A snapshot is a backup file that captures the state of a disk at a point in time. Snapshots can be used to restore disk data to the points in time when the snapshots were created. This topic describes the billing methods and billing rules of snapshots and the impacts of overdue payments in Elastic Compute Service (ECS). This topic also provides examples on how to calculate snapshot fees.

Scenarios

Scenario in which snapshots are created

Billing rule Description
Billing formula Snapshots are not stored on disks and do not consume disk space. You are charged region-specific snapshot storage fees based on the size of the snapshots that are stored in each region. Snapshot storage fee

Billing example: If you have 100 GB of snapshots in the China (Hangzhou) region and the unit price for snapshot storage is USD 0.0173 per GB-month, you are charged USD 0.002403 per hour and USD 0.057667 per day for storage of the snapshots.

Formula: (USD 0.0173 per GB-month × 100 GB × 1 month)/30 days/24 hours ≈ USD 0.002403 per hour.

Note
  • Unit price for snapshot storage: For information about the region-specific unit prices for snapshot storage, visit the Elastic Compute Service product page.
  • Snapshot size: the total size of snapshots. Unit: GB. The size of snapshots may be greater than or less than the actual amount of data. For information about how to check the snapshot size, see View the snapshot size.
  • Billing duration: The billing duration of a snapshot starts when the snapshot is created and ends when the snapshot is deleted. For more information about how to delete snapshots, see Delete a snapshot. Billing durations of snapshots are measured in hours with a 1-hour minimum.
Billing method
  • The default billing method is pay-as-you-go. This billing method allows you to use resources and pay for them afterwards. Fees are automatically deducted from the balance of your Alibaba Cloud account.
    • You are billed every hour.
    • Snapshot storage fees are automatically deducted every hour or every 24 hours.
  • You can also purchase resource plans.For more information, see Storage capacity units.

    After you purchase resource plans, the plans are automatically applied to offset your snapshot storage fees on an hourly basis. You are billed for the excess snapshot storage on a pay-as-you-go basis every hour.

Scenario in which snapshots are copied

Billing rule Description
Billing formula When you copy snapshots, you are charged snapshot storage fees and data transfer fees for snapshot replication. Fees associated with snapshot replication
  • Data transfer unit price for snapshot replication: For information about the region-specific data transfer unit prices for snapshot replication, visit the Elastic Compute Service product page.
  • Snapshot size: the total size of snapshots. Unit: GB. For information about how to check the snapshot size, see How do I view snapshot sizes? .
Important After you copy a snapshot from one region to another, you are charged storage fees for the snapshot copy in the destination region.
Billing or settlement cycle You are charged and billed every hour.
Billing method Pay-as-you-go. This billing method allows you to use resources and pay for them afterwards. Fees are automatically deducted from the balance of your Alibaba Cloud account.
Billing example

Assume that you copied a 100-GB snapshot from the China (Hangzhou) region to the China (Qingdao) region and retained the snapshot copy in the China (Qingdao) region for one month. During this period, you did not enable instant access for the snapshot. The data transfer unit price for snapshot replication from the China (Hangzhou) region to the China (Qingdao) region is USD 0.118 per GB. The unit price for snapshot storage in the China (Hangzhou) region is USD 0.0173 per GB-month.

  • Data transfer fee for snapshot replication: Data transfer unit price × Snapshot size = USD 0.118 per GB × 100 GB = USD 11.8
  • Storage fee for the snapshot copy: Unit price for snapshot storage × Snapshot size × Billing duration = USD 0.0173 per GB-month × 100 GB × 1 month = USD 1.73
  • Total: Data transfer fee for snapshot replication + Storage fee for the snapshot copy = USD 11.8 + USD 1.73 = USD 13.53
Note The preceding prices are for reference only. The prices displayed on the Pricing tab of the ECS product page prevail.

Scenario in which instant access is used

Billing rule Description
Billing formula After you enable the instant access feature, you are charged storage fees for normal snapshots and instant access snapshots and fees for the instant access feature. Fees for instant access
  • Storage unit price for instant access snapshots: For information about the region-specific storage unit prices for instant access snapshots, visit the Elastic Compute Service product page.
  • Snapshot size: the total size of snapshots. Unit: GB. For information about how to check the snapshot size, see How do I view snapshot sizes? .
  • Billing duration: The billing duration starts when the instant access feature is enabled and ends when the feature is disabled. Unit: seconds.
Billing or settlement cycle You are charged in one-second increments and billed every hour.
Billing method Pay-as-you-go. This billing method allows you to use resources and pay for them afterwards. Fees are automatically deducted from the balance of your Alibaba Cloud account.
Billing example
Assume that during the period of 14:00:00 to 15:00:00, you created and retained a full snapshot for a 100-GB ESSD, enabled the instant access feature, and then used the feature for the whole hour in the China (Hangzhou) region.
  • Unit price for normal snapshot storage: USD 0.0173 per GB-month. By default, one month is equal to 30 days. Divide this monthly price by 30 and then by 24 to obtain an hourly price of USD 0.000024028 per GB-hour.
  • Price for the instant access feature: USD 0.1415 per time that instant access is enabled.
  • Unit price for instant access snapshot storage: USD 0.153 per GB-month. By default, one month is equal to 30 days. Divide this monthly price by 30 and then by 24 to obtain an hourly price of USD 0.0002125 per GB-hour.
Snapshot fees for the period of 14:00:00 to 15:00:00:
  • Instant access fee: Fee for the instant access feature + Storage fee for the instant access snapshot = USD 0.1415 × 1 + USD 0.0002125 per GB-hour × 100 GB × 1 hour = USD 0.16275
  • Normal snapshot storage fee: Unit price for normal snapshot storage × Snapshot size × Billing duration = USD 0.000024028 per GB-hour × 100 GB × 1 hour = USD 0.0024028
  • Total: Instant access fee + Normal snapshot storage fee = USD 0.1651528
Note The preceding prices are for reference only. The prices displayed on the Pricing tab of the ECS product page prevail.

Impacts of overdue payments

If your Alibaba Cloud account has overdue payments, your snapshot service is affected, as shown in the following figure. Impacts of overdue payments
  • Within 15 days after a payment becomes overdue in your Alibaba Cloud account: If a payment becomes overdue in your Alibaba Cloud account, Alibaba Cloud suspends your snapshot service within 15 days immediately after the payment is overdue. For example, if a payment becomes overdue in your account at 12:00:00 on January 1, 2022, your snapshot service is suspended from 12:00:00 on January 1, 2022 to 12:00:00 on January 16, 2022.
  • Suspended snapshot service: After your snapshot service is suspended, you can no longer create snapshots or use snapshots to roll back disks. However, your snapshot data is retained and you continue to be charged for existing snapshots.

Snapshot cost optimization

  • You can use various methods to reduce snapshot costs. For example, you can maintain an appropriate number of snapshots, delete snapshots that are no longer needed, or disable unnecessary automatic snapshot policies. For more information, see Reduce snapshot fees.
  • We recommend that you purchase storage capacity units (SCUs) to offset snapshot storage fees. For more information about SCUs, see Storage capacity units.

Stop snapshot billing

If you no longer need snapshots, you can delete them to prevent further charges.

  1. Delete all snapshots, including automatic snapshots, manual snapshots, and snapshot copies. For more information, see Delete a snapshot.
  2. After existing snapshots are deleted, check if any automatic snapshot policies are being applied. If yes, delete the policies to ensure that no snapshots are created automatically. For more information, see Delete an automatic snapshot policy.

FAQ about snapshot billing

For more information, see Snapshot FAQ.

References