Got this email from AWS, "Amazon EC2 Instance scheduled for retirement". If you use AWS heavily, you've probably seen this email. Here's the meat of it:

We have important news about your account. EC2 has detected degradation of the underlying hardware hosting one or more of your Amazon EC2 instances in the us-east-1 region. Due to this degradation, your instance(s) could already be unreachable. Running instances will be stopped or terminated after 12:00AM UTC on YYYY-MM-DD. The affected instances are listed below:


<...other stuff, not relevant to my question...>

What do you need to do?

If you can still access the instance, we recommend the following:

<...other stuff, not relevant to my question...>

  • If your instance's root device is an EBS volume, you can replace the instance by creating an AMI of your instance, and launching a new instance from the AMI. For more information please see Amazon Machine Images... other stuff, not relevant to my question

The AWS docs, and the email itself, indicate I must create an AMI from the current instance to resolve this. I've heard, though, that simply stopping the instance and restarting it will migrate it to new hardware.

Is this true?

If simply stopping/starting won't solve this, is there a simple solution for this that isn't as clunky as creating an AMI and launching from that?


I've received several of these from AWS over the years, and in each case a stop/start cycle was enough to get it on different hardware.

That said, it would be best to contact AWS support and verify that a stop/start will be sufficient in this case. Regardless, it's a good idea to make an AMI anyway, as a last resort.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    How can I tell that an instance is on new hardware? – JDS Oct 12 '15 at 16:05
  • 1
    If the alert goes away. But seriously - if you value the existence of this server, contact AWS support. – EEAA Oct 12 '15 at 16:06
  • lol, thanks! silly aws and their silly idea that servers are ephemeral – JDS Oct 12 '15 at 19:24
  • 2
    It's not that silly actually, as it forces you to build resilient infrastructure that can be deployed programmatically. Which is a very good thing. – EEAA Oct 12 '15 at 19:26
  • 1
    For closure: I did contact AWS support and they confirm that stop/start the instance will work as I described. – JDS Oct 12 '15 at 19:37

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.