When a subscription Elastic Compute Service (ECS) instance expires, the instance stops providing services. To continue to use the instance, you must renew it within the specified period. Otherwise, instance resources such as vCPUs, memory, and disks are released and their stored data is permanently lost. This topic describes the renewal feature of ECS instances.

Overview

The renewal feature can be applicable only to subscription instances. Pay-as-you-go instances do not need to be renewed, but you must make sure that you have sufficient balance in your linked bank card, PayPal, or Paytm (India) account to cover the related costs.

If you renew an instance before it expires, the instance continues to work normally and all its resources are retained. For information about the state of a subscription instance after it expires, see Subscription.

The following table describes the features related to the renewal of a subscription instance.
Note Renewal durations are in the unit of calendar years or months.
Feature Description References
Manual renewal Instances can be manually renewed in the ECS console anytime before they are automatically released. Manually renew an instance
Auto-renewal
  • When the auto-renewal feature is enabled for an instance, the instance is automatically renewed before it expires. You can enable this feature for instances to prevent them from being automatically released and reduce management costs.
  • If the auto-renewal feature is disabled for an instance, you can configure the instance not to be renewed. Then, when the instance expires, it is stopped and an expiration notification is sent to you only once. You can modify the renewal settings anytime before the instance is stopped.
Renewal and configuration downgrade If the configurations of your instance exceed your requirements, you can renew the instance and downgrade its configurations within 15 days before the instance expires or when the instance has expired but not been automatically released. Downgrade the configurations of an instance during renewal
Synchronization of expiration dates If you have multiple subscription instances that expire on different dates, the instances must be managed separately, incur additional management costs, and are more likely to be released due to late renewal. To simplify and consolidate management of these subscription instances, you can synchronize their expiration dates to the same day of each month. Synchronize the expiration dates of subscription instances
You can use different methods to renew a subscription instance in various phases of the instance lifecycle, as shown in the following figure. Renewal methods for instances on the International site (alibabacloud.com)
Note You can enable the auto-renewal feature for a subscription instance before the instance expires. Alibaba Cloud first attempts to deduct the instance renewal payment on the third day before the instance expires. If this deduction attempt fails, Alibaba Cloud attempts to deduct the payment again up to four times on the following days until all the allowed deduction attempts fail or until the payment is deducted: the day before the instance expires (T-1), the day when the instance expires (T), the seventh day after the instance expires (T+6), and the fifteenth day after the instance expires (T+14).
Applicable timeframe Renewal method Applicable scenario Result
Before the instance expires Manual renewal The instance is renewed and its configurations are not changed. The new billing cycle starts from the original expiration date.
Auto-renewal The instance is renewed and its configurations are not changed. The renewal operation is automatically performed based on your settings to ensure business availability.
Within 15 days before the instance expires Renewal and configuration downgrade The instance is renewed and its configurations are downgraded. For example, you can downgrade the instance type, modify the public bandwidth configurations, or change the billing methods of data disks.
When the instance has expired but not been automatically released Renewal and configuration downgrade The instance is renewed and its configurations are downgraded. For example, you can modify the public bandwidth configurations or change the billing methods of data disks. The new billing cycle starts from the renewal date.
Manual renewal The instance is renewed and its configurations are not changed. The new billing cycle starts from the renewal date.
Note If the auto-renewal feature is enabled for an instance, the instance continues to work normally for 15 days after the instance expires. If you manually renew the instance during this period, the new billing cycle starts from the original expiration date.

Manual renewal

You can use the manual renewal method to postpone the expiration date of an instance but cannot modify the instance configurations. When you manually renew an instance, the baseline public bandwidth of the instance is renewed, whereas the temporary increase of the public bandwidth is not renewed.

You can manually renew an instance before it is automatically released. The following rules apply to the new billing cycle:
  • When you manually renew an instance that works normally, the new billing cycle starts from the original expiration date.
  • When you manually renew an expired instance that is stopped, the new billing cycle starts from the renewal date.
Note If the auto-renewal feature is enabled for an instance, the instance can continue to run for 15 days after it expires.
You can select one of the following renewal durations when you manually renew an instance:
  • One month, two months, three months, four months, five months, six months, seven months, eight months, and nine months
  • One year

Auto-renewal

When the auto-renewal feature is enabled for an instance, the renewal payment is automatically deducted based on the corresponding rules. Alibaba Cloud first attempts to deduct the amount of the payment from the coupons within your account. If the coupons within your account are not sufficient to cover the payment, Alibaba Cloud deducts the remaining amount of the payment from your account balance.

Before an instance expires, you can enable auto-renewal on the instance buy or Instances page in the ECS console or on the Renewal page in the Billing Management console. The following table describes the available renewal durations.
Where to enable auto-renewal Available renewal duration
On the instance buy page in the ECS console The duration for which your instance is renewed by auto-renewal is determined by the original subscription duration of your instance. The auto-renewal duration cannot be changed on this page.
  • When you purchase an instance for a duration of one month, two months, three months, or six months, the auto-renewal duration is one month.
  • When you purchase an instance for one year, the auto-renewal duration is one year.
Note You can modify the auto-renewal duration on the Instances page in the ECS console or the Renewal page in the Billing Management console.
On the Instances page in the ECS console You can set the renewal duration to one month or one year.
On the Renewal page in the Billing Management console You can set the renewal duration to one month, two months, three months, six months, or one year.
When you enable the auto-renewal feature, take note of the following items:
  • The first auto-renewal date and billing cycle are calculated based on the expiration date of the instance.
  • You can select the auto-renewal duration for your instance. For example, if you select three months, ECS renews your instance for three months each time before it expires.
  • If you have manually renewed an instance before the renewal payment is deducted, the auto-renewal operation is not performed during the current billing cycle.
  • If the renewal payment cannot be deducted, the system sends a notification to the email address that is bound to your account. To ensure that your business remains available, check your email and handle the messages in a timely manner.
After auto-renewal is enabled for an instance, the instance is automatically renewed before it expires. The following rules apply:
  • Alibaba Cloud sends an email reminder on the seventh day before the instance expires (T-7).
  • Alibaba Cloud first attempts to deduct the payment for the next billing cycle from your bank card, PayPal, or Paytm (India) account on the third day before the instance expires (T-3). If this deduction attempt fails, Alibaba Cloud attempts to deduct the payment again up to four times on the following days until all the allowed deduction attempts fail or until the payment is deducted: the day before the instance expires (T-1), the day when the instance expires (T), the seventh day after the instance expires (T+6), and the fifteenth day after the instance expires (T+14).
    • At 08:00:00 on a deduction day (UTC+8), the system performs auto-renewal on all expired ECS instances in succession. This causes the actual renewal time to be in the range of 08:00:00 (UTC+8) to 18:00:00 (UTC+8).
    • If the payment can be deducted before the fifteenth day after the instance expires (T+14), the next billing cycle of the instance starts on the day when the instance expires.
    • If all five deduction attempts fail, the instance enters the Stopped state on the sixteenth day after the instance expires (T+15). After the instance enters the Stopped state, you cannot log on to or connect to the instance. In this case, you must manually renew the instance. If the instance is not manually renewed within 15 days after it enters the Stopped state, the instance is released and its data is permanently lost.
Assume that you purchased an instance at 10:00:00 on November 8, 2017. The instance has a subscription duration of one month and the auto-renewal feature was enabled for the instance. The instance was set to expire at 00:00:00 on December 9, 2017. The following figure shows the operations performed to automatically renew the instance for the first time. For information about state changes after subscription resources expire, see Subscription.

Renewal and configuration downgrade

You can renew an instance and downgrade its configurations during the following periods of time:
  • Within 15 days before the instance expires
  • When the instance has expired but not been automatically released
The following table describes the configurations that can be downgraded when you renew an instance.
Configuration Description
Instance type You can downgrade the instance type.
Note When you renew an instance that has expired and not been automatically released and downgrade the configurations of the instance, you cannot change the instance type.
Public bandwidth You can modify the public bandwidth configurations.
  • If the instance uses the pay-by-bandwidth billing method for network usage, you can perform the following operations:
    • Downgrade the public bandwidth.
    • Change the billing method to pay-by-traffic and set a maximum bandwidth.
  • If the instance uses the pay-by-traffic billing method for network usage, you can perform the following operation:

    Modify the maximum bandwidth.

Billing method of data disks You can change the billing methods of data disks from subscription to pay-as-you-go.
You can select one of the following renewal durations when you renew an instance and downgrade its configurations:
  • One month, two months, three months, four months, five months, six months, seven months, eight months, and nine months
  • One year

Synchronization of expiration dates

You can synchronize the expiration dates of subscription instances to the same day of each month to simplify management and renewal.

When you synchronize the expiration dates of subscription instances, take note of the following limits:
  • For each instance, the interval between the expiration date of the current billing cycle and the synchronized expiration date cannot be shorter than one month.

    If the interval for an instance is shorter than one month, the instance is renewed to 30 days from the first synchronized expiration date. The renewal price is calculated based on the pricing standards of a monthly subscription. For more information, see the Pricing tab on the Elastic Compute Service product page.

    Assume that you have two subscription instances that were originally set to expire on September 10, 2018 and May 17, 2018. You synchronize their expiration dates to the first day of each month. The two instances are now set to expire on November 1, 2018 and July 1, 2018.

  • This feature is applicable only to subscription instances that have not expired.

    If one of the selected instances has expired, the expiration dates cannot be synchronized. To synchronize expiration dates, remove or manually renew the expired instance first.