Comprehensive Upgrade of Alibaba Cloud Auto Scaling Product

Richer Configurations and More Flexible Management

Scaling groups support adding or modifying SLB instances and ApsaraDB for RDS instances

In practice, you usually need to add or modify Server Load Balancer (SLB) instances or ApsaraDB for RDS instances that are already bound to a scaling group. However, once a scaling group is created, its configurations of SLB instances or ApsaraDB for RDS instances could not be modified. Therefore, you must create a new scaling group in that case. After the function upgrade, Auto Scaling now supports attaching and detaching SLB instances and ApsaraDB for RDS instances, making it easy to deal with architectural changes or upgrades without creating a new scaling group.

Server Load Balancer

Auto Scaling Service integrates with Server Load Balancer (SLB), which allows you to attach an SLB instance to a scaling group and distribute traffic to each instance in the scaling group using the SLB instance. For a long time, SLB instances were specified only when a scaling group was created and cannot be modified. It means that you must carefully consider your business demand and required number of SLB instances when you create a scaling group. This awkwardness is now eliminated as we have launched two new functions of Auto Scaling Service: AttachLoadBalancer and DetachLoadBalancers.

  1. When forceAttach is set to true, all instances in the current scaling group are attached to the SLB instance backend when you attach the SLB instance to the scaling group.
  2. When forceAttach is set to false, existing instances in the current scaling group are not attached to the SLB instance backend when you attach the SLB instance to the scaling group.
  1. The SLB instance must be undeleted.
  2. The SLB instance must be in the same region as the scaling group.
  3. The SLB instance must be in Active state.
  4. The SLB instance must have at least one listener and its health check function is enabled.
  5. If both the SLB instance and the scaling group are of VPC type, they must in the same VPC environment.
  6. If the scaling group is of VPC type but the SLB instance is of classic network type, the VPC instance (if any) on the SLB instance backend server must be in the same VPC environment as the current scaling group.
  7. The number of SLB instances attached to the scaling group must be less than the quota for the scaling group.
  1. If forceDetach is set to true, the SLB backend instances associated with the scaling group are also detached when you detach the SLB instance from the scaling group.
  2. If forceDetach is set to false, the SLB backend instances associated with the scaling group are not detached when you detach the SLB instance from the scaling group.

ApsaraDB for RDS

ApsaraDB for RDS, a stable and reliable online database service of Alibaba Cloud, supports MySQL, SQL Server, PostgreSQL, and PPAS. It provides a complete set of solutions for disaster recovery, backup, restoration, monitoring, migration, and other features, to free you from database O&M. Auto Scaling Service integrates with ApsaraDB for RDS, which enables the instances in a scaling group to be automatically added to a whitelist, ensuring secure access to the ApsaraDB for RDS instances.

  1. If forceAttach is set to true, the private IP addresses of all instances in the scaling group are added to the IP address whitelist when you attach the ApsaraDB for RDS instance to the scaling group.
  2. If forceAttach is set to false, the private IP addresses of all instances in the scaling group are not added to the IP address whitelist when you attach the ApsaraDB for RDS instance to the scaling group.
  1. The ApsaraDB for RDS instance must be undeleted.
  2. The ApsaraDB for RDS instance must be unlocked.
  3. The ApsaraDB for RDS instance must be in running state.
  4. For the default ApsaraDB for RDS instance group, the total number of IP addresses in the whitelist must not exceed 1,000.
  1. If forceDetach is set to true, the IP addresses of instances associated with the scaling group are removed from the whitelist when you detach the ApsaraDB for RDS instance from the scaling group.
  2. If forceDetach is set to false, the IP addresses of instances associated with the scaling group are not removed from the whitelist when you detach the ApsaraDB for RDS instance from the scaling group.

Auto Scaling supports configuration modification, image-based default password, and other functions

Similar to scaling groups, to avoid creating new scaling configurations, Auto Scaling Service supports configuration modifications and more ECS features, such as image-based default password.

  1. imageId
  2. instanceTypes
  3. internetMaxBandwidthOut
  4. ramRoleName
  5. keyPairName
  6. systemDiskCategory
  7. scalingConfigurationName
  8. tags
  9. userData
  10. instanceName
  11. loadBalancerWeight
  12. systemDiskSize
  13. internetChargeType
  14. passwordInherit (image-based default password)
  15. hostName (host name)

Auto Scaling supports setting UserData, KeyPair, RamRole, and Tags

To ensure higher flexibility and elasticity, Auto Scaling Service supports four additional features, namely, UserData, KeyPair, RamRole, and Tags. UserData allows you to complete the automatic configuration process quickly and securely. When the number of ECS instances changes with the business needs, you can perform application-level scale-up and scale-down quickly and securely. Also, you can configure KeyPair, Tags, and other parameters for more efficient and intelligent ECS instance management.

  1. Instance customization script, to be executed when an instance is started.
  2. Normal data, to be imported into an instance. You can reference the data in the instance.
  1. UserData is only supported for the scaling configuration in the VPC environment.
  2. UserData must be Base64-encoded.
  3. UserData is input without encryption. Therefore, do not input confidential information (such as passwords and private keys) in plaintext. If such confidential information must be input, it is recommended that the information be encrypted and Base64-encoded, and then decrypted in the instance in the same mode.
  1. Ignore this parameter for Windows ECS instances. The input KeyPairName parameter is also invalid.
  2. If you input the KeyPairName parameter, the password logon method for Linux ECS instances is set to forbidden upon initialization.

Higher Creation Success Rate and Business Availability

Support for multi-zone scale-up and multiple instance types (Alibaba Cloud is the first cloud service provider in the world that supports multiple instance types)

The core of Auto Scaling lies in availability of ECS instances for horizontal scale-up. However, the inventory of cloud computing resources changes dynamically, and inventory shortage is always a problem we face. To maximize the creation success rate, Auto Scaling supports multiple instance types in addition to multi-zone scale-up. This is our edge over other vendors.

  1. If you use the VSwitchIds.N parameter, the VSwitchId parameter is ignored.
  2. In the VSwitchIds.N parameter, the value range of N is [1, 5]. That is, up to five VSwitches can be configured for each scaling group.
  3. The VSwitches specified by the VSwitchIds.N parameter must be in the same VPC environment.
  4. In the VSwitchIds.N parameter, N stands for the priority of VSwitches. The VSwitch with N = 1 has the highest priority to create an ECS instance. The higher the N value, the lower the priority.
  1. If you use the InstanceTypes.N parameter, the InstanceType parameter is ignored.
  2. In the InstanceTypes.N parameter, the value range of N is [1, 10]. That is, up to 10 instance types can be configured for a scaling configuration.
  3. If your scaling group is of classic network type, the region where the scaling group is located must support all ECS instance types you configured in classic networks. If not, the scaling group cannot create an ECS instance. You can use the querying zone list API to query the instance types supported by the current region and the network type supported by each instance type.
  4. If your scaling group is of VPC type, the zones of VSwitches configured for the scaling group must support all ECS instance types you configured in VPCs. Multiple VSwitches can be configured for each scaling group.
  5. In the InstanceTypes.N parameter, N stands for the priority of instance types in the current scaling configuration. The instance type with N = 1 has the highest priority. The higher the N value, the lower the priority.
  6. When the instance type with the highest priority is unavailable for creating an ECS instance due to inventory shortage, the system automatically selects the instance type with the next highest priority to create an ECS instance.
  7. When you create a scaling configuration using the InstanceTypes.N parameter, all instance types must be unique; otherwise, the scaling configuration creation fails.

Multi-zone instance balancing mode

To meet high availability and disaster recovery requirements in multi-zone instance scenarios and thus ensure service stability and continuity, we provide the automatic multi-zone instance balancing function for Auto Scaling Service to reduce the impacts of force majeure.

  1. Only support for a scaling group of VPC type and with more than one VSwitches (VSwitchId)
  2. Only support for settings when a scaling group is created
  1. PRIORITY (default value)
  2. BALANCE
  1. Instances in the specified zone become insufficient
  2. VSwitches (VSwitchId) configured for the scaling group change.
  3. You have removed an ECS instance from the scaling group and released it.

Increased Instance Management Capabilities

Support for instance standby status, instance protection mode, and instance detachment operation

We provide three new management functions to allow users to manage their ECS instances more flexibly and meet the requirements in some special scenarios:

  1. Standby status that allows users to update ECS instances in scaling groups, change configurations, and perform other operations.
  2. Protection mode that protects ECS instances from being removed from scaling groups for any reasons.
  3. Detach instance that enables ECS instances to be retained for use independently of scaling groups
  1. In the scenarios where you need to change the type of an scaled ECS instance or restart the instance, you can set the ECS instance to standby state and take over its lifecycle management. Then you can perform all elastic operations supported by ECS. After that, you should make the ECS instance exit the standby state and return lifecycle management to its scaling group.
  2. In the scenarios where you manage ECS instances using an Server Load Balancer instance configured for their scaling group, you can set the faulty ECS instance to standby state for shunting. Then you can perform offline troubleshooting and verifications (including logon, troubleshooting, and restart). After the ECS instance is in ready state, you can make it exit the standby state and reprocess business traffic.

Support for Instance Lifecycle Management

LifecycleHook feature

We have launched the LifecycleHook feature to allow users to manage ECS instances in scaling groups more flexibly. The LifecycleHook feature suspends the scaling activity that occurs in a scaling group to perform custom operations.

  1. An ECS instance that becomes available in a scaling group is mounted to SLB with certain latency before providing services.
  2. To release an ECS instance, the scaling group first removes the ECS instance from the SLB backend server to prevent it from receiving new requests. Then the scaling group stops and releases the ECS instance after it verifies that all requests received by the ECS instance are processed.
  3. The scaling group backs up data when it releases an ECS instance.
  4. You can perform some custom operations for instance scale-up or scale-down of a scaling group.

Improved Scaling Experience

Enhanced smooth elasticity

To allow users to trigger auto scaling events from more monitoring dimensions, we have increased the number of metrics from 6 to 13. Custom metrics are also supported.

Event Notification

To further improve user experience, we have abandoned the previous notification mode of SMS + email and developed the new notification mode that allows you to choose recipients, select notification tools (DingTalk + SMS + email), and edit the receipt content. The programmable notification modes Topic and Queue are also supported to improve user experience to the largest extent.

  1. AUTOSCALING:SCALE_OUT_SUCCESS
  2. AUTOSCALING:SCALE_OUT_ERROR
  3. AUTOSCALING:SCALE_IN_SUCCESS
  4. AUTOSCALING:SCALE_IN_ERROR
  5. AUTOSCALING:SCALE_REJECT
  1. Reporting details of scaling activities to CloudMonitor system events
  2. Pushing details of scaling activities to Message and Notification Service (MNS) queues
  3. Pushing details of scaling activities to MNS topics

Lower TCO

Preemptive instances (formerly known as spot price instances) further lower costs

Preemptive instances are post-paid instances with a price fluctuating as the supply-demand relationship changes. They have a higher discount than Pay-As-You-Go instances. To purchase a preemptive ECS instance, you can set your highest bid price for the instance. The market price of a preemptive ECS instance fluctuates as the supply-demand relationship changes, and is currently 10% to 100% off the price of a Pay-As-You-Go instance. In this mode, you can purchase a preemptive ECS instance at a price not higher than your highest bid price. When the market price is higher than your highest bid price, Alibaba Cloud does not generate a preemptive ECS instance for you, which allows you to control the production cost in the expected range.

  1. Real-time analysis services
  2. Big data services
  3. Image and media encoding services
  4. Scientific computation services
  5. Elastically scalable business websites and web crawler services
  6. Image and media encoding services
  7. Genetic computation services
  8. Geospatial survey and analysis services

Conclusion

The new functions of Auto Scaling Service aim to make it easier for you to deal with business load changes while maintaining low TCO as your elastic supporting business grows. To learn more about Auto Scaling, visit www.alibabacloud.com/product/auto-scaling

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