This topic describes the billing methods and billing rules of Elastic Compute Service (ECS) snapshots, and how to manage overdue payments. This topic also provides examples of how to calculate a snapshot fee.

Billable items

A snapshot is a backup file that captures the point-in-time status of disks. Snapshots are used for disaster recovery and environment cloning. The following table describes the billable items of snapshots.
Billable item Description Billing method
Snapshot Snapshots have disaster recovery capabilities and are stored in Object Storage Service (OSS) buckets that are in the same region as the snapshots. It takes an extended period of time to create a snapshot. Pay-as-you-go

The pay-as-you-go bills of snapshots can be offset by storage capacity units (SCUs).

Snapshot replication When a snapshot is copied from one region to another, a copy of the snapshot is created in the destination region. Pay-as-you-go
Instant access After a snapshot is created, it becomes available for use within seconds. This feature is applicable only to enhanced SSDs (ESSDs). Pay-as-you-go

You are charged for the instant access feature on a pay-as-you-go basis. The billing is based on the number of times that the feature is enabled and the snapshot size. For more information, see the Billing rules section in this topic.

Billing methods

You are charged based on the size and storage duration of snapshots. By default, the pay-as-you-go billing method is used. To reduce costs, you can use SCUs to offset the bills of snapshots. You are charged for a snapshot from the time when it is created to the time when it is released.
Billing method Description References
Pay-as-you-go A billing method that allows you to pay for a resource after you use the resource. The snapshot fee is calculated based on the billing cycle of an hour. A bill is generated at the end of each billing cycle, and the fee is deducted from your account. Pay-as-you-go
SCU A subscription resource plan that can be used to offset the bills of multiple pay-as-you-go storage resources, such as disks, OSS buckets, Apsara File Storage NAS file systems, and snapshots. After you purchase an SCU, the SCU is automatically used to offset the subsequent bills generated for pay-as-you-go snapshots. Storage capacity units

Billing rules

Billable item Billing rule
Storage fee for snapshots

Snapshots are billed every hour based on the storage capacity occupied by the snapshots.

Snapshot fee = Snapshot unit price × Snapshot size × Billing duration, where:

  • Snapshot unit price: The monthly price of the snapshot. The hourly price of snapshots can be derived from the monthly price in GiB-month. Unit: GiB-month.
  • Snapshot size: The total size of the snapshot. Unit: GiB. You have a free storage quota of 5 GiB each month.

    The first snapshot of a disk is a full snapshot. Subsequent snapshots of the disk are incremental snapshots. Each incremental snapshot consists of the data changes since the previous snapshot. For more information, see Incremental snapshots.

  • Billing duration: The duration of storage.

    You are charged for a snapshot from the time when it is created to the time when it is released. If the usage duration is less than 1 hour, the billing duration is rounded up to 1 hour. Unit: hours.

Service fee for snapshot replication Service fee for snapshot replication = Service unit price for snapshot replication × Snapshot size
Notice For information about the storage fees of snapshot copies, see the "Storage fee for snapshots" item in this table.
Service fee for instant access

Service fee for instant access include the feature usage fee and the storage fee of snapshots.

  • The feature usage fee is billed based on the number of times that the feature is enabled.
  • Snapshot storage fee = Storage unit price for instant access × Snapshot size × Billing duration, where:
    • Snapshot unit price: The monthly price of the snapshot. The price per second of snapshots can be derived from the monthly price in GiB-month. Unit: GiB-month.
    • Snapshot size: The total size of the snapshot. Unit: GiB.
    • Billing duration: You are charged from the time when the instant access feature is enabled to the time when the feature is disabled. Unit: seconds.
Notice After instant access is disabled, you are still charged storage fees for snapshots. For more information, see the "Storage fee for snapshots" item in this table.

For information about the prices of snapshots, snapshot copies, and instant access, see the snapshot price list. To view snapshot prices in different regions, go to the Elastic Compute Service page and click the Pricing tab. Then, select a region and click the Snapshot tab.

Examples of calculating snapshot fees

Note The following examples are for reference only. To check your actual snapshot bills, go to the Billing Management console.

Example 1: Assumed that you have three disks in the China (Hangzhou) region within your account. You created a snapshot for each disk at 10:20:00. The snapshots are 50 GiB, 220 GiB, and 40 GiB in size. The following section describes how fees of the snapshots are calculated if you do not delete these snapshots on the same day you create them:

  • Billing conditions
    • Snapshot size: 50 GiB + 220 GiB + 40 GiB = 310 GiB.

      If you have not used the 5 GiB free storage quota of this month, the billed snapshot size is 305 GiB.

    • Snapshot unit price: Assume that the pay-as-you-go price for snapshots in the China (Hangzhou) region is USD 0.0200 per GiB-month, which is equivalent to USD 0.0000277778 per GiB-hour.
    • Billing duration: The period from 10:20:00 to 11:00:00 is calculated as 1 hour. A total of 13 hours is calculated until 23:00 when a bill is generated.
  • Billing calculation
    Snapshot fee = Snapshot unit price × Snapshot size × Billing duration. 305 GiB × USD 0.0000277778 per GiB-hour × 13 = USD 0.008472.
    • The actual payable amount shown on the billing page is USD 0.008.
    • The generated bill shows the amount of USD 0.0085.
Example 2: Assumed that you have one disk in the China (Hangzhou) region within your account. Three snapshots (Snapshot A, B, and C) are created for the disk during 16:00:00 to 17:00:00. Snapshot A is a full snapshot of 100 GiB in size, Snapshot B is an incremental snapshot of 40 GiB in size, and Snapshot C is an incremental snapshot of 40 GiB in size. You delete Snapshot B at 16:30 so that the size of Snapshot C becomes 80 GiB. The following section describes how fees of the snapshots are calculated for 16:00:00 to 17:00:00:
  • Billing conditions
    • Snapshot unit price: Assume that the pay-as-you-go price for snapshots in the China (Hangzhou) region is USD 0.0200 per GiB-month, which is equivalent to USD 0.0000277778 per GiB-hour.
    • Snapshot size and billing duration:
      • Snapshot A: The size is 100 GiB and the billing duration is 1 hour.
      • Snapshot B: The size is 40 GiB. The usage duration is 0.5 hour, but the billing duration is 1 hour because a usage duration of less than 1 hour is rounded up to 1 hour.
      • Snapshot C (Before Snapshot B is deleted): The size is 40 GiB. The usage duration is 0.5 hour, but the billing duration is 1 hour because a usage duration of less than 1 hour is rounded up to 1 hour.
      • Snapshot C (After Snapshot B is deleted): The size is 80 GiB. The usage duration is 0.5 hour, but the billing duration is 1 hour because a usage duration of less than 1 hour is rounded up to 1 hour.
  • Billing calculation
    • Snapshot A fee = Snapshot unit price × Snapshot size × Billing duration. 100 GiB × USD 0.0000277778 per GiB-hour × 1 = USD 0.00278.
    • Snapshot B fee = Snapshot unit price × Snapshot size × Billing duration. 40 GiB × USD 0.0000277778 per GiB-hour × 1 = USD 0.00111.
    • Snapshot C fee (Before Snapshot B is deleted) = Snapshot unit price × Snapshot size × Billing duration. 40 GiB × USD 0.0000277778 per GiB-hour × 1 = USD 0.00111.
    • Snapshot C fee (After Snapshot B is deleted) = Snapshot unit price × Snapshot size × Billing duration. 80 GiB × USD 0.0000277778 per GiB-hour × 1 = USD 0.00222.
    • Total fees = Snapshot A fee + Snapshot B fee + Snapshot C fee (Before Snapshot B is deleted) + Snapshot C fee (After Snapshot B is deleted). USD 0.00278 + USD 0.00111+ USD 0.00111 + USD 0.00222 = USD 0.00722.
    • The actual payable amount shown on the billing page is USD 0.007.
    • The generated bill shows the amount of USD 0.0072.

Overdue payments

  • From the first day to the 15th day after your Alibaba Cloud account has an overdue payment (from the time at which the payment becomes overdue to the same time of the 15th day), Alibaba Cloud pauses your snapshot service but retains the snapshot data. However, you continue to be charged for existing snapshots.
  • If you do not add funds to your account to pay for owed service fees and complete the overdue payment within the 15 days, Alibaba Cloud deletes the snapshot data.
  • If your account balance in the current billing cycle is less than the payable amount of the previous billing cycle, the system sends notifications by using messages or emails. The snapshot service is paused 24 hours after payments become overdue within your account.
The following section describes whether snapshots are retained from the day when the payment becomes overdue:
  • Within 15 days, snapshots are managed by following predefined retention period rules. Snapshots that exceed the retention periods are deleted, and other snapshots are retained.
  • After 15 days, all snapshots are deleted except for those that have been used to create disks or custom images. In addition, all automatic snapshot policies are deleted.

References