This topic provides answers to commonly asked questions about ECS instances.

How do I check whether instances are available for purchase in a specific region or zone?

You can go to the ECS Instance Types Available for Each Region page to view the instance types available in each region.

What can I do if no resources are available for purchase when I am trying to create an ECS instance?

If no resources are available for purchase when you are trying to create an ECS instance within a specific region or zone, take one of the following measures:
  • Select another region
  • Select another zone
  • Change resource configurations

If still no resources are available for purchase after you take all of the preceding measures, try again later. Instance resources are dynamic. Alibaba Cloud replenishes insufficient resources as soon as possible.

You can also use the arrival notice feature to be notified when resources are available.

How do I select an ECS instance that is suitable for my business?

  • Determine your business requirements.
  • Determine your website type.
  • Determine the average number of page views per day on your website.
  • Determine the size of your homepage.
  • Determine the data capacity.

How long does it take to create an ECS instance?

It takes a minute or two to create an ECS instance. After the instance is created:
  • For an ECS instance that runs the Linux system, you can connect to the instance without any other configurations. For more information, see Connect to an ECS instance.
  • For an ECS instance that runs the Windows system, you need to use the Sysprep tool to initialize the operating system. Do not restart the instance during initialization. After initialization, you can connect to the instance. For more information, see Connect to an ECS instance. The time of initialization is determined by the type of ECS instances.
    • For an I/O-optimized instance that runs the Windows system, two to three minutes are needed for initialization.
    • For a non-I/O optimized instance that runs the Windows system, ten minutes are needed for initialization.
Note If an error occurs when you create an ECS instance, submit a ticket.

I paid for an ECS instance but no ECS instance was created. Why?

If resources within the specified zone are insufficient to create an instance of your selected type, the instance will fail to be created. Your account will automatically be refunded for the cost of the instance. If you do not receive a refund within half an hour, submit a ticket.

You can go to the ECS Instance Types Available for Each Region page to view the instance types available in each region.

Why are some instance types unavailable on the instance buy page when I attempt to purchase a pay-as-you-go instance?

Some instance types with 16 or more vCPUs are available only to authorized accounts when the pay-as-you-go billing method is selected. If an instance type is available on the instance buy page when the subscription billing method is selected but unavailable when the pay-as-you-go billing method is selected, submit a ticket to check whether your account has been authorized to purchase pay-as-you-go instances of that instance type.

If your account has been authorized but the instance type is still unavailable, the pay-as-you-go resources within the current region may be insufficient. For more information, see What can I do if no resources are available for purchase when I am trying to create an ECS instance?.

What are enterprise-level instances? What are shared instances?

Enterprise-level instances are a series of instance families released by Alibaba Cloud in September 2016. Enterprise-level instances feature high performance, consistent computing power, and balanced network performance. These instances have exclusive and consistent computing, storage, and network resources, and are suitable for enterprise scenarios with high requirements of business stability.

Shared instances are a series of instance families that are targeted at small and medium-sized websites or individuals. Shared instances share resources, in contrast with enterprise-level instances that each have their own resources exclusively. As a result, shared instances do not provide consistent computing performance, but can be implemented at a lower cost.

What are the differences between enterprise-level and shared instances?

Enterprise-level instances use a CPU-bound scheduling scheme. Each vCPU is bound to a CPU hyperthread. Instances do not compete for CPU resources and provide consistent computing performance as guaranteed in the SLA.

Shared instances use a CPU-unbound scheduling scheme. Each vCPU is randomly allocated to an idle CPU hyperthread. vCPUs of different instances compete for CPU resources. This results in fluctuations in computing performance when traffic loads are heavy. Shared instances can only guarantee availability. They cannot guarantee the performance that may be required in the SLA.

Which are enterprise-level instance families? Which are shared instance families?

Among the instance families that are available for purchase, n4, mn4, xn4, and e4 are shared instance families, and the others are enterprise-level instance families.

In what business scenarios do I need to purchase enterprise-level instances?

For business scenarios to which different enterprise-level instances are applicable, see Instance families.

How is the network performance of enterprise-level instances?

The network performance of enterprise-level instances depends on their specifications. The higher their specifications are, the stronger network performance the instances can deliver. For more information about the network performance of different instance types, see Instance families.

What disk categories do enterprise-level instances support?

For the disk categories that enterprise-level instances support, see Category of disks.

What image types do enterprise-level instances support?

For the public images that enterprise-level instances support, see Public image overview.

You can also import custom images. For more information, see Import custom images.

What are the limits on upgrading or downgrading enterprise-level instances?

For the limits on upgrading or downgrading enterprise-level instances, see Instance families that support instance type changes.

Can I upgrade a shared instance to an enterprise-level instance?

Yes, you can upgrade a shared instance to an enterprise-level instance. For more information, see Instance families that support instance type changes.

After the NVIDIA driver is installed, nvidia-smi no longer works and an error message is returned indicating that the NVIDIA driver has not been installed. Why?

Cause: The kernel and kernel-devel package versions are inconsistent, resulting in a driver compilation error when the driver is installed from the .rpm file.

Resolution: Check the kernel version and download the correct kernel-devel package version. Then, run the rpm –qa | grep kernel command on the instance to check whether the kernel-devel package version matches the kernel version. Make sure that they match and then reinstall the driver.

Why doesn't the Windows Graphics support graphics-related applications such as DirectX?

Problem description: On Windows instances where the installed GPU drivers have taken effect, the Windows Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) does not support DirectX, OpenGL, or other graphics-related applications.

Solution: Install the VNC service and clients or other protocols that support these applications, such as PC over IP (PCoIP) and XenDeskop HDX 3D.

A ga1 Windows instance uses an Alibaba Cloud Marketplace image that is pre-installed with an AMD driver. However, the Windows Device Manager window shows that the GPU driver does not load properly. Why?

  1. Log on to the instance.
  2. Open the Device Manager.
  3. Right-click the GPU device.
  4. Select Update Driver Software from the shortcut menu.
  5. Then, select Search automatically for updated driver software.
  6. After the device driver has been updated, restart the instance.

Why do I encounter a blue-screen error when I start an instance that uses an Alibaba Cloud Marketplace image pre-installed with an AMD driver?

Alibaba Cloud will update the driver included in the Alibaba Cloud Marketplace image to solve this problem. If you are using an image of an earlier version, update the GPU driver to avoid this problem.

If you encounter a blue-screen error and cannot start the instance, enter Safe Mode. In Safe Mode, uninstall the existing driver, start Windows properly, and then install the latest version of the GPU driver.

Do GPU instances support Android emulators?

No, Android emulators are not supported on GPU instances.

Can I upgrade or downgrade GPU instances?

GPU instances equipped with local disks, such as ga1 and gn5 instances, cannot be upgraded or downgraded. For the GPU instances that are not equipped with local disks but can be upgraded or downgraded, see Instance families that support instance type changes.

Do pay-as-you-go GPU instances support the No Fees for Stopped Instances (VPC-Connected) feature?

GPU instances that are not equipped with local disks support the No Fees for Stopped Instances (VPC-Connected) feature. Such GPU instances include gn4 (with NVIDIA M40 GPU processors), gn5i (with NVIDIA P4 GPU processors), and gn6v (with NVIDIA V100 GPU processors) instances. For more information, see No Fees for Stopped Instances (VPC-Connected).

How do I view GPU monitoring data?

You can log on to the CloudMonitor console or call the DescribeMetricList operation to view GPU monitoring data. For more information, see GPU monitoring.

What are the differences between ECS Bare Metal Instances, traditional cloud hosts (virtual machines), and traditional physical machines?

For information about the differences, see ECS Bare Metal Instance.

How is the network performance of ECS Bare Metal Instances?

The network performance of ECS Bare Metal Instances depends on their specifications. The higher their specifications are, the stronger network performance the instances can deliver. For more information about the network performance of different ECS Bare Metal Instance types, see Instance families.

What disk categories are supported on ECS Bare Metal Instances? How many data disks can be attached to an ECS Bare Metal Instance?

Ultra disks and standard SSDs are supported on ECS Bare Metal Instances. Up to 16 data disks can be attached to each ECS Bare Metal Instance.

Can ECS Bare Metal Instances be upgraded or downgraded? Do they support the failover feature?

ECS Bare Metal Instances cannot be upgraded or downgraded. They do support the failover feature. When the hardware hosting an ECS Bare Metal Instance fails, you can migrate the instance to another physical machine. Data is stored in the data disks of the instance.

How do I create an SCC instance?

You can create an SCC instance in one of the following ways:
  • If you only need to use RDMA, log on to the ECS console. Create an SCC instance.
  • If you want to use the HPC scheduler and cluster resizing service in addition to RDMA, log on to the E-HPC console. Create an SCC and then create an SCC instance.

How are SCC instances billed?

SCC instances can be billed on a weekly, monthly, or yearly subscription basis.

How do I create an SCC by using E-HPC?

You can log on to the E-HPC console or call the CreateCluster operation to create an SCC.

How is SCC RDMA used?

When you create an SCC instance, select a custom SCC image that supports the RDMA RoCE driver and OFED stack. You can use SCC RDMA through the IB Verbs API and manage RDMA communication through the MPI.

My account has no overdue payments. Why have my preemptible instances been released?

Each preemptible instance has a protection period of one hour after creation. During the protection period, the preemptible instance cannot be released due to insufficient resources or fluctuations in market price. If the market price exceeds the specified maximum price or insufficient resources are available after the protection period ends, the preemptible instance will be automatically released.

Will I be notified when preemptible instances are released? How?

Yes, you will be notified when preemptible instances are released. When your preemptible instance needs to be released due to a market price change or insufficient resources, the instance will first enter the To Be Released state and then be automatically released in about 5 minutes.

You can use CloudMonitor to subscribe to notifications of preemptible instance being interrupted. For more information, see Set event notifications.

You can check whether an instance is in the To Be Released state based on the instance metadata or OperationLocks information returned by the DescribeInstances operation.

Can the data of a preemptible instance be automatically retained when the instance is released?

No, the data of a preemptible instance cannot be automatically retained when the instance is released. When you no longer need a preemptible instance, we recommend that you back up your data and environment by following the instructions in Create a snapshot and then release the instance. You can purchase new preemptible instances at any time.

Can I cancel or reschedule the automatic release of a preemptible instance?

Yes, you can cancel or reschedule the automatic release of your preemptible instance at any time.

Can preemptible instances be converted into subscription instances?

No, preemptible instances cannot be converted into subscription instances.

To what resources are the prices of preemptible instances applicable?

The prices of preemptible instances are applicable only to instance types. Other resources, such as system disks, data disks, and network bandwidth, are billed at the same rates as those of pay-as-you-go instances.

How do I bid for a preemptible instance?

To create a preemptible instance, you can set a maximum price per hour to bid for an instance type. If the maximum price per hour is greater than or equal to the current market price, the preemtible instance that you request is created and billed based on the current market price. For more information, see Create a preemptible instance.

What is the relationship between the configured maximum price per hour of a preemptible instance and the current market price?

If the configured maximum price per hour is greater than or equal to the current market price, the preemtible instance will be created and billed based on the current market price. Each preemptible instance has a protection period of one hour after creation. During the protection period, the instance cannot be automatically released due to insufficient resources or fluctuations in market price.

After the protection period ends, the system will check the market price and resource availability of the instance type every five minutes. If the market price exceeds the configured maximum price per hour or resources of the instance type are insufficient, the running preemptible instance will be released.

Will I be charged the same price for all preemptible instances that start at the same time?

Yes, you will be charged the same price for all preemptible instances that start at the same time.

Will I be charged at a price fluctuating with the market price within the protection period of the preemptible instance?

No, the hourly price of a preemptible instance is set at the beginning of each hour and is applied to the instance for that whole hour.

Can I view the current market price of an instance type when I purchase a preemptible instance?

Yes, when creating a preemptible instance in the ECS console, you can view the current market price and historical prices of an instance type after you select it. The total price, including the fees for the instance type, storage, and bandwidth, is displayed at the bottom of the instance buy page. The instance type price is the current market price of the specified instance type.

Can I view the historical prices of a preemptible instance type? How?

Yes, you can select an instance type to view its historical prices when you create a preemptible instance in the ECS console. You can also call the DescribeSpotPriceHistory operation to view the historical prices of a preemptible instance type.

Will preemptible instances continue to be billed after they are stopped?

Yes, preemptible instances will continue to be billed after they are stopped. When you no longer need a preemptible instance, we recommend that you back up your data and environment by following the instructions in Create a snapshot and then release the instance. You can purchase new preemptible instances at any time.
Note Preemptible instances will continue to be billed after you stop them from the ECS console or by calling the StopInstance operation.

How many preemptible instances can be purchased under a single account?

There is a limit on the maximum number of vCPUs that can be allocated to preemptible instances for each account. When you create a preemptible instance, you can view the number of available vCPUs after selecting an instance type. For more information, see Limits.

How do I increase my vCPU quota?

To increase your vCPU quota, submit a ticket.

Can I change the instance type of a preemptible instance?

No, the instance types of preemptible instances cannot be changed.

Which instance families support preemptible instances?

Instance families that support the pay-as-you-go billing method also support preemptible instances. If a preemptible instance of a specific instance type cannot be created due to insufficient resources, try a different instance type.

In which regions can I create preemptible instances?

Preemptible instances can be created within any region. If preemptible instances cannot be created within a specific region due to insufficient resources, try a different region.

Why is the Preemptible Instance option unavailable on the instance buy page when I attempt to purchase an ECS instance?

Whether the Preemptible Instance option is available depends on your ECS usage.

What is a reserved instance?

Reserved instances automatically match pay-as-you-go instances (excluding preemptible instances) in your account to provide a billing discount. Reserved instances can also be used to reserve resources for pay-as-you-go instances. A combination of reserved instances and pay-as-you-go instances provides a similar cost-effectiveness to subscription instances but with a higher degree of flexibility.

Will a reserved instance provide a resource reservation?

Zonal reserved instances provide resource reservations, but regional reserved instances do not.

What operating systems do reserved instances support?

Reserved instances support both Windows and Linux operating systems. For example, a reserved Linux instance can be applied to any pay-as-you-go Linux instances that match its attributes regardless of image type (public images, custom images, shared images, and Alibaba Cloud Marketplace images).

To apply a reserved instance to pay-as-you-go instances created from Bring Your Own License (BYOL) images, submit a ticket.

Which instance families do reserved instances support?

Reserved instances support the following instance families: sn1ne, sn2ne, se1ne, ic5, c5, g5, r5, c6, g6, r6, i2, i2g, hfc5, hfg5, t5, and t6.

Burstable instances can match zonal reserved instances but cannot match regional reserved instances. Reserved instances that match burstable instances cannot be merged, be split, or changed in scopes. For more information, see Billing.

Can reserved instances be applied to preemptible instances?

No, reserved instances cannot be applied to preemptible instances.

Can I change the instance families of reserved instances?

No, the instance families of reserved instances cannot be changed.

To what scenarios are zonal reserved instances applicable?

We recommend that you purchase zonal reserved instances when you have clear requirements to reserve resources.

To what scenarios are regional reserved instances applicable?

We recommend that you purchase regional reserved instances if you want to enjoy better zone and instance size flexibility.

How is the zone flexibility of reserved instances applied?

Only regional reserved instances provide zone flexibility. Example:

You are running the following pay-as-you-go instance:

One ecs.c5.xlarge Linux instance in Qingdao Zone B. The instance is named C5PAYG-b.

You have purchased the following reserved instance:

One regional ecs.c5.xlarge reserved instance in the China (Qingdao) region. The reserved instance is named C5RI.

C5RI is matched to C5PAYG-b.

You release C5PAYG-b and start another Linux instance of the same instance type named C5PAYG-c in Qingdao Zone C. C5RI is then matched to C5PAYG-c.

How is the instance size flexibility of reserved instances applied?

Only regional reserved instances provide instance size flexibility. Example:

You have one regional ecs.g5.4xlarge reserved instance. It can be matched to one ecs.g5.4xlarge pay-as-you-go instance, two ecs.g5.2xlarge pay-as-you-go instances, or four ecs.g5.xlarge pay-as-you-go instances.

You have a one-year regional ecs.g5.xlarge reserved instance. It can be matched to one ecs.g5.xlarge pay-as-you-go instance to offset the bills of the pay-as-you-go instance for one year, or matched to one ecs.g5.2xlarge pay-as-you-go instance to offset the bills of the pay-as-you-go instance for six months.

Do zonal reserved instances provide instance size flexibility?

No, zonal reserved instances do not provide instance size flexibility. A zonal reserved instance can be matched only to pay-as-you-go instances of the same instance type as it.

Do zonal reserved instances provide zone flexibility?

No, zonal reserved instances do not provide zone flexibility. A zonal reserved instance can be matched only to pay-as-you-go instances in the same zone as it.

Can I change a zonal reserved instance to a regional one?

Yes, a zonal reserved instance can be changed to a regional one. You can change the scope of a reserved instance you purchased as follows:

  • From a zone to a region
  • From a region to a zone
  • From one zone to another within the same region for a zonal reserved instance

Can I change the scope of a reserved instance from one region to another?

No, the scope of a reserved instance cannot be changed from one region to another. For example, if you have a zonal reserved instance in Hangzhou Zone B, you can change the instance scope to another zone of the China (Hangzhou) region or change the instance to a regional reserved instance of the region. However, you cannot change the instance to a regional or zonal reserved instance of another region.

Can I use reserved instances across accounts?

No, reserved instances cannot be used across accounts.

Can I use reserved instances to cover the storage and network charges of pay-as-you-go instances?

No, reserved instances cannot be used to cover the storage and network charges of pay-as-you-go instances. Reserved instances cover the vCPU and memory costs of pay-as-you-go instances. For pay-as-you-go Windows instances, reserved instances also cover the image costs.

Can I configure a reserved instance to be applied to a specific pay-as-you-go instance?

No, you cannot configure a reserved instance to be applied to a specific pay-as-you-go instance. When multiple pay-as-you-go instances match the attributes of a reserved instance, the reserved instance is applied based on the optimized matching scheme.

How are reserved instances billed?

Reserved instances are billed separately and support the All Upfront, Partial Upfront, and No Upfront payment options.

The term of a reserved instance starts immediately after it is purchased. You are charged based on your selected payment option regardless of whether the reserved instance is matched to pay-as-you-go instances. The All Upfront option is the most cost-effective.

When does a reserved instance take effect after I purchase it?

The reserved instance takes effect and is billed starting from the top of the hour during which it is purchased. It expires at 00:00:00 of the day after the term end date. If you purchase a reserved instance with a term of one year at 2019-02-26 13:45:00, the reserved instance takes effect at 2019-02-26 13:00:00. Its billing also starts at that time. The reserved instance will expire at 2020-02-27 00:00:00. If you have matchable pay-as-you-go instances when you purchase the reserved instance, the billing discount will be applied to bills generated for the pay-as-you-go instances starting from the hour of 13:00 to 14:00 on February 26, 2019 until the reserved instance expires.

When do reserved instances take effect after I modify, split, or merge them?

When reserved instances are modified, split, or merged, new reserved instances are generated and the original ones become invalid. At the top of the hour, the new reserved instances take effect and the original reserved instances become invalid. Assume that you split ecs.g5.2xlarge zonal reserved instance RI1 into two zonal ecs.g5.xlarge reserved instances RI2 and RI3 at 2019-02-26 13:45:00. At 2019-02-26 13:00:00, the term of RI1 ends and the terms of RI2 and RI3 starts. Starting from 2019-02-26 13:00:00, the eligible reserved instance type is ecs.g5.xlarge, not ecs.g5.2xlarge any more. If RI2 and RI3 are matched to pay-as-you-go instances immediately after they take effect, the billing discounts provided by RI2 and RI3 are also applied to the hourly bills of ecs.g5.xlarge pay-as-you-go instances starting from 2019-02-26 13:00:00.

Why isn't the No Upfront payment option displayed on the buy page?

The availability of this option depends on your ECS usage.

Can I change the payment option of a reserved instance?

No, the payment options of reserved instances cannot be changed.

Can reserved instances be resold?

No, reserved instances cannot be resold.

Can I use reserved instances to cover the image costs of pay-as-you-go Windows instances?

Yes, reserved instances can be used to cover the image costs of pay-as-you-go Windows instances. This is because reserved Windows instances already include Windows image costs.

Can I use reserved instances to cover the image costs of pay-as-you-go Linux instances?

No, reserved instances cannot be used to cover the image costs of pay-as-you-go Linux instances.

Are the consumption details of reserved instances refreshed hourly?

Yes, the consumption details of reserved instances are refreshed hourly.

Can a reserved instance be applied to more than one pay-as-you-go instance at the same time?

Yes, a reserved instance can be applied to more than one pay-as-you-go instance at the same time. The reserved instance checks for deductible pay-as-you-go bills on an hourly basis and deduct fees based on its computing power.
Note The computing power and term of each reserved instance is fixed. You cannot increase the computing power of a reserved instance by shortening its term.
Assume that you have a reserved instance with the following attributes:
  • c5.large instance type
  • Instance count of 1 (indicates that the reserved instance can match one pay-as-you-go instances of the specified instance type.)
  • One-year term
The following examples demonstrate how the reserved instance is applied based on the pay-as-you-go instances that exist:
  • Six c5.large pay-as-you-go instances exist for one hour each. Each of these pay-as-you-go instances consumes one hour of computing power equal to the amount of computing power that the c5.large reserved instance can deliver every hour. The reserved instance will be applied randomly to one of the pay-as-you-go instances. You cannot configure the reserved instance to be applied to all six pay-as-you-go instances by shortening the term of the reserved instance to two months.
  • Six c5.large pay-as-you-go instances exist for 10 minutes each. The six instances consume 10 minutes of computing power each and in total consume the equivalent computing power that the c5.large reserved instance can deliver every hour. The reserved instance will be applied to all six pay-as-you-go instances.
  • Six c5.large pay-as-you-go instances exist for 15 minutes each. The six instances consume 15 minutes of computing power each, in total exceeding the amount of computing power that the reserved instance can deliver every hour. The reserved instance will be applied randomly to the pay-as-you-go instances to offset the charges for one-hour computing power.

Does VNC allow multiple users to log on simultaneously?

No, VNC allows only a single user to log on at a time.

What can I do if I forget the remote connection password?

You can reset your remote connection password. For more information, see Connect to a Linux instance by using the Management Terminal.

Why can't I connect to VNC even after I reset my remote connection password?

If the instance to which you are connecting is not I/O optimized, you must restart the instance by using the ECS console or by calling the RebootInstance operation for the new password to take effect.
Note If you restart the instance from within the instance itself, the new password will not take effect.

I was prompted with an authentication failure when I attempted to connect to VNC. What can I do?

Authentication will fail if the entered password is not correct. Perform the following troubleshooting operations:
  1. Enter the correct remote connection password.
  2. If you forget your password, you can reset it and try again. For more information, see Connect to a Linux instance by using the Management Terminal.
    Note If the instance to which you are connecting is not I/O optimized, you must restart the instance by using the ECS console or by calling the RebootInstance operation for the new password to take effect.

What can I do if a black screen appears while I am connected to VNC?

A black screen indicates that the instance is in sleep mode. Perform the following operations based on your operating system:
  • For a Linux instance, click your mouse or press any key to activate the instance.
  • For a Windows instance, in the upper-left corner of the VNC page, choose Send Remote Call > CTRL+ALT+DELETE to open the logon dialog box.

What can I do if I am unable to access VNC?

You can use a browser to access VNC for troubleshooting. For example, use Google Chrome to access VNC, and press the F12 key to open the developer tools pane. Then click the Console tab and identify errors based on the information displayed.

Why can't I use Internet Explorer 8 to access VNC?

VNC supports Internet Explorer 10 and later.

We recommend that you use Google Chrome because it is the most compatible browser.

When I use Firefox to access VNC, an error message is returned indicating that the secure connection has failed. What can I do?

This problem occurs if the encryption algorithm used by your version of Firefox is different from that of VNC.

We recommend that you use Google Chrome because it is the most compatible browser.

How do I remotely log on to a Linux instance?

Linux instances support SSH for remote connection. You can use one of the following methods to remotely log on to a Linux instance:

What are the default username and password for remote logon to the operating system of an ECS instance?

The default username varies with the operating system.
  • For a Windows instance, the default username is administrator.
  • For a Linux instance, the default username is root.
The password for remote logon to the operating system is set by you during instance creation. For more information, see Create an instance by using the provided wizard. If you forget the password, you can reset it. For more information, see Reset an instance logon password.
Note This password is used to remotely log on to the operating system of an ECS instance, not to VNC.

Can I upgrade subscription instances?

Yes, you can upgrade subscription instances. For more information, see Upgrade configurations of Subscription instances.

Can I upgrade pay-as-you-go instances?

Yes, but you must stop pay-as-you-go instances before you can upgrade them. You can upgrade pay-as-you-go instances by following the instructions in Change configurations of Pay-As-You-Go instances or by calling the ModifyInstanceSpec operation.

How long does it take to upgrade an instance?

  • Subscription instances do not need to be stopped to be upgraded. The upgrade process takes about 15 minutes.
  • Pay-as-you-go instances must be stopped before they can be upgraded. The upgrade process takes about 15 minutes.
  • You can upgrade the bandwidths of instances without stopping the instances. The upgrade process takes about 5 minutes.

How is the fee for upgrading an ECS instance calculated?

The upgrade fee and its calculation method are displayed in the ECS console when you upgrade the instance. You can also view the billing details on the Account Overview page.

Does upgrading ECS instances affect my cloud service configurations?

Pay-as-you-go instances must be stopped before they can be upgraded. After you upgrade a subscription instance, you must restart it for the new configurations to take effect. The upgrade operation will interrupt the services running on the instance for a short period of time. We recommend that you upgrade instances during off-peak hours. Instances can seamlessly resume services after upgrades without server environment reconfiguration.

How do I upgrade ECS resources?

For information about how to upgrade ECS resources, see Overview of instance upgrade and downgrade.
  • With the exception of ECS instances that use local storage, ECS instances allow their CPU and memory resources to be scaled and their bandwidths to be upgraded while the instances are running. You can also downgrade ECS instances as needed.
  • A maximum of 16 data disks can be attached to each ECS instance. You cannot reduce the size of a data disk after it is extended.
  • ECS bandwidth is measured in Mbit/s and can range from 0 Mbit/s to 200 Mbit/s. You can also temporarily upgrade the bandwidth of an ECS instance, or downgrade the instance when you renew it.

I have upgraded an instance but no changes have taken effect. Why?

After you upgrade an instance, you must restart the instance in the ECS console for the new configurations to take effect.

My ECS instance was stuck in the Starting state, and AliyunService was disabled or deleted. What can I do?

Problem description: After you started an ECS instance, it remained in the Starting state for an extended period of time and then automatically stopped. You logged on to the instance and found that AliyunService was deleted or disabled in the system services.

Solution:
  • If AliyunService was disabled:
    1. Change the state of AliyunService to automatic.
    2. Restart the instance.
  • If AliyunService was deleted:
    1. Run the following command to add AliyunService back to the instance:
      sc create AliyunService type= "own" start= "auto" binPath= "C:\Program Files\AliyunService\AliyunService.exe -d" tag= "no" DisplayName= "AliyunService"
      Note Make sure that you leave a space after the equal sign (=).
    2. Find the registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\AliyunService, and change c:\Program Files\AliyunService\AliyunService.exe -d to "c:\Program Files\AliyunService\AliyunService.exe" -d.
    3. Restart the instance.

How do I use f1 instances?

After you create an f1 instance, Alibaba Cloud shares an FPGA development image to you. Only CentOS 7u2 images are supported. The FPGA development image includes the complete Intel Quartus development suite and the f1 instance constraint files to provide a complete cloud development environment.

Note You can go to the ECS Instance Types Available for Each Region page to view the instance types available in each region.
The basic workflow for using f1 instances is as follows:
  1. After the development is completed, generate an intermediate QAR file during the compilation stage and upload the file to an OSS bucket. Currently, you can only upload this file to an OSS bucket within the China (Hangzhou) region. Then, register the QAR file information with Alibaba Cloud by calling an API operation.

    We recommend that you use the free Intel Quartus development suite to perform development, compilation, and simulation operations on the cloud.

  2. Alibaba Cloud will verify the registration request for the QAR file and then send an email including an FPGA image ID.
  3. To deploy the image, call an API operation with the f1 instance ID and FPGA image ID specified to associate the instance with the image.

    You can initiate the association operation in any scenario where the ECS API is available.

    • If the f1 instance has never been associated with any FPGA images, initiate the association operation.
    • If the f1 instance was previously associated with an FPGA image and had the image loaded, erase the FPGA image from the f1 instance before you initiate the association operation.
  4. After you associate the FPGA image with the instance, call an API operation to load the image.

    You must initiate the load operation from the f1 instance. Then the underlying service of Alibaba Cloud burns the associated FPGA image to the corresponding FPGA on the instance.

If you want to restore the f1 instance to its initial state, call an API operation to erase the burned FPGA image from the f1 instance.

How do I upload files by using the FTP tool in macOS?

Method 1: Upload files by using the Terminal in macOS

Open the Terminal in macOS or iTerm2 for Mac (click here to download iTerm2). Make sure that you select the correct destination path.

  1. Connect to the FTP server.
  2. Access the destination directory. In Windows, use the working directory as the destination directory. In Linux, change the working directory to htdocs and use the htdocs directory as the destination directory.
  3. Run the put command to upload files.

Method 2: Upload files by using a third-party tool

  1. Download Yummy FTP.
  2. Install Yummy FTP.
  3. Enter the server IP address, username, and password. Set Protocol to Standard (FTP) and Port to 21 (or a different port number that you are using), and leave the SSH key field unselected.
  4. Click Connect.
  5. In the right section, select the destination directory. In Windows, use the current working directory. In Linux, select the htdocs directory. In the left section, select files and click the Upload icon to upload the files.
    Note If you are prompted with a message similar to "Your security preferences only allow the installation of applications from the Mac App Store and authorized developers" when you try to install Yummy FTP, perform the following steps:
    1. Choose System Preference > Security and Privacy.
    2. Click the security lock in the lower-left corner of the window and enter the administrator password.
    3. Set Allow apps download from to Anywhere.

    Then, you can upload files by using Yummy FTP.

If you have further questions, submit a ticket.

How do I apply for an ICP filing for my domain name after purchasing an ECS instance?

You can apply for a limited number of ICP filing service numbers for each ECS instance. For more information, see Prepare and check the instance or server.

For information about how to apply for an ICP filing, see Quick Start.

An ECS instance fails to load the kernel to start up. What can I do?

Problem description: The system does not respond when you select an option from the GRUB menu during startup. After mounting the LiveCD image to the ECS instance, you have already logged on to the instance and verified that the file system privileges are correct and that the message logs show no exceptions.

Cause: The system has been attacked by ransomware.

Solution: Back up your data and reinitialize the system.

How do I change the logon password within an instance?

For information about how to change the logon password within an instance, see Change the instance logon password by connecting to the instance.

Why can't I add sound or video cards to ECS instances?

The servers that Alibaba Cloud ECS provides are not multimedia servers and do not provide sound card or video card components by default.

Can I transfer the unused time of an ECS instance to another ECS instance?

No, the unused time of an ECS instance cannot be transferred to others. If you want both higher flexibility and cost-effectiveness, we recommend that you use a combination of reserved instances and pay-as-you-go instances. For more information, see Reserved instance overview.

Do ECS instances provide databases by default?

No, ECS instances do not provide databases by default. To use database services, perform the following operations:
  • Deploy your own database.
  • Purchase ApsaraDB for RDS provided by Alibaba Cloud.
  • Use a database image provided in Alibaba Cloud Marketplace.

Can I build a database on an ECS instance?

Yes, you can install database software and configure a database environment on an ECS instance as needed. You can also purchase ApsaraDB for RDS separately.

Do ECS instances support Oracle databases?

Yes, ECS instances support Oracle databases. Before installing an Oracle database, we recommend that you perform a performance stress test on the target ECS instance to ensure that the instance can satisfy the read/write requirements of the database.

Are public IP addresses and private IP addresses independent? Can I specify or add IP addresses?

In classic networks, public and private IP addresses are independent of each other. Private IP addresses in classic networks are used for communication between ECS instances and between ECS instances and OSS or ApsaraDB for RDS instances. When a bandwidth of 0 Mbit/s is selected for an ECS instance, no public IP address is allocated to the instance. In normal cases, public and private IP addresses in classic networks do not change. You cannot specify, select, or add IP addresses in classic networks.

In VPCs, NAT gateways map public IP addresses to private IP addresses. You can add IP addresses by specifying or automatically assigning secondary private IP addresses to ENIs.

Can load balancing be implemented for a single ECS instance?

Both Linux and Windows ECS instances can be load-balanced. You must ensure that the configurations of ECS instances serving as web servers meet the requirements for website code to run. Load balancing can be implemented for as few as one ECS instance under an account. However, we recommend you implement load balancing with two or more ECS instances.

Can I change the region of an ECS instance?

No, you cannot change the region of an ECS instance. If you want to change the region of an ECS instance, you can use the ACS-ECS-CloneInstancesAcrossRegion public template provided by Operation Orchestration Service (OOS) to copy the instance to another region. The new instance and the original instance have identical disk data but different IP addresses.

Can I adjust the partition size of a purchased disk?

For system security and stability purposes, system disks cannot be repartitioned on neither Windows nor Linux instances. If you use a third-party tool to perform repartitioning, unknown exceptions such as system failure and data loss might occur.

Repartitioning data disks may cause data loss. We do not recommend that you repartition data disks.

How do I view subscription ECS instances in all regions under my account?

You can go to the renewal page to view subscription ECS instances in all regions under your account.
  1. Log on to the ECS console.
  2. In the top navigation bar, choose Billing > Renew.

When can I forcibly stop an ECS instance? What are the consequences?

If an instance cannot be stopped through a proper shutdown procedure, you can forcibly stop it. Forcible stop is equivalent to a physical shutdown, and may cause data loss if instance data has not been written to disks.

Why can't I reactivate my ECS instance?

An instance may fail to be reactivated due to any of the following reasons:
  • Your account has overdue payments. Pay the outstanding bills and try again.
  • The system is busy. Try again later.
  • No resources are available.
    Note You can go to the ECS Instance Types Available for Each Region page to view the instance types available in each region.

Why has an ECS instance with release protection enabled been automatically released from a scaling group?

Auto Scaling can automatically release an ECS instance created by a scale-out event even if release protection has been enabled for the instance from the ECS console or by calling the ModifyInstanceAttribute operation.

What is the AliVulfix process in an ECS instance?

The AliVulfix process is an Alibaba Cloud Security program that detects vulnerabilities in ECS instances.

How do I defend ECS instances against attacks?

ECS instances use Alibaba Cloud Security to defend against DDoS attacks. CloudMonitor deployed on ECS instances can automatically detect network attacks and scrub suspicious traffic. Alibaba Cloud implements black hole filtering to protect ECS instances against high-volume attacks. To strengthen security protection, we recommend that you install security software and disable ports that are not commonly used.

What security services does Alibaba Cloud provide?

Alibaba Cloud Security is powered by the robust data analysis capabilities of the Alibaba Cloud cloud computing platform to provide a comprehensive set of security services such as security vulnerability detection, website trojan detection, host intrusion detection, and DDoS protection.

I have already renewed an expired Linux instance but I am still unable to access the website it hosts. What can I do?

Problem description: A Linux ECS instance is in the Stopped state after it has expired. After you have renewed and restarted the instance, you still cannot access the website it hosts.

Cause: This may be because the website service has not been started.

Solution:
  1. Connect to the instance and run the following command to check whether the website service has been started:
    # netstat -nltp //Check whether port 80 on the instance is being listened on.
  2. If no information about port 80 is displayed in the command output, the website service has not been started. Run a command to manually start the website service and relevant services.

    In Linux, websites are typically developed based on PHP and MySQL.

    • In Apache, you only need to start the website service and MySQL.
      #/etc/init.d/httpd start          //Start the website service. This command is applicable to Apache.
      #/etc/init.d/mysqld start         //Start MySQL.
    • In NGINX, you must start the website service, PHP, and MySQL.
      #/etc/init.d/nginx start          //Start the website service. This command is applicable to NGINX.
      #/etc/init.d/php-fpm start        //Start PHP.
      #/etc/init.d/mysqld start         //Start MySQL.
  3. Re-check whether the website service has been started.
    #netstat -nltp //Check whether port 80 on the instance is being listened on.
  4. After the website service has been started, access the website again.

If the problem persists, submit a ticket.

How do I activate a Windows ECS instance within a VPC?

To activate a Windows ECS instance within a VPC, you must use a specific KMS domain name. For more information, see How to activate the VPC-Connected Windows instances using KMS servers.

How do I check, partition, and format the data disks of a Linux instance?

You can run the df –h command to check the capacity and usage of disks, and run the fdisk –l command to view disk information. For information about how to partition and format disks in Linux instances, see Format a data disk for a Linux-based ECS instance.

How do I upload files to a Linux instance?

You can use the FTP service to upload files to a Linux instance.

How do I change the owner and owner group of directories and files on a Linux instance?

If the file or directory permissions are not correctly configured on the web server, a 403 error occurs when you access a website hosted on the instance. Before you adjust a file or directory, you must identify the identity under which the file or directory process is running.

You can run the ps and grep commands to query the identities under which processes are running.

You can run the ls –l command to query the owners and owner groups of files and directories.

To change the owners and owner groups, run the chown command. For example, you can run the chown -R www.www /alidata/www/phpwind/ command to change the owner and owner group of all files and directories under the /alidata/www/phpwind directory to account www.

How do I update the software source of Linux instances?

You can use an automatic software source updating tool. For more information, see Automatic source updating tool for Linux ECS.

What limits apply to the transfer and change of public IP addresses of ECS instances?

The following limits apply to the transfer and change of public IP addresses of ECS instances:
  • In classic networks:
    • You cannot transfer public IP addresses across accounts.
    • The public IP address of an ECS instance can be changed within 6 hours after the instance is created, and can be changed a maximum of 3 times. For more information, see Change the public IP address of an ECS instance.
    • If Anti-DDoS Pro is deployed on your instance, you can change the IP address of an ECS instance a maximum of 10 times from the Anti-DDoS Pro console. For more information, see the Change ECS IP section of the Anti-DDoS Pro User Guide.
  • In VPCs:
    • You cannot transfer public IP addresses or EIPs across accounts.
    • If no public IP address has been assigned to your instance, you can bind an EIP to the instance. You can replace the public IP address of your instance with an EIP.
    • If a public IP address has been assigned to your instance:

If you have further questions, submit a ticket.

Can I access amazon.com from my ECS instance?

You can access amazon.com from your ECS instance if the instance can connect to the public network properly.

Why can't I access a website hosted outside mainland China after I log on to my ECS instance?

You can access a website hosted outside mainland China from your ECS instance only when the website complies with the laws, regulations, and regulatory requirements of the country or region where your instance is located. Ensure that your ECS instance can connect to the public network properly and that the website complies with the preceding laws, regulations, and regulatory requirements.

I cannot purchase more pay-as-you-go instances. What can I do?

If you have reached the maximum number of pay-as-you-go instances that you can purchase, you cannot purchase more pay-as-you-go instances. For more information, see Limits. You can log on to the ECS console and view your resource quotas on the privileges and quotas page. For more information, see Manage privileges and quotas.

How can I view the resource quota?

For more information about how to view the limits and quotas of resources, see Limits.

Will fees still be incurred after a pay-as-you-go ECS instance is automatically stopped due to an overdue payment or is manually stopped?

When a payment for a pay-as-you-go instance becomes overdue, the instance will be automatically stopped and taken out of service.

You can stop a running pay-as-you-go instance from the ECS console or by calling the StopInstance operation. When the instance is stopped, its status changes to Stopped. Billing of pay-as-you-go instances in the Stopped state depends on their network types.
  • VPC: You can enable the No Fees for Stopped Instances (VPC-Connected) feature. After the feature is enabled, billing of pay-as-you-go instances within VPCs will start when the instances are created, stop when the instances enter the Stopped state, and resume when the instances are started again. When an ECS instance enters the Stopped state, the No Fees for Stopped Instances (VPC-Connected) feature stops only the vCPUs, memory, and public IP address of the instance from incurring fees. The data disks of the instance will continue to be billed. For more information, see No Fees for Stopped Instances (VPC-Connected).
  • Classic network: ECS instances in classic networks will continue to be billed, even when they are in the Stopped state.

What can I do if I am unable to place an order to change the billing method from pay-as-you-go to subscription?

You may be unable to place the order due to one of the following reasons:
  • The instance is in a state that does not support changes to the billing method.
  • Changes to the billing method are not allowed due to an upcoming scheduled automatic release.
  • Changes to the billing method are not allowed because the instance is in the Expired state.
  • Changes to the billing method are not allowed because the instance information has changed.
  • A previous order to change the billing method of the instance has not been paid.

If one of the preceding errors is reported, adjust the instance accordingly.

How long after the order is paid does it take to change the billing method from pay-as-you-go to subscription?

The billing method of your ECS instance will be changed after you pay for the order. It takes up to 4 seconds to change the billing method of 20 instances. After the change is completed, you can see that the billing method of your instance has been changed to Subscription in the console.

What can I do if I am unable to change the billing method from pay-as-you-go to subscription?

Submit a ticket.

When I change the billing method of an instance from pay-as-you-go to subscription, will the billing method for network usage of the instance change?

No, the billing method for network usage of the instance will not change. Only the billing method of instances and disks can be changed from pay-as-you-go to subscription. For information about how to change the billing method for network usage, see Overview of instance upgrade and downgrade.

I have an unpaid order to change the billing method of an instance from pay-as-you-go to subscription. If I upgrade the instance, will the order still be valid?

The existing order is created when you change the billing method of your instance from pay-as-you-go to subscription. You must complete the payment for this order to complete the change. If you upgrade the instance before the order is paid for, the order payment cannot be completed because the instance components are different and the original order no longer matches. If you still want to change the billing method, you must cancel the unpaid order and place a new order.

What can I do if I am unable to change the billing method from subscription to pay-as-you-go?

You may be unable to change the billing method from subscription to pay-as-you-go due to one of the following reasons:

  • The instance is in a state that does not support changes to the billing method.
  • Changes to the billing method are not allowed because the instance is in the Expired state.
  • Changes to the billing method are not allowed because the instance information has changed.

If one of the preceding errors is reported, adjust the instance accordingly. If the problem persists, submit a ticket.

When I try to change the billing method of a disk in an ECS instance, an error message is returned indicating that I have already changed the billing method three times. What does this mean?

Each ECS instance can be downgraded a maximum of three times. Downgrade operations include instance specifications downgrades, bandwidth downgrades, and the change of the disk billing method from subscription to pay-as-you-go.

Why can't I change a pay-as-you-go instance to a subscription one?

The ECS instance for which you want to change the billing method must meet the following requirements:
    • The instance belongs to your account.
    • The following instance types are not applicable:
      • Generation I: t1, s1, s2, s3, m1, m2, c1, or c2
      • Generation n1, n2, or e3
      Note For more information about these instance types, see Phased-out instance types.
    • The instance cannot be a preemptible instance.
    • There is no unpaid switch order for the instance.

      If there is an unpaid switch order, you must cancel the unpaid order and then place another order to switch the billing method.

    • Auto release is not set for the instance.

      If auto release has been set for an instance, you must disable the auto release configuration and then switch the billing method. For more information, see Release an instance.

    • The instance is in the Running or Stopped state.

      Example: An order to switch the billing method has been placed when the ECS instance is in the Running or Stopped state. However, the instance status has changed when payment is attempted for the order. The preceding requirement is not met. The order fails and the billing method remains unchanged. You can go to the billing center and pay for the order when the instance is in the Running or Stopped state again.

How do I view the expiration time of a subscription instance?

You can log on to the ECS console and go to the Instances page. View the expiration time of your subscription instance in the Billing Method column.

Note If the Billing Method column is not displayed, click the icon in the upper-right corner of the instance list. In the dialog box that appears, select Billing Method and click OK.