cycle is accurate to the second.
Note Images can be used only with ECS instances. Reserved Windows instances include public images at no additional cost and can offset public image charges.

Examples

The following table provides examples on how to calculate image fees. Assume that you purchase an instance with 2 vCPUs in the China (Hangzhou) region and that the image of the instance uses the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.1 64-bit operating system.
Note The prices in the following table are for reference only. The actual prices on the Pricing tab of the Elastic Compute Service product page shall prevail.
Billing methodBilling itemFee (USD)
Subscription
  • Unit price of the image (1 vCPU to 4 vCPUs): USD 43.00 /month
  • Subscription duration: one month
Price = Unit price of the image × Subscription duration = 43.00 × 1 = 43.00
Pay-as-you-go
  • Unit price of the image (1 vCPU to 4 vCPUs): USD 0.063 /hour
  • Billing duration: one month
Price = Unit price of the image × Billing duration = 0.063 × (24 × 30) = 45.36

Reference

For more information about image billing, see the "FAQ about the commercial availability of images" section in Image FAQ.