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Optimize scale and stability while reducing costs with Scheduled Compute Suspension

Richard Zhao
Senior Product Manager of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure

One advantage of the cloud is the ability to scale infrastructure to support dynamic application needs, adding more resources when you need them and removing them when you don’t. This flexibility can reduce overall costs while increasing performance during periods of high demand. For example, you might have hundreds of instances to support a critical application workload during peak business hours. Then, after the demand for those instances drops during off-peak business hours, reducing instance volume can help reduce cloud costs.

To automate this process function, teams either write homegrown scripts that require monitoring and maintenance or sometimes they might make manual changes, which can be error-prone and introduce risk. Either solution adds complexity, burns limited staff cycles, and is hard to sustain with confidence.

To address this challenge, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) now provides a Scheduled Compute Suspension feature. It can help you quickly create rules to suspend/resume instances at specific time-based conditions with state preservation during the suspension. When suspended, the compute billing stops while the storage billing continues, and the instance state is preserved. When the suspension ends, compute billing starts, and the instance system starts up with all the preserved state and application configurations. 

How can this feature support your workloads? Imagine your website traffic typically starts to decrease daily around 6 p.m., remains low during non-business hours, and starts to increase after 5 a.m. With these known traffic patterns, you can easily create two policies. The first policy can schedule to suspend running instances at 6 p.m. You will not be billed for suspended instances. Because the instances' state and configuration are preserved, instances' storage billing continues. The second policy can schedule to resume the same instances at 5 a.m. You will be billed when instances are restarted to the preserved state of 6 pm last night. This automated process helps reduce your Compute costs.

The best part? This capability mitigates the need for scripting or manual intervention, helps your organization right-size instance costs, and is free and available today in your OCI console and through the API.

Creating scheduled Compute Suspension policies is quick and easy

Creating and managing your scheduled compute suspension takes a few clicks in the Console. Create an instance pool.

Under Compute, select Autoscaling Configuration and click Create Autoscaling Configuration. If you’re not familiar with instance pool creation, see the documentation.

After you provide some basic details about the autoscaling configuration, include name, compartment it applies to, and the specific instance pool, you can build a customized policy in the following easy steps:

  • Select the schedule-based autoscaling.

  • Enter the autoscaling policy name.

  • Choose the change lifecycle state of all instances.

  • Select lifecycle action(start, stop, reboot) for the instance pool.

  • Specify the operation time from a predefined time window in the quick start or a custom time window.

  • You can also add more scheduled actions by clicking + Another Policy, which creates another policy.

The following screenshot shows the process.

When you create your policy, review to confirm that it matches your requirements and click Create.

Monitor and managing scheduled autoscaling policies

Occasionally, you want to check your policies to ensure that they’re running as expected. You might need to adjust policies as workload needs change or remove the policy if it’s no longer needed. In the Console under the autoscaling configuration, OCI makes it easy to monitor the scheduled compute suspension policy without having to write and test custom scripts or adding other tools to manage.

A screenshot of the autoscaling configuration details page with the edit button and autoscaling policies enabled toggle outlined in red.

Try it for yourself

We plan to enable the Scheduled Compute Suspension features in all regions on all new virtual machine shapes going forward, so stay tuned for more updates. For more information on scheduled autoscaling, see the autoscaling documentation. To try out our scheduled compute suspension and other Oracle Cloud services, feel free to sign up for a trial account with $300 in credits.

We value your feedback as we continue to make our service the best in the industry. More feature updates are on the horizon for our cloud compute platform, so share your thoughts on how we can improve or allow us the opportunity to provide you with more details by leaving a comment.

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