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Plan the use of ECI in an enterprise

Last Updated: Mar 03, 2021

This topic describes the considerations that need to be taken into account when you plan to use Elastic Container Instance (ECI) in your enterprise, including instance type selection, the number of instances required, and estimated costs. This topic also offers some suggestions on the network planning, configuration of the security group, and selection of the orchestration system.

When you plan to use ECI to host your business applications for production, you usually need to consider the following factors:

  • Instance type

  • Network planning

  • Security group

  • Orchestration system

  • Estimated costs

Instance type

As an enterprise user, you can select the instance type of an ECI based on your business requirements.

In addition, we recommend that you specify multiple zones and instance types to improve the success rate of creating an ECI.

Network planning

You can only deploy an ECI in a Virtual Private Cloud (VPC). A VPC provides an isolated network environment and is fully configurable.


Each ECI occupies one IP address of the VPC. During the network planning, you must check whether the number of IP addresses available in the VPC and related configurations meet your requirements. After a VPC is created, the private Classless Inter-Domain Routing (CIDR) block cannot be changed.


ECI shares the same network plane with cloud services that are deployed in the same VPC, such as ECS. They can communicate with each other without any additional configuration. Container ports directly map ECI ports. You cannot specify the same port for different containers in an ECI.

Security group

A security group is a virtual firewall. It is used to isolate security domains on the cloud. You can use security group rules to allow or forbid ECIs in a security group to access the Internet or internal networks.

For more information about how to configure the security group for an ECI or ECS instance, see Security group overview.

Orchestration system

ECI supports the integration with Alibaba Cloud Container Service for Kubernetes and user-created Kubernetes clusters. You can also access ECI by calling the ECI API. We recommend that you use ECI with Container Service for Kubernetes to enjoy a better compatibility with Kubernetes and better cluster management.

Container Service for Kubernetes provides the following three types of Kubernetes clusters: dedicated Kubernetes clusters, managed Kubernetes clusters, and serverless Kubernetes clusters.

For more information about the comparison of the three types of Kubernetes clusters, see Container Service for Kubernetes.

Estimated costs

As an enterprise user, after you specify the instance type and complete network planning, you can estimate your costs based on the following factors:

  • Billing method: pay-as-you-go

Pay-as-you-go is a type of post-payment, which indicates that you can make the payment after using the service. You are billed by second. The unit price of instances is provided in USD/second. This billing method is applicable to applications or services used to sever burst traffic, for example, those for temporary scale-out, temporary testing, scientific computing, job running, and continuous integration or continuous delivery (CI/CD).

  • Preemptible instance

You can use preemptible instances to reduce the costs of using ECIs. Preemptible instances are on-demand instances for which you need to set the maximum prices (in USD/hour) for bids. If your bid prices are higher than the current market prices, the preemptible instances are available for your use. You are billed for the instances at the market prices.

  • Reserved instance

Reserved instances are coupons that can be used to purchase one or more pay-as-you-go instances at discounted prices. You can also use reserved instances to reserve instance resources for later use. You cannot use reserved instances to pay for preemptible instances. A combination of reserved and pay-as-you-go instances is more flexible and cost effective than just subscription instances.

  • Region

When you select a region for an ECI, you must consider the following factors:

(1) The geographical location of the target users.

(2) The relationship between the ECI and other Alibaba Cloud services.

(3) The price of the ECI in the target region. The price of an ECI in the specified specifications may vary according to the region. For more information ,see ECS pricing.

  • Purchase plan

If you purchase more ECIs, the cost rises.