Scheduling Alibaba ECS Start-Stop Times with ParkMyCloud

Scheduling Alibaba ECS start-stop times for non-production instances with scheduling software is more reliable and cost-efficient than alternative measures for reducing AliCloud costs – i.e. the manual process of switching instances on and off, and scheduling scripts.

With the manual process, there is always the risk that developers will forget to switch their non-production instances when they have finished using them – potentially leaving the instances running indefinitely if they are not used again.

With scheduling scripts, the cost of writing scripts and maintaining them can be more than business´s save in costs. Furthermore, scheduling scripts lack flexibility if access to an instance is required. The script would have to be edited to enable access, and then edited again afterwards – potentially introducing the risks associated with the manual process, i.e. forgetfulness.

Here at ParkMyCloud, we are in the process of developing our scheduling software to support AliCloud users. When the development is finished, as well as scheduling Alibaba ECS start-stop times, ParkMyCloud will include additional features for reducing AliCloud costs similar to the ones already saving AWS, Azure and Google users millions of dollars every year.

Using ParkMyCloud for Scheduling Alibaba ECS Start-Stop Times

Using ParkMyCloud for scheduling ECS start-stop times involves a very simple process. System administrators create a permissions-limited role for our software and allow it to conduct a discovery of the business´s resources. Once the discovery is complete, the business´s resources are displayed across a single-view dashboard.

ParkMyCloud identifies which instances are suitable for scheduling (or “parking” as we call it) according to the names and tags assigned to them, and displays a small icon alongside each one for easy visibility. System administrators click on the icon to access the scheduling page, where they have a choice of:

  • Applying a preconfigured parking schedule – i.e. instances switched “on” on weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • Creating and applying a unique schedule via an intuitive grid indicating days of the week and hours of the day.
  • Applying an “Always Parked” schedule so that non-production instances are switched off until access is required.
  • Allowing ParkMyCloud to recommend and apply parking schedules based on each instance´s use over the past week/month/quarter.

The schedules can be applied to individual instances, groups of instances or every instance. They can be interrupted whenever necessary using a “snooze” function (quicker than editing scheduling scripts), and have safeguards in place to reactivate the schedules after a period of inactivity to prevent the scenario in which instances are left running due to forgetfulness.

How Much Does Scheduling Alibaba ECS Start-Stop Times Save?

How much scheduling Alibaba ECS start-stop times save depends on what schedules are applied. The more aggressive the schedules, the better they are for reducing AliCloud costs (and remember, schedules can always be interrupted with the click of a mouse when access to instances is required). The following table gives some examples of how much scheduling Alibaba ECS start-stop times can save:

How Much Does Scheduling Alibaba ECS Start-Stop Times Save?
Schedule Start Time Stop Time Hours Saved Costs Saved
Mon-Sun 9.00 a.m. 9.00 p.m. 84 per week 50%
Mon-Sun 9.00 a.m. 6.00 p.m. 105 per week 62%
Mon-Sat 8.00 a.m. 8.00 p.m. 96 per week 57%
Mon-Sat 8.00 a.m. 6.00 p.m. 108 per week 64%
Mon-Fri 9.00 a.m. 9.00 p.m. 108 per week 64%
Mon-Fri 8.00 a.m. 6.00 p.m. 118 per week 70%
Mon-Fri 9.00 a.m. 5.00 p.m. 128 per week 76%

A more accurate saving forecast can be achieved by using our savings calculator and, once we have finished developing ParkMyCloud to support AliCloud, system administrators will be able to see in advance the projected savings for the next three months as each schedule is applied. Please note, the above savings percentages apply to non-production instances only.

Additional Features for Reducing AliCloud Costs

One of the great advantages ParkMyCloud has over other software for scheduling Alibaba ECS start-stop times is that a heat map is produced for each instance showing peaks and troughs in its use. This data is used by ParkMyCloud to make parking recommendations, and can also be used by system admins to identify over-provisioned instances that can be right-sized for further reducing AliCloud costs.

Once instances are cost-optimized, system admins can ensure costs stay optimized by creating policies on ParkMyCloud´s robust policy engine to control AliCloud spend. The policies can be created to prevent certain events occurring (for example launching a larger-than-permitted instance) or to send a notification when certain events occur so system admins can investigate them further.

As ParkMyCloud supports role-based access control, the policy engine improves accountability as well as automating governance of the business´s cloud accounts. There are also benefits to network security which, although not reducing AliCloud costs directly, will have a positive impact of the cost of operating the business´s IT department. In fact, there are many different ways in which scheduling Alibaba ECS start-stop times can save businesses money indirectly.

Want to Know More? Speak with Us Today

As mentioned above, we are still in the process of developing ParkMyCloud to support AliCloud. If you would like to be notified when the development process is finished, please do not hesitate to contact us and speak with one of our Customer Services team. Our team will be able to give you a timeline for when ParkMyCloud is expected to be ready, and answer any questions you have about scheduling Alibaba ECS start-stop times and reducing AliCloud costs.