Compute Footprint Utilization (Idle)

Compute Footprint Utilization (Idle)

The nature of cloud elasticity enables flexibility in choosing and provisioning instances that perfectly suit the demand at any time. With many instances deployed across multiple environments it is sometimes difficult to keep track of all the instances that you are using, leaving behind active instances that have been idle for a long time.

Newvem notifies you when servers are not being actively used, as this leads to inefficient cloud operation costs. Also, Newvem enables to drill down to view the list of idle servers.

In this case we suggest to stop the idle servers to reduce unnecessary compute costs. To further reduce unnecessary storage costs, you should terminate the servers that have remained stopped and unused over a longer period of time.

When you stop or terminate an EC2 instance, the instance is shut down and the virtual machine that was provisioned for you is permanently taken away and therefore you are no longer charged for instance usage. The main difference between stopping and terminating an instance, is that when stopping, the attached bootable EBS volume is not deleted,  continues to persist in its availability zone, and therefore you are charged the standard cost of EBS volumes as well as additional storage costs of the stopped instances. When terminating, the attached bootable EBS volume is deleted and you are no longer charged.


Our identification of the issue is based on the following data:

  •    Consistent Idle instances for a period of a week.


 How to view idle servers

> Using the  AWS Management Console

To view status checks

  1. Log onto the AWS console.
  2. Click the Amazon EC2 tab.
  3. In the Navigation pane, click Instances.
  4. On the Instances page, the Status Checks column lists the operational status of each instance.
  5. Click the State (Running) column to sort the list by type and then select the idle instances.
  6. To view an individual instance’s status, select the instance, and then click the Status Checks tab.

To view an individual instance’s status, select the instance, and then click the Status Checks tab.

> Using the Command line

Run this command To do this
ec2-describe-instance-status   Return the status of all instances
ec2-describe-instance-status --filter "instance-status.status=impaired"   Returns the status of all instances with a instance status of impaired
ec2-describe-instance-status status –i-15a4417c   Returns the status of all instances with a single instance with instance ID i-15a4417c

For more information about using the ec2-describe-instance-status command, see ec2-describe-instance-status in the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud Command Reference Guide.

Note: If you have an instance with a failed status check, see Troubleshooting Instances with Failed Status Checks

To stop an Instance:

  •  Enter the following command, to stop, for example stop instance i-10a64379:  PROMPT> ec2-stop-instances i-10a64379

To terminate an Instance:

  • Enter the following command, to terminate, for example  instance i-3ea74257: PROMPT> ec2-terminate-instances i-3ea74257 


Keywords: cloud elasticity, amazon aws idle servers, EC2 instance, stop an instance, terminate an instance, EBS volume, availability zone, EBS volumes, AWS management console. 

Additional Relevant Resources

Save Your Cloudy Money - 5 simple basic steps (for begginers)

How to stop a instance

How do we Scale IT ?

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